Seared Maine Lobster
Seared lobster tails get a most unusual accompaniment — a sauce made of tart cranberry juice, studded with Bing cherries and fava beans. Chef Sandro Gamba arranges the lobster tails with claw meat poached in court bouillon and serves it over wilted greens. Crisp jicama julienne adds crunch.
- Maine Lobsters - four, 1 pound
- Court bouillon - for blanching
- Jicama - 3 small
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cranberry Juice - 2 quarts
- Arrowroot - 1/2 cup
- Oriental mustard seed - 3/4 cup
- Bing Cherries - 1 cup, stemmed and pitted
- Fava Beans - 3 cups, blanched and peeled
- Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Baby Frisee - 3 heads, pulled apart
- Baby Spinach - 6 cups, stemmed
- Chervil Sprigs - 8
Kill the lobsters by quickly piercing the top of the shell, behind the eyes, with the point of a sharp knife and pressing the knife down through the head. Remove the tail and claws from the lobsters. Bring the court bouillon to a boil and drop in the claws; blanch for 3 minutes, then drop into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain; remove the meat from the shell. Set aside.
Peel and trim the jicama, then cut into 3-inch-long narrow julienne. Put the julienne in cool water and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Bring the cranberry juice to a rolling boil. Make a slurry with a small amount of the cranberry juice and the arrowroot, then stir this into the boiling cranberry juice until the liquid begins to thicken. Add the mustard seeds and cherries and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Add the fava beans and set aside.
Cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise and remove the black strip. Heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and sear the lobster tails, cut side down, for 6 to 8 minutes, until opaque throughout and browned. Drain the lobster tails on paper towels and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium. Put the remaining olive oil in the skillet and let it warm. Wilt the frisee and spinach in the olive oil, tossing to coat with the oil.
To serve: Drain the jicama julienne and pat dry with paper towels. Make a bed of wilted spinach and frisee on each plate. Place the lobster tail halves back-to-back in the center of each. Place a piece of lobster claw meat on either side. Drizzle the cranberry sauce around the plates, clustering the cherries. Top with a sprinkling of jicama julienne and garnish with chervil sprigs. Sprinkle with grindings of black pepper.