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The Caterer

Buttered lobster with fennel ‘ceviche' and crab cocktail

18 July 2014
Buttered lobster with fennel ‘ceviche' and crab cocktail

Ingredients

4 lobsters, approximately 600g each

4 cooked crab claws

4 fennel bulbs

A selection of mixed herbs, such as dill, tarragon, coriander and chervil

4 limes

Salt and pepper

1 red onion

½ cucumber

2 Little Gem lettuce

4 cherry tomatoes

4tbs crème fraîche

First, remove the claws and the head from the lobster. Discard the head unless using for stock. Hold the lobster tail against a flat knife and tie the lobster to the knife with string until the lobster tail is straight. Place the tails and claws in the fridge.

In a pan of boiling salted water, drop the claws in for 3 minutes and then add the tails for a further 4 minutes (total cooking time for the claws is 7 minutes).

Once cooked, take out the claws and tails and put into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Take the crab claws and, using the back of a large knife, crack the shell and carefully pick out all of the meat. Pick through the crab a few times to make sure there are no small pieces of shell or cartilage, and then place in the fridge.

Take the lobsters out of the ice bath and cut away the string and the knives. Squeeze the shell until it cracks and then carefully remove the tail meat. With the back of a large knife, crack the claws and remove the meat. Rinse the claws and tails in cold water and put them in the fridge.

Finely slice the fennel and add the picked herbs and the juice of 2 limes. Season with a little salt and pepper and set to one side.

Finely dice the red onion and cucumber and place in a mixing bowl. Finely slice the Little Gem lettuce and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Mix all of the salad ingredients together and add the crab, crème fraîche and the juice of the other 2 limes, as well as a little salt and pepper to taste.

To dress the plates, place the fennel in the shape of the lobster tail, thinly slice the tails and place on top of the fennel.

Arrange the salad in a Martini glass, placing the cherry tomatoes and the lobster's claw on the top.

Recipe by Mike Jennings, chef-patron at Grenache in Worsley, Greater Manchester

Recommended wine
I would suggest Bolney Rosé from the Bolney Wine Estate near Haywards Heath in West Sussex. This award-winning wine's crisp fruit flavours will enhance the shellfish and aniseed combination in this dish.

Karen Deveney, general manager, C&O Wines

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