Lobster salad, savoury blackcurrants, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

01 June 2012
Lobster salad, savoury blackcurrants, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

(Serves eight)

For the lobster salad & croquettes
4 x 450g native lobsters
1tbs extra virgin olive oil
120g sea trout, skinless and boneless
1 egg white
50ml double cream
1tbs fresh tarragon, chopped, plus two large sprigs
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 large Maris Piper potato
2tbs clarified butter

For the crushed peas with tarragon
400g fresh garden peas, shelled
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1tbs tarragon, freshly chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the blackcurrant and tarragon fluid gel
500g blackcurrants
250ml water
250g sugar
2 sprigs of tarragon
4g agar

For the salad
24 baby beetroots
150ml extra virgin olive oil
12 baby fennel
2 limes, segmented
100g blackcurrants
1tbs red wine vinegar
½ tsp crushed fennel seeds
80g fresh pea shoots, washed
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1tbs caviar

First prepare the lobsters: kill them humanely and remove the tails and claws. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, cook the tails for 4 minutes and the claws for 7 minutes and refresh in iced water.

Remove the meat from the tails and claws. Trim the tails and claws and keep the trimmings for the croquette. Place the tails and claws in a vacuum bag with the tarragon and oil, seal on hard vacuum and cook in a pre-heated water bath at 53°C for 18 minutes. Refresh in iced water, and refrigerate until needed.

To make the croquettes, blend 1/3 of the trout with the egg white until smooth, and add the cream and seasoning. Dice the remaining trout and lobster trimmings finely and mix with the purée, chopped tarragon and season to taste. Shape them into 50g balls and chill. Use a vegetable slicer to make potato spaghetti, mix with seasoning and clarified butter. Wrap potato strings around each ball and refrigerate until needed.

To cook the beetroot, remove the leaves and wash, place the baby beet with 50ml olive oil, salt and pepper in a vacuum pouch, and seal on hard vacuum. Bake in a preheated oven at 110°C in the vacuum pouch for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from the bag, keep the liquid and peel the beetroots. Place the cooked beetroots in the cooking liquid with the blackcurrants, vinegar and extra 50ml olive oil, season to taste.

To cook the baby fennel: wash and prepare the fennel, place them in a vacuum pouch with 50ml oil and seasoning, seal on hard vacuum and cook them in a preheated water bath at 85°C for 1 hour. Refresh in iced water.

To make the fluid gel, in a medium-sized saucepan, bring the blackcurrants, tarragon, water and sugar to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pass the mix through a fine sieve, discard the fruits and measure 450ml of juice into a small saucepan and add the agar. Bring to the boil for 1 minute and transfer to a clean bowl. Leave to set completely, blend until smooth and glossy, and transfer the gel to a clean squeezy bottle. Keep chilled until needed.

To prepare the crushed peas, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, blanch the fresh peas for 1 minute, refresh and drain. Crush the peas with the oil, tarragon and seasoning using a blender.

Cook the croquettes in a deep fat fryer at 160°C until golden brown and cooked all the way through, drain and season.

To serve, place a large dot of the blackcurrant gel on one side of the plate, with the fried croquette on top. Arrange the fennel, beetroot, crushed peas and lobster on the other side and garnish with the pickled blackcurrants, lime segments, caviar and pea shoots. Drizzle the beetroot pickling liquid over it and serve.

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