Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lobster Crostini

Sous Vide Details: 143F for 30-40 minutes

Ingredients - Serves 2-4:
  • 2 to 3 lb main lobster
  • white vinegar and salt for boiling
  • Crostini:
    • 1 french baguette
    • Some EVO
    • 1/2 cup chopped oregano
  • Sauce:
    • 1 1/2 cups white wine
    • 1/2 cup minced onion
    • 2 T tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 4-8 T cold unsalted butter
  • Creme Fraiche Topping:
    • 1 cup creme fraiche
    • 1 t lemon juice
    • 2 T chopped chives or scallions

I love lobster. So does my wife, but she always wants to me to take it out of the shell. So I decided that cooking lobster sous vide out of the shell would be a great alternative to the "in shell" style I have been doing. It is a little bit more involved than simply boiling the lobster, but the results are worth it.

To be able to de-shell a lobster, you have to actually boil it, but only for about 2 minutes. You can put some white vinegar and salt in the water, but it's not required. Once the lobster is out, cool it down in an ice bath so that you can handle it. Break the claw and tail off at the base. Pull the main shell off the top and separate each crawler leg. Here's the cool part. To get the meat out of the crawler legs, take a rolling pin and press the leg starting from the claw end and work your way to the top. The meat just shoots right out! Use crackers and/or a kitchen scissor to extract the tail and main claw meat.

Pop the lobster meat in a bag (or two) and add a few pats of butter (either salted or unsalted) and seal. Cook them for 30-40 minutes at 143F. The longer time will result in lobster that is similar to the traditional "boiled" kind. The shorter time results in a softer, more tender lobster.

While the lobster is cooking, you can throw all the shells into a pan with a little EVO and cook on medium heat until the shells release their moisture. You can add a little fish stock if you want. After about 5 minutes, remove all the shells and hard parts so that you're left with the "edible" bits of the lobster. Add 1/2 cup chopped onions and sautéed them until translucent, then deglazed the pan with the 1 1/2 cups of good white wine. Cook on low until it reduces in half then strain the mixture into another pan. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes on medium. Then add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Stir while slowly bring to simmering boil and then turn heat way down/off.

I sliced up a baguette (diagonally), brushed with EVO and topped with fresh chopped oregano ( but you can use dried if you don't have fresh). Pop them in the oven on broil and WATCH THEM! It only takes 30 sec to 1 minute to brown! I had to do this step twice! Now you have "crostini".

When you're ready to plate, we need to "mount" the sauce with cold butter pats. Stir in (one at a time) 4 to 8 pats of butter. This should make the sauce creamy and let's just say not as healthy as before all that butter! Salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add a little kick, you can add a pinch of paprika, piquin or cayenne powder.

Pull the lobster out of the bags, pop individually cut pieces onto your "crostini" and drizzle your sauce on top. You can add some crème fraîche (mixed with teaspoon of lemon juice and chopped chives or scallions) as a topping. And there you have it!

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