This recipe comes to us courtesy of Chef Philippe Ruiz of the Palme d’Or Restaurant at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. Rosemary, while capable of overpowering a dish, here gives the fricassé a subtle flavor, then is removed before the delicate flavor balance of the dish is thrown off. You may substitute whatever vegetables are freshest, but be sure to choose tender “baby” vegetables.
4 1-lb live Maine lobsters
8 baby carrots, peeled
4 baby fennel bulbs, top removed and cut in half
16 tiny Brussels sprouts
24 baby asparagus
8 ounces English peas, shelled
8 fingerling potatoes, quartered
1 head tiny cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cups lobster bisque
2 ounces olive oil
2 ounces butter
1 sprig rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Purple micro basil, for garnish
Separate the tail and claws from the body of lobster; reserve body for future use (stock, bisque etc.). With a serrated knife, cut the tail into half-inch medallions.
In brisk boiling water, blanch the claws for three minutes and shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Break the shell from the claw and knuckles and delicately remove the lobster meat. Reserve.
In briskly boiling salted water, blanch each variety of vegetable separately until tender and refresh in ice water. Once they are all cooked, mix the vegetables together and reserve for service. [Chef’s Note: To prevent the stronger vegetable flavors from flavoring the water and overpowering the milder ones, blanch the carrots first, then peas, potatoes, cauliflower, asparagus and Brussels sprouts.]
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, add the lobster medallions and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with lobster bisque, add the rosemary and reduce until it reaches a smooth consistency, approximately 3-4 minutes.
Remove the rosemary, add the lobster claw and knuckle meat along with the blanched vegetables to the pan and heat until warmed throughout. Add butter to the fricassé and swirl until well incorporated. Season to taste if necessary.
Evenly distribute lobster into individual large soup plates and top with vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with purple micro basil to garnish. Bon appétit!
Copyright 2007 Chef Philippe Ruiz. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
Photo by Mark Tafoya