From Brianjwoody in England: "Cuz Shabbom, this is one of my very favourite recipes. It cooks easier than it reads and I make triple Romescu and freeze the remainder. It always gets that dreamy, far away look when guests take the first bite. I had it first in Barcelona and fell in love with it (lobster version) and thankfully my Spanish host (Ok, he was not Spanish in his eyes!) was able to get the recipe as the chef was his friend. Sometimes Luck smiles on you. I mostly do it with raw large prwans which I cook in the shell and remove the shell before baking (can't explain why but it tastes better cooked first in the shell).Crayfish tails work well too and, like the prawns, are readily available frozen over here. Lobster isn't, we export most of ours. I usually serve with a pea and mushroom risotto rather than plain rice.
Cheers, yo Cuz"
Serves 4-6

8 fl oz (225ml) olive oil
1 fresh chile, finely chopped
4 oz (125g) red pepper, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 oz (50g) onion, finely chopped
12 blanched almonds, browned under grill
12 oz (375g) skinned fresh tomatoes
2 fl oz (50ml) red wine vinegar
1 1-1/2lb (450-675g) live lobster **
Salt & pepper
Flour for dredging
2 tbsps cooking oil
2 1/2lb (1kg) chicken cut into 8 small joints
oz (15g) Dutch cocoa powder, or 1 oz grated dark chocolate

ROMESCU SAUCE: Place 2 tbsps of the oil in a heavy pan and cook the chilli, peppers, garlic, onion and almonds over very low heat for around 20 mins or until soft and pulpy, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and vinegar to the pan and cook for another 15 mins or so.

Pour the mix through a strainer into a bowl, press through as much liquid as you can. Add 4tbsps of the oil to the sieve and press this through too. Keep this strained Romescu sauce to one side.

LOBSTER AND CHICKEN: Cut the lobster** in half lengthwise, discard head and stomach tract. Take claws off in pieces and crack with back of knife, then sprinkle it and the chicken with salt (to your taste) and dredge lightly with flour. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy frying pan, add the lobster and cook for about 5 mins, turning often, until the meat is opaque and lightly browned. Remove to a shallow casserole dish.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook as above for 15 mins or so until cooked and add to the lobster. Cool the pan slightly and add the cocoa or chocolate, blending it into the pan juices. Stir in 8 fl oz (225ml) of the Romescu sauce into the pan, stir in and heat gently, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the meats in the casserole dish to coat and bake in a pre-heated 425F (220C) oven for about 15 mins until piping hot. Serve with rice.

Note ** live lobster is hard to get here. I substitute raw, shell-on large (5-6 inch) prawns to the equal weight. It tastes just as good.

Copyright 2009 Brian J Woody, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved