This is essentially a deconstructed Lobster Thermidor served chilled, containing all the key ingredients of the hot version – lobster, wine, mushrooms, onions, cream and cheese. Morel mushrooms make up for the flavour that comes from the grill while the whipped cream and Parmesan provide the structure to hold the dish together. It makes for a great lobster appetizer that is neither greasy nor filling like the original.
- Lobster Tails (500g)
- Dried Morel Mushrooms (1 cup)
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (1/3 cup)
- Onion (1)
- Whipping Cream (300 ml)
- White Wine (1/3 cup)
- White Pepper
- Chopped Parsley
- Defrost and remove the shell of the lobsters. Brine the meat in a solution of 1T salt and 1t sugar in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Cut the lobster meat into bite sized morsels. drain off all the excess brine by leaving the lobster meat in a strainer.
- Soak 1 cup of dried morel mushrooms in 1 cup of water, until the mushrooms are soft. Squeeze the morels like a sponge to remove excess liquid, but keep all the soaking liquid for later use.
- Finely grate 1/3 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Dice one onion into 1/4 inch pieces.
- Add a large knob of butter to large pan, and pan fry the onions on low heat until they begin to soften.
- Add a second large knob of butter and the morels. Stir fry for a further minute.
- Turn up the heat and add the lobster followed by a light sprinkle of white pepper. Stir fry until the the lobster is no longer translucent, then add 1/3 cup of white wine together with 1t of chopped tarragon. Bring back to simmer and turn off the heat.
- Pour the contents of the pan into a strainer with a bowl below to catch the excess liquid.
- Return the liquid to the pan. Add the morel water, 1t sugar and bring to a boil. Then sprinkle on the grated parmesan and stir until all the sheese has melted. Simmer the liquid down to half a cup. Pour the liquid into a cup.
- Pour the cheese wine mixture into a cup and and allow to cool to room temperature. The lobster and mushrooms need to be cold, so place them into the fridge in a ziploc bag.
- Pour 300 ml of cream into a container and whip until it forms stiff peaks. Then pour in the (room temperature) cheese wine liquid, add 1 flat t of paprika and fold until they combine completely. If you are using a hand held blender, you can use a three second pulse on low speed.
- Pack the (cold) lobster and mushrooms snugly into wine glasses (or some other serving container) and top off with the mousse. Garnish each serving with a pinch of finely chopped parsley.
- Cover the mouth of each glass with cling film and leave in the fridge to chill until it is time to serve.
- Most recipes use gelatin powder as the solidifying agent for savoury mousse but parmesan cheese brings with it an additional level of umami flavour and tastes more natural.
- There’s no point in using the more expensive large lobster tails. FOr 500g, 4 small lobster tails will do the job nicely.
- If you are pressed for time, you can put the ziploc with the cooked lobster in the freezer for 15 minutes. For the liquid, you can put the cup in an ice bath.
- The best way to put the mousse into wine glasses is to push the mousse off a table spoon using a tea spoon. Let the mousse drop dead center into the glass without touching the sides of the glass. You can flatten the mousse using a tea spoon as you rotate the glass.
- If you don’t have any morel mushrooms, you can substitute with another kind of dried mushroom (like Porcini). Don’t use fresh mushrooms.
- Remember to wash the strainer before you reuse it in step 8 as it has previously held raw lobster meat.