Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Recipes For President Obama's Inaugural Luncheon: Steamed Lobster With New England Clam Chowder Sauce And Sautéed Spinach

 Instructions for the home chef to recreate the Inaugural Luncheon for a party of four...
President Obama's Inaugural Luncheon will be held at Statuary Hall in the US Capitol
following the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21.  The "Faith in America's Future" farm-to-table feast pays homage to sustainably produced and artisanal foods:
CLICK HERE for a full post, with commentary from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the luncheon's hosts.  (Above, the lobster course, plated)

The three-course menu was created by Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer of Arlington, Virginia's Design Cuisine, and he has shared the recipes for home cooks wishing to recreate the celebration for a party of four.  The luncheon will
begin with a steamed lobster tail topped with a New England clam chowder sauce, placed atop sautéed spinach and accompanied by sweet potato hay. These recipes are below. 

Hickory grilled bison tenderloin with a wild huckleberry reduction, with red potato horseradish cakes and vegetables are the entree.  The main course recipes are here.  Pie is President Obama's favorite dessert, and the grand finish to the luncheon is Hudson Valley Apple Pie, served in individual portions with a cinnamon crumble topping, a la mode with sour cream ice cream, and maple caramel sauce.  The dessert recipes are here.

The lobster course recipes reprinted here are as offered by Chef Shannon, edited slightly by Obama Foodorama for clarity of instructions.  For the presentation,
the Chef instructs: Use a soup plate or similar serving dish for each serving, and place 1/2 cup of the sautéed spinach in a pile in the center of the dish.  Place six pieces of the lobster in the center on top of the spinach, and spoon or ladle three ounces of the clam chowder sauce over the lobster.  Place a small amount sweet potato hay on top of the lobster, and sprinkle micro greens to garnish (optional).  Serves four.

The wine presented with the lobster course at the President's luncheon will be Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (NY). 

 *Steamed Lobster Tails with Clam Chowder Sauce*
*Sautéed Spinach, Sweet Potato Hay*

Lobster Tails

 *4 each lobster tails from Maine lobsters, 4 ounces each

*1/4 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

* 1 Gallon Water

*1/2  Teaspoon Vanilla

*1 Cup White Wine

*3 Pieces Star Anise

 *2 Cups Mirepoix (medium, ¼ inch, dice of carrot, celery, onion and leek)

*1 Large Bowl Ice Water

1.  Combine all ingredients (except lobster) in an 8 quart pot and bring to a boil. 

2.  Place lobster tails in another 8 quart pot  and carefully pour boiling liquid over lobster tails and allow to poach for approximately 6 minutes.

3.  Remove tails from liquid and place in ice water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process.  Remove tails from ice and begin to remove lobster meat from the shell.

4.  Cut each lobster meat into 6 large pieces, place in oven safe dish and add 2 tablespoons of water to dish and cover with lid or foil. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

5.  Reheat lobster at time of service by placing it in a 170º F oven for approximately 15 minutes.  


New England Clam Chowder Sauce

*20 Little Neck Clams, rinsed in cold water

*1/4 Cup Shallot, minced

*1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

*1 Cup White Wine

*2 Cups  Clam Juice, canned

*2 Cups Heavy Cream

*1/2 Tablespoon Canola Oil

*1  Cup Carrot, small dice

*1 Cup Celery, small dice

*1 Cup Yukon Gold Potato, small dice, peeled

*1 Cup Leek, small dice

*1/2  Cup Onion, small dice

*Pinch Kosher Salt

*Pinch Cracked Pepper

*1/4 Cup Fresh Tarragon, chop at the last minute

1.  Combine shallot, garlic, white wine and fish stock (clam juice) in a bowl.

2.  Place a large heavy bottom pot on high heat for 3-4 minutes. 

3.  Carefully place clams in bottom of pot.  Pour shallot liquid over clams quickly and cover with lid.  The clams will begin to open after a few minutes. 

4.  Once clams are opened, remove the pot from the heat and place clams in a bowl to cool (keep shallot liquid). 

5.  Remove clams from shells and rough chop (these will be added to sauce at the last minute).

6.  Strain the shallot  liquid and place into a clean sauce pot on medium heat to reduce by half (roughly 1 quart).  

7 In a separate sauce pot, sauté the diced vegetable in the canola oil with pinch of salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.  

8.  Add the clam liquid and heavy cream to the vegetables and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and allow sauce to reduce until your desired consistency and the vegetables are tender. The sauce should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

9.  Add chopped clams and chopped tarragon to the sauce.


Sautéed Spinach

*8 Ounces Baby Spinach

*1/4 Cup Shallot, minced

*1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

*Pinch Sea Salt

*Pinch Cracked Black Pepper 

1.  Pre-heat a large heavy bottom sauté pan on high heat. 

2.  Sauté shallot in oil until tender.  

3.  Add the baby spinach and season with salt and pepper cooking only until spinach leaves are wilted.  Remove from pan and hold warm.


Sweet Potato Hay

*1 Sweet Potato, peeled, sliced thin, cut fine strips, place in cold water

*1 Quart Canola Oil for frying 

1.  Heat oil to 350º F in a 1 gallon heavy bottom pot. 

2.  Drain sweet potato and pat dry with paper towels. 

3.  Carefully drop a small handful of sweet potato strings in the fryer and allow to crisp and turn golden brown.  Remove with a strainer and place on clean paper towels to absorb excess oil.  

*Top photo by Brendan Hoffman.  Photos of President Obama by Scout Tufkanjian, Obama for America.