On a visit to the Keys, I made friends with a fisherman that nearly keeled over when I told him I wanted to buy lobster meat to make croquetas.
¿Croquetas? No, eso no usa la masa de la cola. Eso usa la masa de la cabeza.
Lobster meat in the head? From the head? What do I have to do with the head? No way.
For free? You'll give me the heads for free?
Bring on the heads.
When I showed up at home with lobster heads all excited to make croquetas, my husband gave me a look I knew. This wasn't the good idea I thought it was.
Getting meat out of lobster heads take lots of patience, muscle and cutting. Cutting those sticks off the top of its head (antennae), cutting through hard shell to get to the meat and then patience to scoop out the meat, and discard all the yucky gross brains (or whatever they are).
Once you boil the meat, you know you're on the right track, but before then, during those three hours of cutting meat out of lobster heads, I wanted to find that fisherman and give him a piece of my mind. For free.
Making the béchamel sauce made me feel super Cuban. But I was scared, let me tell you. That sauce comes together fast and furious so you best be on your toes as you add, osterize, mix and heat. I thought for sure I had burnt the sauce since it came together and thickened so quickly. But no, it was right on point.
One comment about the wine I used - Pinot Grigio. Not a good wine to use because it seems to be less salty than the dry white cooking wine I typically use. Maybe Fred Tasker will read this and enlighten me on my theory, but I'm not taking any chances. Use dry white cooking wine for the béchamel.
There were a few monster croquetas, similar to, er, Frankenstein fingers, for example, but after all, it's what's inside that counts.
Except when it comes to lobster brains. Those shouldn't count.
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