2290 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 404-352-3517, www.georgiagrille.com
Q: My friend Eric Argo fancies himself an Atlanta restaurant aficionado, and he says that the Lobster Enchiladas at the Georgia Grille are the best things he has ever eaten. We’d like to try to make them ourselves. I hope they will share the recipe. — Stephanie C. Davis, Atlanta
A: This recipe is a prize winner! Karen Hilliard, Atlanta restaurateur and chef/owner of Georgia Grille, created it a few years ago at the Seafood Challenge at the Georgia Seafood Show, and it was declared best by a panel of judges.
“It was a creation that took place on the spot, ” Hilliard said. “You don’t know what ingredients you will be using until they are announced at the competition.”
The recipe was a natural for Hilliard, who has owned restaurants in Texas and specializes in contemporary, creative Southwestern food.
“A lot of people when they think of Tex Mex think only of beans and rice, when there is a lot more to it than that, ” she said. Proving her point, she offers her winning Lobster Enchiladas.
Georgia Grille’s Lobster Enchiladas
1 1/2 teaspoons oil
2 tablespoons diced shallot, about 1 large
1 tablespoon pureed (mashed) garlic, about 2 cloves
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno puree (see Note)
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into large dice
2 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 ounces), divided
1 red bell pepper, smoked, seeded and diced (see Note)
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
12 (8-inch) flour tortillas, softened
1 cup fresh tomato salsa
In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Add the shallots, garlic and jalapeno puree. Cook briefly, stirring constantly, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and cook until reduced by half. Add the cream and continue cooking until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Stir in lobster, 1 1/2 cups cheese, smoked bell pepper, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and marjoram. Do not boil or the mixture will separate. Set aside to keep warm.
Spoon about 1/4 cup filling into each softened tortilla. Roll into a cylinder, and place the filled tortillas seam side down in an ovenproof casserole. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Preheat broiler. Place the casserole in the oven and broil just until cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with fresh tomato salsa. Serves: 6
Note: The flavor of smoked red bell pepper in the sauce is a signature at Georgia Grille, where Hilliard says several are smoked at once in a large commercial smoker with hickory. You can create a similar taste at home with a stovetop smoker, which will take about 15 minutes; or on a grill or outdoor smoker, using hickory. An alternative is to omit the jalapeno puree and the smoked pepper and substitute about 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, pureed.
Per serving: 837 calories, 40 grams protein, 46 grams fat (percent calories from fat, 49), 66 grams carbohydrates, 190 milligrams cholesterol, 1,606 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.
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