Having fun is, in my opinion, what life is all about. I was playing a goof, as I normally am, while vacationing in Orlando one year when a thought came to me, “Why don’t I give my pal John in Nassau a call and see what he is up to?” John, a bit of a wild character, was living life in the Bahamas as an expat, an engineer working with the government on infrastructure development at that time.
Having found his number I dialed it. It had been a while since we had last spoken but “in for a penny, in for a pound” as the saying goes. An eloquent sounding English voice was soon heard. “Hey buddy,” I said. “Shoot man, it’s been ages,” he replied.
We chatted for a little while when he said, “Why not extend your vacation and come and stay with me? It’s only a short jaunt from where you are!” Why not I thought! Our clothes packed, my wife and I jumped on a plane and were soon landing in the Bahamas.
The sea air hit us first, followed by the view of warm, crystal clear water. John met us at the airport and whisked us off to his home. “Check this out,” he said, walking into the house. We walked through his home and out to the back yard where there in front of us was a magnificent speed boat. “What…?”
That week sticks in my mind for many reasons. We snorkeled around the islands, swam in the clear waters and looked with amazement at the multitude of fish on the coral reef. But the food was exceptional and as always John was a tremendous host!
One of the many dishes I made during this short stay was grilled Caribbean lobster with lemon and licorice sauce, fresh carrots and parsnip. This dish just presented itself to me. Lobster meat is so sweet, mild and light and the dish, so easy to create.
2 lobsters, fresh
A handful of fresh watercress
1 teaspoon salt
A pinch of both salt and pepper
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon of fresh licorice (called anise root)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
Cook lobsters in a large pot of boiling, salted water until shells are pink and lobsters are just cooked through, about 11 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt butter in a separate pan adding all remaining ingredients. Sauté for one to two minutes, and remove from heat once sauce reaches a good consistency.
Using a strong knife cut through lobsters, head to tail, and position them on the plates with your choice of vegetables. (Here, I added fresh baby carrots and parsnip.) Pour sauce over the lobster and vegetables, finishing the dish with a garnish of fresh watercress. (You will notice that some liquid will have drained from your lobster when you cut it in two, this is okay, it all adds to the flavour of the sauce.)
Sit back, with a nice glass of chilled white wine, some great company and enjoy your vacation the way only you know how.