EGGS WITH ONION RINGS
½ cup kosher salt
1 bunch fresh thyme (tied together with string)
1 head garlic, top ¼” sliced off
1 pound kielbasa, sliced on the bias
1½ pounds small red potatoes
3 whole (1½ pounds each) live Maine lobsters
2 pounds scrubbed littleneck clams
5 ears sweet corn, shucked and halved
Fill a very large stockpot (may need to use multiple pots depending on sizing) with 2½ gallons of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and stir until dissolved then add the thyme and garlic.
Add the potatoes and cook for about 6 minutes. Add the kielbasa then add the live lobsters, one at at time, claw first. Set the timer for 12 minutes. By then the lobsters will be cooked completely through and the meat will be solid white (if you are using a meat thermometer the temperature of the tail should read 180ºF).
At the 7 minute mark add the clams to the pot. When there are 4 minutes to go on the timer, add the corn.
When the time is up, drain the water from the pot and spread the contents from the boil on a large covered table or add the contents into large serving bowls.
Serve with grilled bread, lemon wedges and plenty of melted butter for dipping.
- 12ounces (2 medium-small round or 4 or 5 plum) ripe tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- Fresh serrano chiles to taste, (roughly 3 to 5), or even more if you like it really picante), stemmed, seeded if you wish, and finely chopped
- 1/4cup chopped cilantro, thick bottom stems removed
- 1large garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped
- 1small white onion, finely chopped
- 1tablespoon Mexican hot sauce (such as Valentina or Tamazula), plus extra for serving
- 1tablespoon ketchup
- 2teaspoons fresh lime juice (optional, but you might like the zing it adds)
- About 1/3cup vegetable oil, divided use
- 1pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined if you wish, and chopped into pieces a little smaller than ½ inch
- 15 corn tortillas
- 8ounces shredded Mexican melting cheese (full-flavored Chihuahua or Jack cheese work best)
Making the” salsa. Scoop the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, garlic and white onion into a bowl and mix well. Stir in the hot sauce, ketchup and optional lime juice. Taste and season with salt, usually about a scant teaspoon.
Making the shrimp filling. Heat a very large (12-inch), heavy skillet—nonstick works really well—over medium-high. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the oil and when it is hot, add the “salsa” vegetables. Cook, stirring regularly, until everything softens together, about 5 minutes. Scoop in the shrimp and stir until they are barely cooked through (they can still be slightly translucent at the center)—about 3 minutes. Scoop the shrimp mixture into a bowl, wash and dry the skillet, and return it to medium heat.
Assembling the encamaronadas. Heavily film the bottom of the skillet with oil. When hot, lay in a tortilla. After a few seconds, flip it, then scatter a couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese over one side, top with a generous tablespoon of the filling. Use tongs to fold the uncovered part of the tortilla over the filling, forming a turnover. Gently press flat. Continue to make encamaronadas in the same fashion until the skillet is full, frying them until crisp—2 to 3 minutes per side. As they become crisp, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve right away with more Mexican hot sauce.