Want to completely and utterly impress someone with your cooking skills? Then rock out this warm slipper lobster with ricotta gnudi and white truffle. Serves 4.
4x 250g slipper lobster
4 tbsp lemon oil
25ml Greek yoghurt
Ricotta gnudi (Gnudi are fried gnocchi)
125g ricotta (hung for 24 hours)
20g plain flour
15g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
15g beaten egg
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
5 black peppercorns, crushed
½ bay leaf
75ml white wine
20ml chardonnay vinegar
125g cold diced unsalted butter
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ bunch chives, finely chopped.
White Alba truffle, shaved. Black truffle or caviar could be substituted
12 edible flowers
12 sprigs ice plant
12 sprigs bronze fennel.
To prepare the lobster, place it in a bowl of iced water for 15 minutes to stun it. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the stunned lobster to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the lobster from the water and plunge it into iced water.
Remove the head from the tail by twisting and pulling apart. Discard the head or save it for another use. Using a pair of scissors, cut the shell of the tail and remove the meat in one whole piece, making sure you remove the intestine trail. Season the tail with salt and place it in a small vacuum bag with the lemon oil. Seal the bag with a vacuum sealer and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
To make the buttermilk purée, whisk together the buttermilk with the agar and then bring to the boil in a saucepan. Boil for 1 minute then strain and leave to set. Once the buttermilk has set, chop it up and place it in a blender with the yoghurt. Blend until smooth and season to taste. Store in a squeeze bottle until needed.
To make the ricotta gnudi, beat all the ingredients together and season to taste. Dust a tray with some of the semolina and then pipe the ricotta mix on to the semolina in small balls. Cover the ricotta with the remaining semolina and place in the refrigerator to set.
To make the butter sauce, place the chopped shallot in a saucepan with the crushed peppercorns, bay leaf, white wine and vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce to syrup. Add the cream and bring to a simmer, then whisk in the butter a little at a time, making sure that the butter has melted before adding the next lot of butter. Be careful not to boil the sauce as it will split. Season with salt, pepper and the lemon juice and strain the mixture. Add the chives and leave somewhere warm until needed.
Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°C and set up a water-bath at 64°C.
Place the lobster in the water-bath and cook for 7 minutes. Deep-fry the gnudi in the oil until golden-brown, then drain on a paper towel and season with salt. Take the lobster from the water-bath, remove it from the bag, slice the tail into 5 pieces and season the lobster with a little salt and lemon juice.
Arrange the lobster on the plate and surround it with 5 dots of buttermilk purée. Place a gnudi on each dot of buttermilk and then spoon the butter sauce over and around the lobster. Garnish with the flowers, fennel and ice plant. Shave the white truffle over the lobster and serve.
Recipe: Matt Moran
Photo: John Corbett alimentary.co.nz
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