Roast Lobster with an Orange Zest Crust
A colorful and unusual treatment of roast lobster: A broth of artichokes and arugula serves as the base for the lobster, which has been pan-roasted with a coating of powdered orange zest.
- Orange Zest Powder
- Oranges - 2
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Water - 1 1/2 cups
- Water - 6 quarts
- Salt - 1 tablespoon
- Lobsters - Four 1 1/2 pound
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Artichoke Broth
- Artichokes - 4 large
- Lemon Juice - 2 tablespoons, fresh
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Dry white wine - 3-4 cups
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Arugula - 1 bunch, stemmed and julienned
To prepare the orange zest powder: Preheat the oven to 275 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Using a small knife or zester, remove the zest (outer colored skin) of the oranges without picking up any of the bitter white pith underneath. If you have used a knife, cut the zest into fine julienne.
In a small heavy non-aluminum saucepan, cook the sugar and water together over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved, 2 minutes. Add the orange zest and cook for 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the zest from the syrup and place it in a single layer in the prepared pan.
Bake until the zest is very crisp, about 20 minutes. Let the zest cool and grind it in a food processor or spice grinder to a very fine powder. Set aside.
To prepare the lobsters: In a very large stockpot over high heat, bring the water to a boil and add the salt. Kill the lobsters by inserting the point of a large knife into the back of the shell where the tail meets the body. Add the lobsters to the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove the lobsters and drain them. Remove the claws and pull the meat from the shell, cut through the head and tail lengthwise, and pull out the tail meat in 2 whole pieces. Season the tail and claw meat with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make the artichoke broth: Cut off the leaves from the artichokes, cut off the stem, and remove the choke with the tip of a spoon. Trim the artichoke heart and cut it into 4 pieces. Place the artichoke pieces in a small bowl, add water to cover, and stir in the lemon juice to prevent discoloration while remaining hearts are being trimmed.
In a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Cook the onion in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the artichoke pieces, salt, and enough of the white wine to cover the artichokes. Over medium-high heat, simmer until the artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve and return it to the pan. Reserve the artichoke pieces.
To roast the lobsters: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the powdered orange zest on a plate and press the cut sides of the lobster tail and one side of the claw meat into the zest to coat them. Reserve the leftover powdered zest.
In a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the lobster pieces, cut-side down, until they are lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them over and cook for 1 more minute, then place the pan in the oven and cook until the lobster meat is opaque, about 3 minutes. Slice the lobster pieces into medallions and keep warm.
To serve: Reserve 1/2 cup julienned arugula leaves for garnish. Reheat the artichoke broth if necessary, add the arugula, and cook over medium heat just until the arugula is wilted, about 2 minutes. Spoon the arugula and broth into shallow soup bowls, add some of the artichoke pieces to each bowl, and top with the lobster medallions. Garnish each bowl with some fresh arugula leaves and sprinkle some of the reserved powdered zest on the rims of the plates.