Flavour of the Month

By Harriet Hawksworth 12 April 2012

LOBSTER BISQUE


Serves 4 as a starter


Note: When making this as lobster stock for the Lobster Ravioli, leave out the tomatoes and cream


FOR THE STOCK


2 lobster shells (about 650g),crushed with a rolling pin

3 tbsp olive oil

15g butter

150g onion, roughly chopped

1 fat garlic clove, roughly sliced

80g carrots

100g celery

30ml Cognac

90ml white wine

1 litre fish stock or water

100g cherry tomatoes, quartered

A bay leaf

A few sprigs of thyme

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley

10 black peppercorns

100ml double cream

1 In a saucepan, fry the lobster shells in the olive oil for about 5 minutes over a medium to high heat. Remove the shells from the pan and set them aside.

2 Add the butter to the pan, and fry the onion, garlic, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes until they become translucent. Pour in the Cognac and, a minute later, the white wine. Continue to cook until the alcohol has evaporated.

3 Pour in the fish stock or water, then add the tomatoes, herbs, peppercorns and lobster shells. Bring to the boiland simmer for about 20 minutes.

4 Remove the shells, vegetables and herbs from the stockusing a fine-mesh strainer. Keep the liquid and wash the pan. Pour the liquid back into the pan and reheat. Simmer until the volume reduces by half.

5 Stir the double cream into the bisque, then season to taste before serving.

 

LOBSTER WITH SAFFRON DRESSING SERVED WITH RAINBOW COLESLAW


Serves 4 as a starter


FOR THE COLESLAW


70g carrots, finely julienned

220g white cabbage, thinly sliced

70g red cabbage, thinly sliced

70g celery, thinly sliced

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves only


FOR THE LOBSTER AND SAFFRON DRESSING

A pinch of saffron

15g ginger, thinly julienned

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp honey

150-200g lobster meat

4 sprigs of parsley and 4 lemon wedges, to garnish

1 To make the coleslaw, mix together the carrots, white and red cabbage, and celery, and sprinkle in the salt. Leave for 10 minutes to allow the water from the vegetables to come out. Mix again, then leave for another 10-20 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the salted vegetables back in the bowl. For the dressing, combine the yoghurt, mustard, lemon juice and parsley, then set aside (do not mix together with the vegetables until ready to serve)

2 To make the saffron dressing, drop the saffron into 1 tbsp of warm water and leave for 10 minutes to release its flavour.
Put half the ginger in a small pan with 2 tbsp of water and cook for 5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then sieve the liquid,
discarding the ginger. Combine this liquid with the saffron liquid, remaining ginger, olive oil, lemon juice and honey
and season to taste.

3 Just before serving, lightly toss the lobster meat with the saffron dressing. Dress the coleslaw, then put a generous
helping of it onto a plate and place the saffron lobster mix on top. Garnish with the sprigs of parsley, lemon wedges
and freshly ground black pepper.

LOBSTER RAVIOLI

Makes approximately 40 ravioli

Note: This requires the stock recipe from the Lobster Bisque (above)

FOR THE PASTA DOUGH

330g pasta flour (00 refined)

4 medium eggs

1 tsp salt

FOR THE SAUCE

1 litre lobster stock (follow the Lobster Bisque recipe, leaving out the tomatoes and cream)

2 tsp tomato purée

200g freshly chopped tomatoes

100ml crème fraîche

FOR THE FILLING

25g butter

120g onion

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 pinches of fennel seeds

300g cooked lobster meat, roughly chopped

1 tsp tarragon, chopped

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

100ml mascarpone

A few sprigs of parsley to garnish

Note: This recipe requires a pasta machine and a 7cm x 7cm pastry cutter

1 To make the pasta dough, mix together all the ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate
for 30 minutes.

2 For the sauce, follow the instructions from the Lobster Bisque recipe to make the stock. Bring this to the boil and add the tomato purée, then reduce the liquid to around 350ml. Set aside 60ml for the filling. Add the chopped tomatoes and crème fraîche, then set aside.

3 To make the filling, melt the butter in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until golden. Add the fennel seeds and
continue to fry for a few minutes, then transfer the mixture into a bowl. Mix in the lobster meat, tarragon, lemon zest,
mascarpone and remaining stock, and season with salt and pepper.

4 To assemble, cut the pasta dough into eighths. Use a pasta machine to make these into 8 pasta sheets. Lay one sheet
on a worktop, then use a tablespoon to place small balls of the filling on the pasta, leaving enough room so that you
can cut ten 7cm x 7cm ravioli. Use a pastry brush to dab some water around the fillings and cover with another
pasta sheet. Press down between each filling, then cut out the ravioli with the pastry cutter. Repeat the process for
the rest of the pasta sheets.

5 Cook the ravioli in boiling water for a few minutes, while heating the tomato sauce. Serve with the sauce
and parsley garnish.

LOBSTER THERMIDOR

Serves 4

1 whole cooked lobster, 500g (with shell on)

25g butter

100g onion or shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

60ml white wine

1.5 tbsp plain flour

150ml double cream

140ml water

Pinch of white pepper

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

40g grated Parmesan

Olive oil and bitter green salad

leaves to serve

1 Remove the lobster claws and cut the body in half lengthwise. Remove the meat from the claws and tail, chop it into small pieces, and place it in a small bowl. Set the shells aside.

2 Heat the butter in a small frying pan, and fry the onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes, until golden. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated, then add the flour. Cook for a few minutes longer, then add a third of the double cream, stirring frequently. Pour in the rest of the cream.

3 Add the water gradually, stirring as you do so; the mixture should become smooth.

4 Mix in the white pepper, mustard and half of the Parmesan. Add the chopped lobster meat and place the mixture into
the halved shells. (These can be kept in a fridge for a day or two, until needed.)

5 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the lobster on a baking tray and sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan over
the top. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese has turned golden. Splash olive oil over the top of the lobster and serve with bitter salad leaves.