Sunday, February 21, 2010

Butter-Poached Lobster

By: Lucy Waverman

The inspiration for this very special entertaining dish comes from Keith Froggett at Scaramouche restaurant, one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto. It is an easy way to serve an already cooked lobster that does not overcook it and butter, of course, is lobster’s traditional accompaniment.

4 cooked lobsters, 1¼ lbs (625 g) each
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
Maldon salt to taste

1. Remove lobster meat from its shell.

2 Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add tarragon and lobster meat and toss to coat. Turn heat to low and warm lobster, covered, turning pieces as needed for 3 minutes or until warmed through.

3 Spoon a little Jerusalem Artichoke and Potato Purée onto each plate, add some Sautéed Swiss Chard and place the lobster meat on top. Sprinkle with Maldon salt. Spoon a little of the tarragon butter overtop. Add some Smoked Paprika Salsa (recipe follows) around plate.

Serves 4

Jerusalem artichoke and potato purée

Jerusalem artichokes have such a unique flavour. Mixed with an equal amount of potatoes they make a tasty purée that matches with the lobster.

1 lb (500 g) Jerusalem artichokes,
peeled and halved
1 lb (500 g) Yukon Gold potatoes,
peeled and diced
4 cloves peeled garlic
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
⅓ cup (75 mL) buttermilk
Freshly ground pepper

1. Place artichokes, potatoes and garlic in a pot. Cover with cold water, salt and bring to boil. Boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes and artichokes are soft.

2. Drain and return pot to turned-off stove, shake over heat for a minute to dry off potatoes.

3. Mash potatoes, artichokes and garlic together with an electric mixer. Add butter and enough buttermilk to make a purée and beat mixture until purée is smooth, adding more buttermilk and butter if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

Sautéed swiss chard

You can substitute spinach, but chard has more texture and flavour.

1 bunch Swiss chard
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
½ cup (125 mL) onion, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic
2 tbsp (25 mL) balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Remove bottom ½ inch (1 cm) of chard stems, and discard. Slice remaining stems into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces. Coarsely slice leaves.

2. Heat oil on medium heat and add onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add chard stems, cover and cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add leaves and cook another 5 minutes or until leaves are tender.

3. Splash with balsamic vinegar, bring to boil, season and serve.

Serves 4

Smoked Paprika Salsa

Always make more roasted tomatoes than you need as they are wonderful tossed in a salad or a sauce. This salsa keeps for a week in the refrigerator.

2 plum tomatoes, roasted
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
Kosher salt
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped roasted red pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic
½ tsp (2 mL) spicy smoked Spanish paprika
1 tbsp (15 mL) sherry vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped Italian parsley
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. To roast plum tomatoes, cut in half, remove seeds, toss with 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and season with a little kosher salt. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tomato is soft and slightly browned.

3. Place remaining 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil, tomatoes, red peppers, garlic, paprika, sherry vinegar and parsley in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Makes about ½ cup (125 mL)


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