RECIPE: Make Georgia Grille’s Lobster Enchiladas

Georgia Grille’s Lobster Enchiladas. Courtesy of Karen Hilliard
Georgia Grille’s Lobster Enchiladas. Courtesy of Karen Hilliard

Credit: handout

Credit: handout

Although it is no longer in business, we absolutely loved the lobster enchiladas from Georgia Grille in Buckhead. Is there any way that the owner, Karen Hilliard, might share her recipe now that the doors have closed? — Elisha Alden, Atlanta

One of the losses associated with the coronavirus pandemic was the closing of Georgia Grille, Karen Hilliard’s much loved Buckhead neighborhood restaurant. Fortunately, the recipe for her iconic Lobster Enchiladas were documented in Hilliard’s 1994 cookbook, “Teaching Billy to Cook,” which includes many of the recipes that became favorites in the more than 30 years of the restaurant’s existence. Copies of the cookbook are available directly from Hilliard for $15. Order a copy by texting her at 404-274-0578.

Hillard says in the headnote to this recipe, “Some customers wouldn’t eat anything else at Georgia Grille.”

The recipe calls for pickled jalapeno puree. Hilliard would take a jar of pickled jalapenos and puree them in a blender, then store the puree for use in recipes like this. We substituted 1 tablespoon of finely minced pickled jalapenos. For the lobster, we steamed eight 3-ounce lobster tails to yield 1 pound cooked lobster. In lieu of a smoked red pepper, we grilled ours to approximately that smoky flavor.

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Georgia Grille’s Lobster Enchiladas
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon pureed garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno puree or finely minced pickled jalapenos
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound cooked lobster, diced into large chunks
  • 2 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, smoked and diced
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 12 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup Fresh Tomato Salsa (see recipe)
  • Heat broiler and lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic and jalapeno puree or pieces and saute until shallots are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until stock has reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add cream and return to simmer. Cook until mixture has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in lobster, 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack, red pepper, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and marjoram. Remove from heat.
  • Spoon 1/4 cup filling into each tortilla. Roll filled tortilla into a cylinder and arrange in prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat until all tortillas are filled. Pour any remaining lobster filling over tortillas and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup Monterey Jack. Put baking dish under broiler and heat until cheese melts. Serve immediately, topped with Fresh Tomato Salsa. Serves 6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 868 calories (percent of calories from fat, 50), 41 grams protein, 66 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 49 grams total fat (27 grams saturated), 231 milligrams cholesterol, 1,525 milligrams sodium.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Hilliard notes that sauteing the onions and garlic gives the salsa a sweeter flavor and helps it stay fresh for longer. If you want to use that whole 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, double the rest of the recipe. The addition of balsamic and rice vinegars is a change from traditional salsas. Everyone who sampled it enjoyed it.

Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine fresh tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes and chilies, green onions, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, salt, coriander and cumin. Stir to combine, then add reserved onion/garlic mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. Garnish with cilantro when serving. Makes 3 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per 1/4 cup: 25 calories (percent of calories from fat, 28), 1 gram protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram total fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 293 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... Georgia Grille, formerly at 2290 Peachtree Road, Atlanta.

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