We’ve done several versions of Callaloo (soup) to date and it’s only natural that I share another version I prepare at home, using lobster tails. Callaloo is one of those classic dishes you’ll find throughout the Caribbean (except Jamaica where it’s plant and not a soup dish), where fresh caught ocean Crabs are used to flavor the overall dish, so in using Lobster we’re not straying too far. However you’ll see me use some non-traditional ingredients as I have to use what’s available to me. Plus the technique itself may seem strange, but the goal is to get the ultimate flavors out of the ingredients.
4 lobster tails (wash with 1/2 lemon & split the backs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 stalk celery (diced)
2 leaves shado beni (chopped)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced thin – no seeds)
4-6 sprigs thyme (leaves)
4 cloves garlic (diced fine)
1 medium onion (diced)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb baby spinach (wash and rough-chop)
12-15 okra (trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch)
2 cups sweet potato (cubed)
2 cups pumpkin (cubed)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups seafood stock
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the seafood stock and coconut milk you use.
In a deep pot add the oil and butter on a medium flame, then go in with the lobster tails. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and allow the tails to cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool (to handle).
With the heat still on low, add the celery, onion, shado beni, scotch bonnet, garlic, thyme and black pepper and cook for 4 minutes to soften and bring out the flavors. Remove the flesh out of the lobster shell and set aside. Add the BIG pieces of shell to the pot with everything else and stir well. Then add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to develop a lobster stock. I suggest only using the bigger pieces of shell so they’re easier to remove from the pot later.
Now remove the lobster shells and add the spinach, followed by the salt, sweet potato, pumpkin and okra. Top with the coconut milk and fish stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, slightly cover the pot and allow it to cook for about 50 minutes or until everything is tender and falling apart. Here is where you’ll now use a swizzle stick (as we’ve done in the past) to break everything down to a somewhat smooth consistency. You may use an immersion blender, but I’ll recommend pulsing or you’ll make it frothy and it will change the overall dish. Even if you were to use a traditional blender (be very careful), it’s also important that you pulse it.
Taste for salt and adjust according (keep in mind that while we used a little amount of salt, the fish stock will add a salty element). Turn off the stove and go in with the lobster meat and stir well. Feel free to use more lobster (if your budget approves) and try to keep the meat/flesh in big chunks so your guests will get a taste of the delicious lobster.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2