Happy Valentine’s Day! Jalapeno Miss made a special request for tonight’s meal, but she was slightly vague. Her request – Carbonara! I take that as a special challenge to make it fun and interesting. So, here’s the plan – Spicy Lobster Carbonara with Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad. She’s in charge of the drinks. It’s fun to make meals at home instead of going out, especially on days meant for romance. The recipes will be variations of some that I’ve made in the past, so I’m happy to share. Give them a try!
Spicy Lobster Carbonara with Fresno Chili Peppers
- 2 5-ounce lobster tails
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 8 ounces farfalle pasta
- 3 eggs
- 4 ounces shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 1-2 teaspoons chili powder (I’m using a bit of habanero powder and some jalapeno powder – Cajun seasonings will work great here as well)
- 4 Fresno chili peppers, julienned.
- Olive oil for topping
- Black pepper to taste
- Extra shredded Parmesan for topping as desired
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Slice the top shells of the lobster tails and pull out the meat so it rests atop the shells. Dust with a bit of chili powder and set onto baking sheets.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lobster is cooked through.
- Remove lobster meat from shells and roughly chop.
- Heat a pan to medium heat and add butter. Allow to melt. Add lobster and lime juice. Swirl to coat the lobster and remove from heat. Set lobster aside until ready to use.
- While lobster is cooking, heat a separate pan to medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook about 10 minutes, or until pancetta is nice and crispy. Set aside to cool. Crumble the pancetta.
- To the same pan, add julienned Fresno peppers. Cook about 5 minutes, or until peppers are softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While peppers are cooking, boil the farfalle noodles to desired doneness.
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and beat well. Add Parmesan cheese, chili powder, chopped lobster and pancetta. Mix well.
- Drain pasta and add to the mixing bowl while nice and hot. Quickly stir to allow the hot pasta to cook the egg mixture.
- Serve immediately into 2 bowls and top with fresh olive oil, black pepper, sliced Fresno peppers and Parmesan as desired.
Spicy Shaved Jalapeno and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 cup Hazelnuts
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Set Hazlenuts onto a large baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Roll the a towel to remove the skins. Roughly chop and reserve.
- Remove browned outer leaves of Brussels Sprouts.
- With a mandolin, slice the Brussels Sprouts very thin. Discard the stems. Set shaved sprouts into a large mixing bowl.
- Slice the jalapeno pepper and add to bowl, discarding the stem.
- Add Hazelnuts.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add shallot, vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until frothy.
- Pour mixture over Brussels Sprouts and cover. Refrigerate at least one hour.
- Heat a pan to medium heat. Cook bacon about 10 minutes, or until bacon is nice and crisp. Drain, cool and crumble. Add bacon crumbles to Brussels Sprouts salad and toss.