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Published: Monday, 3/24/2008

Butter Poached Lobster with Israeli Couscous, Dried Fruit and Thai Coconut Sauce

For the lobster:

4 (1.5 pounds each) lobsters

1 pound butter

1 cup salt

To kill lobsters, put in freezer for a couple hours. Find a pot big enough to hold all the lobsters. Fill with water and 1 cup salt. Bring to a boil. Drop in lobsters and cook 3 minutes. Plunge lobsters into large ice and water bath. Once the lobsters have cooled, shuck the meat out of the tails, knuckles, and claws; reserve to be poached (see below in how to assemble dish). Remove the coral, the red part, and reserve. Discard the tomalley, stomach, and lungs. Chop what remains of the heads and legs into 1-inch pieces and reserve for Curried Lobster Cream.

In a small pot, bring cup water to a boil. Cut the butter into 1-inch chunks and whisk into the simmering water, one chunk at a time. Once all the butter has been emulsified, add 2 teaspoons salt (or as desired) and set aside in a warm place.

For the Curried Lobster Cream:

Chopped lobster heads, reserved from above

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

1 stalk lemongrass, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon Thai-Style red curry paste

1 can coconut milk, unsweetened

2 cups heavy cream

Juice of one orange

cup mirin

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 branch basil

2 tablespoons oil

In a large pot, heat oil until warm, add chopped lobster heads and vegetables, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for five minutes. Add tomato paste and curry paste; stir until vegetables are coated. Deglaze with mirin and orange juice, making sure nothing is stuck on the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and coconut milk and bring back to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; add vanilla bean and basil and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain through a very fine-meshed sieve, pressing on solids to release liquids. Reserve.

For the Couscous:

1 cups Israeli couscous (Pearl Pasta)

cup pine nuts

cup pitted dates, chopped

cup golden raisins, soaked for 10 minutes in water

cup dried apricots, diced

8 leaves, basil, chiffonade

1 tablespoon oil

2 oranges cut into supremes (segments)

Small handful basil leaves

Small handful cilantro leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cool, toss in one tablespoon oil, and reserve.

To assemble dish: Poach the lobster in the butter for 8 minutes until cooked through over very low heat. Place cooked couscous in a pan with dried fruit, 1 cup of curry cream, and the basil. Warm through. Divide couscous between eight bowls. Top each with a half of lobster. Pour a little extra sauce around the lobster. Garnish with orange segments, basil leaves and cilantro leaves.

Yield: 8 servings as an appetizer

Source: Michael Mina



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