Welcome to the first entry in what I intend to be a series of Simpsons-related recipes. You see, I have two great loves in this world – cooking, and The Simpsons, and given that my recipes have been inspired by everything from shitty puns to office buildings, I’m amazed it’s taken me this long to delve into the realm of Simpsons. Now, given that it’s a cartoon, and a frequently absurd one at that, many of the dishes featured on the show are, frankly, ridiculous. While this would dissuade some people however, I see it as a challenge.
In addition, when I say that these recipes will be based on dishes featured in The Simpsons, I mean The Simpsons (S1-S11), not the similarly-named program which followed in subsequent seasons.
Moe: And bring us the finest food you got, stuffed with the second finest
Waiter: Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos
First cab off the rank. This one comes from the season nine episode “Dumbbell Indemnity”, and seemed as good a place as any to start, combining haute cuisine with nonsense. The first problem came in trying to conceive of how it would actually work, and look. What kind of taco should I stuff the lobster with? Should it be hard shell or soft shell? I toyed with the idea of rolling taco ingredients inside a piece of lobster tail, like a chicken ballotine, before realising that just wouldn’t work. I also contemplated coating the lobster shell with crumbled corn chips or corn masa and frying, but that would be more like taco stuffed with lobster, and that’s just being silly.
In the end I was inspired by the absurd nature of the dish and decided make it look as foolish as possible; simply, make a corn puree, poach the lobster tail, slice it down its back and balance a prawn taco right in the middle. The tortilla was basic – just flour, salt, oil and water, and inside was a lime mayonnaise, prawns and a pico de gallo which contained shallots, tomato, lime zest and chilli, then topped with some coriander leaves.
PICO DE GALLO
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 large tomato
- 2 red chillies
- 1 shallot
- finely grated zest from 1 lime
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and squeeze the goo out of them and into a bowl and set aside. Discard or eat the cherry tomato halves. Peel the tomato, and roughly dice the flesh, chucking the goo in with the goo from the cherry tomatoes. Sieve the goo and discard the seeds. This is something I basically stole from a dinner at Attica a couple of years back, where tomatoes were served steeped in the flavourful goo of other tomatoes, for extra tomatoey punch. Add the diced tomato in with the goo along with the sliced shallot and lime zest.
For the chillies, slice them lengthways and deseed. Put them under a hot grill to char the skin. Wrap up in foil and allow them to ‘sweat’ for a few minutes – this makes them easier to peel. Once peeled, slice and add in with the tomatoes and shallots and mix together.
- White wine vinegar
- 1 egg yolk
- Grapeseed oil
- Juice from 1 lime
- Dijon mustard
Make the mayonnaise, and add lime juice in at the end in place of some of the vinegar.
- 1 corn cob
- A tiny pinch each of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper
Start by slicing the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Gently sautee in butter until softened. Add the cream and the paprika and cayenne and simmer for a few minutes, then transfer to a blender and blend it all up. Pass through a sieve, season, and set aside.
So how did it taste? It was pretty fantastic. I’d give it a solid nine thumbs-up.