Day three of the Christmas special. First I’m going to show you how to prepare a lobster. The head I’m then using to make a lobster butter. We’re also going to make a pumpkin cream, a lobster cone, a black tuille and a delicious lobster hollandaise.
How to prepare and clean the lobster
The lobster I use weighs 600 grams and that’s enough for 4 to 5 dishes. Start by killing it by inserting a chef’s knife down the head. Then tightly hold the tail and twist it off. Sometimes the tail contains this green stuff. You need to shake it out of the tail before boiling. Otherwise, that part of the lobster tail will turn green as well. Hold it tight and just shake it. Then insert the back of a spoon between the meat and the shell. This will prevent the tail from curling up. After that twist the claws of the head. Now season some boiling water with salt and boil the tail and claws. For every 100 grams of whole lobster, you boil them for 1 minute. My lobster weighs 600 grams so I boil it for 6 minutes. Then cool everything down in ice water. After ten minutes remove them from the ice water and also remove the spoon from the tail. Then gently press the tail to break the shell and peel it off. Just take your time for this so you don’t damage the beautiful lobster meat. Keep all the trimmings for later. Now take the claws and separate them from the knees. Then twist the finger and pull it out. After, use the back of your knife to break the claw on both sides and then take it out of the shell. Be sure to check if you removed both swords, otherwise use a tweezer to remove it. Then take the knees and cut them open with a scissor. Once it’s open remove the meat from the shell.
The lobster butter
The lobster head & trimmings
Take the lobster head and chop it in small pieces. Now add a drizzle of oil to a hot pan and pan fry the lobster head and trimmings on a high heat till it starts to color. When that has happened add the butter and turn down the heat to a minimum. Then cut the lemongrass fine and add it to the pan as well. Mix it well and then let it marinade on the lowest heat for at least 40 minutes. Mix it every now and then. Once that’s done pass it through a fine sieve that’s lined with a kitchen paper to clarify it. Then keep it in your fridge for later.
The butternut squash cream
Xanthan gum powder
First cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Then cut a cross pattern in both sides. Now season the flat sides with some salt and drizzle some oil on top. Then turn them around on a tray that’s lined with a silicon sheet and bake them at 200 degrees Celsius for 1 hour. Let them cool down for a couple of minutes and remove the cooked meat. After that cut the shallots in half and clean them. Now chop them. Then add a drizzle of oil to a hot pan and glaze the shallots on a medium heat. Once glazed add the butternut squash and pan fry this for a couple of minutes. Then deglaze the pan with the vegetable broth and the cream. Now reduce all the liquid on a low heat. Stir it every now and then to prevent it from burning. Once it’s reduced transfer it into a blender and blend it till smooth. Then add a knife tip of Xanthan powder and blend it for another minute. This will prevent the cream from splitting later on. Keep it in your fridge for later.
The black tuille
Mix the egg white with the oil, the butter, the sugar, the salt, the flour and the squid ink. Blend this till smooth. Then spread the batter on a tuille mold. The one I’m using is from Mold Brothers. Now bake it at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Then when still hot remove the tuille from the mold and keep it dry and covered for later.
The lobster hollandaise
First pour the white wine into a saucepan and also add the apple cider, the thyme and the pepper grains. Then cut the kumquats in half, add them to the pan as well and reduce this till it’s weighs 160 grams. Once it’s reduced pass it through a fine sieve.
apple cider reduction
cold lobster butter
store bought mayonnaise
Pour the reduction into a saucepan and season it with the salt. Bring this to a boil. When the liquid is boiling turn down the heat and while blending with a hand blender add the egg yolk. This will add a lot of air to the mixture, and you don’t need to beat it as long as normal. Then use a whisk to beat it for another couple of minutes on a medium heat till firm peaks are forming. It needs to look like this. Then directly turn off the heat and add the cold lobster butter. Gently mix it till the lobster butter is incorporated. Now a small trick. By adding a tablespoon of store bought mayonnaise you can stabilize the hollandaise and reheat it without splitting it. The stabilizers in the mayo will prevent it from splitting. Now pour it into a syphon and charge it with two charges. The syphon will make the hollandaise a lot firmer and with will hold it’s form a lot longer as well. Keep it in your fridge for later.
The lobster cones
Take a couple sheets of brique dough and place them on top of each other. Now place a round plate on the sheets and cut it into a circle. Then cut the sheets in half. Now place the sheets on your worktop and cover them completely with some melted lobster butter. Then season with salt and roll the sheets on a metal cone shaper. Roll the cones as tight as possible and then lay them with the big side on the outside on a metal tray. Now bake them at 160 degrees Celsius till golden brown. When still hot remove them from the shaper to prevent them from breaking.
The lobster salad
First portion the tail in three portions. Each claw is also a portion once the fingers are removed. Then chop the knees and fingers into a fine salad. Transfer it into a bowl and season it with the butternut squash cream, some lemon zest and salt. Mix it and keep it cool.
How to finish the dish
First heat up the hollandaise. For this place the siphon in some water that 50 degrees Celsius. A pan or sous-vide will work perfectly. A lot of the time I use my heat draw. That works great as well. Do the same with the carrot cream. Meanwhile transfer the lobster tail into the remaining lobster butter and heat it on a low heat. This takes around 5 minutes. Then take your lobster cone and fill it with the lobster salad. Then pipe a dot of the hot cream on top and cover it with toasted pumpkin seeds. Now remove the lobster from the butter and season it with flaky salt and lemon zest. Then take the hot cream and pipe a big dot on a plate or bowl. Cover it with the hot lobster hollandaise. Now place the lobster tail in the middle and drizzle some pumpkinseed oil around the sauce. Then finally place the tuille on top of the lobster and it’s ready to be served!