Wednesday April 29, 2009
angry lobster on a bed of nails
Here is a recipe that instantly caught my eye--Angry Lobster on a Bed of Nails. I couldn't help but think of Nine Inch Nails or Joel Peter Witkin, but I had to stop myself knowing that David Burke, a master of presentation and culinary seduction, would have something magical under his sleeve; which of course, he did.
The dish is named for its clever presentation. Here David uses a round frog, a small holder with spikes used for flower arrangements, and places this on large plate. He then impales lemon eighths around perimeter of the frog and impales lobster pieces in the center. I have included the recipe below as well as a video I found of ChicTV illustrating a step-by-step demonstration. Of course for those that live in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas or Connecticut you may make a reservation at one of Chef Burke's wonderful restaurants and have this intriguing dish placed before you.
Angry Lobster on a Bed of Nails
Recipe by Chef/Co-Owner David Burke, David Burke & Donatella, NYC
Makes 4 servings
- 2 each 1 1/2-pound live lobsters (2 1 1/2-pound lobsters = 4 portions)
- 2 cups Wondra flour
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cayenne
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chili oil (see note below)
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, julienned, simmer in simple syrup, and drained
- 1/2 cup lobster or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- fresh basil leaves, deep fried (for garnish)
- 4 lemons, (approximately 1 per person), cut into eighths
- Separate knuckles and claws from each lobster and split knuckles and claw on band saw, reserve. Split lobster from head to tail on a band saw. Separate body halves from tail halves. Remove brain sac from bodies and retain tomalley and roe (if using a female) in each body half. (editor's note; I hope a sharp knife will take the place of a band saw)
- Heat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Mix Wondra flour, chili powder, cayenne, and salt on a plate. Dredge lobster in flour mixture, shaking off.
- Heat oil in large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add lobster, cut side down. Cook until it begins to color. Flip and place in oven.
- Set skillet used to cook lobsters over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, and chili oil and cook 2 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add butter; swirl skillet until butter is incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Reserve and keep warm.
- Set round frog (small holder with spikes used for flower arrangements) on large plate.
- Impale lemon eighths around perimeter of the frog.
- Impale lobster in the center of the frog.
- Spoon sauce over lobster.
- Garnish with fried basil leaves.
- Scale-up: Can be scaled up in direct proportion.
- To make chili oil, gently heat 2 cups canola oil, 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons paprika; remove from heat; let infuse at least 4 hours; strain.