Dine in Tails: Lobster Tails in White Truffle Mustard Homemade Mayo Sauce, (with many alternate suggestions)
This is a perfect Sunday brunch. Or a great way to celebrate a special birthday, perhaps. Two five-inch tails makes about a cup of chopped lobster pieces.
Poach fresh or thawed frozen lobster tails in a large covered pot of gently boiling salted water. Depending on the tail size, four minutes should be about right. Often recipes call for 10 to 12 minutes. I always found that too long. You don’t want rubber lobster. Remember the seafood will keep on cooking in its own heat when you remove it from the hot water. Let the water come to a roaring boil, slip the tails in, cover at a tilt and turn down the heat to create a soft rolling boil. Set your timer. Don’t walk away from the stove.
Using tongs, remove the tails to a plate. Using lobster shears or sharp kitchen shears, split the top shell in half, lengthwise. Pull apart the shell and remove the meat. Cut the lobster in bite-size pieces. Let it cool completely. Drizzle the lobster meat with a just a little of the leftover oil from your Celebrity label goat cheese marinating jar. Don’t have any leftover fresh oils? Use your favourite oil – a little Maplewood grape seed sunflower mix from WildlyDelicious works or warm, melted unsalted butter will do nicely.
In homemade mayonnaise, stir in a little Petite Maison White Truffle Mustard. Add a little pinch of plain white sugar, lots of fresh cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt.
Sprinkle just a little sweet paprika and a tiny pinch of fresh dried thyme. Mince fine a little chiffonade of fresh parsley and a tiny bit of fresh tarragon, if you enjoy the fresh herbs. It’s fine even without. You could add a little finely chopped crispy fresh celery and just a tiny bit of the celery leaves. Be careful with celery – it can overtake other flavours easily.
Pour the mayo mix over the chopped cooled lobster. Refrigerate, covered tightly in a glass container, overnight to give time for the flavours to marry. Stir gently, just once. Serve on a small fresh, buttered, warm, soft, Parker House dinner roll.
Plate with a fanned half fresh avocado, spritzed with fresh squeezed lemon, a little salt and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle with a little grape seed oil, or your favourite oil and a little white balsamic vinegar.
A perfect pairing with my all-time favourite crackling rose, Royal de Neuville. Just the right balance as a palate cleanser between bites.
ALTERNATE: Put a little butter in a hot skillet. Toss poached lobster pieces for just seconds. Flambé the hot lobster with Asbach Uralt cognac. Let it cool and add it to the mayo mix. Refrigerate overnight and drizzle with a little cognac marinating jus from your black mission fig Asbach Uralt marinating jar, just when ready to serve. You could even add some finely chopped macerated fig pieces.
Not up for poaching lobster? (It’s easier than you might think.) There are a few brands of great tinned frozen lobster. Some are better than others. It’s sometimes difficult to find best one, packed in St. Anne, Que. A large tin (a generous cup) is often about $25 to $30. Or, buy a cooked fresh lobster with large claws. Use only the claw meat for this salad. Experiment. Enjoy this really delightful brunch. Your friends will want a copy of the recipe. Simple, easy, tasty gourmet. It has a most unusual taste and perhaps for some is an “acquired” taste, not unlike olives or anchovies. Gentle warning: It could be addictive.
Another great hors d’ouvre: Roast multi-coloured very large bell peppers on your grill or stove top if you have a gas range. Split the peppers and remove the seeds. I leave the roasted skins on. A wonderful flavour that cannot be mistaken. Slice bell peppers skin side up, or you could cause the peppers to be bitter. Slice the large roasted peppers vertically, using a sharp, serrated knife, into quite wide strips.
Position a little lobster salad on the end of each strip. Have party picks ready. Roll the soft but not mushy pepper strips around and around the lobster bit. Stick with the toothpick to keep closed. Position the pinwheels open side up and bake in a hot oven for only 10 minutes to just prepare a warm hors d’ouvre. OR, do the tri-part routine and dredge the pepper pinwheels in seasoned flour, egg wash and fresh coarse breadcrumbs (try making them from black olive bread dried leftovers; save and freeze the bread until you have enough to make crumbs). By the way, off topic: Stir a little of the black olive breadcrumbs into partially mashed cooked Brussels sprouts for a divine experience.
Deep fry the bell pepper pinwheel rolls in hot (350 F) Mazola corn oil just until the crumbs are golden. Salt immediately while still hot. Serve on a large platter along side crispy raw Belgian endive with a little lobster mix on the blunt end. A total lobster treat.
The list is just endless for making various uses of your terrific lobster mix. Before mixing with your homemade mayo, pull the lobster meat into small pieces and flambé with Asbach Uralt. Then mix the flambéed lobster pieces, cooled, into my Canadian Cheese ball, or my Asbach Cheese ball, along with the existing recipe for a true birthday Canada Day celebration.
Lobster lunch and blini
Here’s a birthday treat I made for a friend’s special day: Lobster lunch and blini.
It’s a gourmet treat (under $10). It’s a sweet lobster lunch (small tails frozen, thawed and steamed over chicken broth). Add couple of whole garlic cloves to the chicken broth. Mash them in the sauce later if you like. Remove the lobster meat from shells.
Melt butter in a skillet and add warm lobster pieces. Flambé in very good European brandy/cognac – I use Asbach Uralt, but it has been delisted. I stocked up ages ago; no idea what to replace it with. Remove the lobster.
Reduce juices just a little; add cream and scald to thicken. Stir in soft poached garlic, mashed. Reintroduce the lobster and cracked black pepper. The meat is almost sweet. Serve warm, in your best crystal shrimp cocktail glass. Really yum.
This amazing lobster salad recipe is also a great filler for crepes. Just make sure the sauce is thickened. You can use as much or as little lobster meat as you like. You can even buy precooked lobster and just gently reheat in butter and flambé. Drizzle with brandy figgy jus, and mash a couple of macerated, marinated in brandy, black mission figs.
You can also pulse the cooked lobster, add a tiny bit of cream, a sprig of thyme and fresh basil. Rough chop in the blender and make blini. Serve with a tiny dollop of sour cream and a tarragon or fresh basil plant leaf to decorate the plate. Overlap three blini, about three-inch diameter, in your plate presentation.
Pair with a light dessert such as freshly made sabayon or even plain panna cotta, drizzled with a little brandy figgy jus. Top it with a split in half brandy marinated whole firm fresh, not dried, black mission fig, served in a wide mouth stem champagne crystal glass.
For an additional gourmet treat and for something entirely different: Make a phyllo (filo) pastry ring about four inches or so in diameter, by wrapping the dough around the handle of a wooden spoon. Push off the pastry and wrap in a circular position, so it looks a bit like a large donut with a hole. Brush with just a little egg wash. Bake on high heat (400 F) for five minutes or until browned. Brush the pastry with tarragon butter or the herb butter log of your choice from your selection on hand of frozen herbed butter logs. When cooled to room temperature, fill the centre hole in the phyllo pastry, served on a plate, with the lobster tails mixture as above.
© From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks