Lobster Paillete (Homard Pailleté)
The stacked salads have layers of tomato concasse, seafood, and potatoes (“paille”). Adapting his Homard Pailleté to the freshest seafood available, Claude Troisgros used shrimp in this entree for his televised demonstration; you may use shrimp or lobster, as you wish. The spicy oil must have time to infuse; make it two days ahead. The tomato concasse should be made a day ahead to have time to drain completely.
- Spicy Oil
- Canola Oil - 2 cups (or other neutral oil)
- Anise seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Curry powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon
- Coriander - 1/4 teaspoon
- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Onion - 1/2, minced
- Thyme - 1/2 sprig, minced
- Rosemary - 1 sprig, minced
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Tomato Concasse
- Spicy oil (above) - 2 tablespoons
- Shallots - 2, chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Tomato - 12, peeled and seeded
- Tomato paste - 1 tablespoon
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Salt - To taste
- Tabasco - To taste
- Carrot - 1 large
- Daikon - 1/2
- Beetroot - 1
- Shrimp - 18 large (approx. 18 count) - alt. 4 lobster tails
- Sea salt - To taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Spicy Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Spicy Oil - 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Potatoes - 2, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and boiled
- Hijiki (black seaweed) - 1 cup
- Basil - 4 sprigs fresh
- Chives - 8
To make the spicy oil: Combine all ingredients except the oil in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the spices become fragrant. Pour in the oil and heat for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool; pour into a container with a lid and seal. Let stand for 48 hours. Pour through a fine-meshed sieve lined with damp cheesecloth to remove the spices, and store in a sealed container. The infused oil will keep several weeks.
To make the concasse: In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm the oil and add the shallots and garlic. Sweat these vegetables until softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Cook until all liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with Tabasco and more salt if necessary. Place the mixture in a china cap or cheesecloth-lined strainer over a bowl and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.
To prepare the vegetables: Peel and finely julienne the carrot, daikon, and beetroot separately. Place the julienne of each vegetable in its own bowl of ice water and soak for 2 hours. Remove, drain, and pat dry.
To prepare the shrimp: If using shrimp, peel the shrimp, leaving the tails attached, and devein. Drop the shrimp into a bowl of cold water seasoned with salt and pepper as you work. When finished, drain the shrimp on paper towels. Saute in spicy oil until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. If using lobster tails, slip a bamboo or small metal skewer through each tail to hold it straight while cooking, then plunge into boiling salted water and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove and drain; let cool. Pull out the skewers. Remove the shells and back strip and cut the tails into medallions. Set aside.
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and soy sauce. Spoon in the spicy oil; do not emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Toss the shrimp or lobster with salt, pepper, and some of the vinaigrette. Put a 5-inch steel ring mold in the center of a serving plate. Put tomato concasse in the bottom. Top with shrimp or lobster medallions. Put potato cubes on top of the seafood and press down gently to pack. Lift the mold. Repeat on the remaining plates. Twist a mixture of carrot, daikon, and beetroot julienne into a nest shape and place on top of the potatoes. Garnish with black seaweed and basil Stand 2 chives in each. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.