Warm Lobster Salad with Lemongrass
Guerard, like other modern-day French chefs, sometimes uses prepared ingredients, including Tabasco and even ketchup, in his sauces.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 bottle dry, crisp white wine
- 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 small yellow onions, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 bouquet garni (6 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, and 1 bay leaf, tied together with kitchen twine)
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- 1⁄2 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 bunch parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. armagnac or brandy
- 1⁄2 tsp. vodka
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp. ketchup
- dashes Tabasco
- 2 (1/4-lb.) live Maine lobsters
- 8 pieces preserved tomato
- 12 sprigs chervil
- 12 mizuna or baby lettuce leaves
- 12 baby swiss chard leaves
- Put wine, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bouquet garni, peppercorns, and 12 cups cold water into a stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put lemongrass, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste into a small bowl, then whisk vinaigrette together with a fork and set aside. Put parsley and 2 tbsp. water into a blender and purée. Pass parsley purée through a fine sieve into a small bowl, discarding solids. Add mayonnaise, armagnac, vodka, lime juice, ketchup, and Tabasco, season to taste with salt, and stir until well combined. Set parsley sauce aside.
- Plunge lobsters into stockpot and poach until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain lobsters, discarding stock and solids, transfer lobsters to a large bowl, and set aside until just cool enough to handle. Separate tails and claws from lobster bodies and set aside. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut bodies (including heads) in half lengthwise. Remove and discard head sacs; rinse and pat bodies dry. Cut off each halved lobster about one-third of the way down the body and discard lower two-thirds of body. Trim off and discard top two-thirds of each lobster antenna, keeping lower third of antenna attached to head. Crack claw and tail shells and remove meat from each of these intact. Remove and discard cartilage from claw meat. Cut tail meat into large pieces.
- Put 2 pieces preserved tomato in center of each of 4 large plates. Arrange one-quarter of the lobster tail meat over tomato pieces on each plate. Spoon some of the parsley sauce around lobster and tomatoes, then spoon some of the vinaigrette over and around lobster. Garnish each plate with shelled claw, a trimmed head, and some chervil, mizuna, and swiss chard. Serve immediately, while lobster meat is still warm.