Lobster, Cucumber, Native Pepper

I was given a great gift from my PA last Christmas, a seafood cooking class at Sydney Fish Markets. The class was run by Ben Shewry of Attica, one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. The food was incredible, if not complicated, and we learned a number of great new recipes. Since then I've been dying to recreate the Marron dish we made but Marron is incredibly hard to come by in Sydney (it's native to WA). So when we decided to do a seafood dinner tonight and I discovered uncooked lobster tails at the shops I thought it was a perfect opportunity to adlib the recipe and do it with lobster instead of Marron.

To be honest, we over estimated the lobster required for two people (we bought two tails when one was required) and struggled a bit with the cooking times as the tails were much, much larger than the Marron tails the recipe is based on. But it was simply incredible and we will definitely be cooking it again.

There are two main components to the dish, the mussel/chorizo stock and the lobster. You can prepare the stock as early as you want and reheat before serving. This recipe feeds 6 - divide by half for two or three people.

To make the mussel/chorizo stock:

Ingredients

35 gram red shallots, thinly sliced
1.1 liter water
220 gram cured chorizo, thinly sliced
160 gram sliced prosciutto, diced
Small pinch castor sugar
1 tsp strained lemon juice, or to taste
500 gram blue mussels
Salt flakes, to taste

 

  • Place shallots and 750 milliliter water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Add chorizo and prosciutto and simmer for 45 minutes, skimming every 5 minutes and removing any traces of fat with paper towel
  • Pass through a fine, muslin-lined sieve into a clean saucepan
  • Stir in 100 milliliter water, sugar and lemon juice and set aside
  • Place mussels and remaining water in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, shaking the saucepan gently to stir the mussels
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Strain through a fine, muslin-lined sieve into the chorizo stock, discarding the mussels. Taste and add salt and more lemon juice if needed

 

Now, to make the lobster dish:

Ingredients

3 medium uncooked lobster tails
A few drops grapeseed oil
Salt flakes, to taste
1/2 lemon
2 telegraph cucumbers
1 tsp pungent cold-pressed mustard oil
Large pinch wild mountain pepper
Watercress
Rocket
Mussel & Chorizo stock

 

  • Blanch tails in a saucepan of boiling water for 90 seconds. This will enable you to remove the shell cleanly
  • Place the tails in a thick plastic bag with a few drops of grapeseed oil. Lower the bag into a sink of water, extracting as much air as possible and keeping the opening of the bag above the water, then seal the bag
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to 60C
  • Add bag, return temperature to 60C and poach for 12 minutes
  • Remove lobster from bag, slice each tail in half lengthwise and then slice each half into 5 pieces
  • Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and lemon
  • Cut cucumber into 30 small cylinders with a 1cm round pastry cutter and discard 2/3 of the seeds from the centre of each cylinder
  • Sprinkle cucumber with a little salt and place 5 pieces in each of 6 bowls
  • Place 5 pieces of lobster randomly between the pieces of cucumber
  • Place a drop of mustard oil on top of each piece of cucumber and a small sprinkle of mountain pepper
  • Scatter leaves around the plate as if they just somehow fell there naturally
  • Warm mussel & chorizo stock over a low heat and pour into each bowl at the table

 

Have a go and let me know what you think!