Tacos go uptown in the hands of Dean Fearing. All it takes is a little lobster, jalapeño-spiked cheese, fresh spinach, and Fearing’s snappy yellow-tomato salsa. A signature dish of Dallas’ Mansion on Turtle Creek (2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard), these tony tacos are featured in De Gustibus Presents the Great Cooks’ Cookbooks: Southwest Cooking. This new, beautifully photographed compendium by Arlene Feltman-Sailhac focuses on nine masters of Southwestern cuisine. Other Texas chefs spotlighted are Robert Del Grande of Houston’s Cafe Annie and Stephan Pyles of Dallas’ Star Canyon. Book published by Black Dog and Leventhal ($12.98).
1 pound yellow tomatoes or yellow cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)
Salt to taste
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4 1-pound live lobsters
3 tablespoons corn oil
Fill a large stockpot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Plunge lobsters headfirst into boiling water, cover, and cook for 8 minutes or until shells turn red. Drain and let lobsters cool slightly.
Remove meat from lobster tails, adding claw meat if lobsters are small. Cut meat into thin medallions or chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Reserve any remaining meat for other use after tacos are made.
In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add lobster meat and sauté for 2 minutes or until heated through.
Tortillas and Filling
6 flour tortillas
1 cup fresh spinach, shredded
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeños
While lobsters are cooking, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Stack tortillas and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Warm in oven for 15 minutes or until heated through. Remove and keep warm by wrapping in a thick terry cloth towel.
To serve, place spinach, lobster meat, and cheese on tortillas and roll up. Place each taco seam side down on a warm plate with a mound of yellow-tomato salsa to one side. (Cookbook also contains recipe for jicama salad.) Serves 6.