Peas and carrots(Note: Not going to make a habit of this, because other folks write about their cooking experience much better than I ever could, but I thought I'd share.)
We wanted to make this meal while in Maine for the group. Heck, we had the time, and we had ample access to lobsters. However, we just never got around to it, what with the general lethargy that set in because of the clean air. Oh, the numerous bottles of inexpensive wine might have contributed, but I'm trying to forget that part.
However, I decided on Saturday that it would be interesting to make, so I read most of the instructions in The French Laundry cookbook, jotted down the necessary ingredients, and spent a few hours driving around picking these up. Basically, it's lobster-filled crèpes on a carrot-and-ginger emulsion, topped with pea shoots.
Sounds easy? It wasn't.
I had already whipped up the crèpe batter earlier in the day, so that was done. Then came time to prepare the lobster. Grabbed it out of the bag, and let the cat deal with it first. (The lobster freaked and started thrashing around, sending the milliner running from the kitchen, screaming. I laughed.) Instead of boiling the oversized cockroach, the recipe calls for steeping it: essentially pouring boiling water over it and letting it sit for a couple minutes, and then ripping it apart. Very tender meat.
Grabbed the shells, added them to a pan, covered with water along with a carrot and tomato. Reduced the liquid to a glaze, which resulted in salty goodness. Chopped up the meat, added the glaze, some chopped shallots and some crème fraiche. The recipe called for mascarpone, but I'm having an sultry affair with crème fraiche at the moment, so yeah, I went there. So far, I'm thinking this is easier than I thought.
Unfortunately, I hadn't really read the instructions for the carrot emulsion. Which? Called for passing the carrots and ginger through a juicer. Yeah, I don't have one of those. Ended up boiling the carrot/ginger mix, chopping the heck out of it in a food processer, and then straining this mash. Which I repeated about four times. Getting bored by the end, but my was that ever smooth. Put the coulis back in a saucepan. And then? And then? Added cream and butter. Oh gawd, lots of butter. Hell, I knew I was going climbing the next day, so I figured it was worth the cholesterol.
Filled the crèpes with the lobster mix, and heated them in the oven. Placed the carrot emulsion on the bottom of the plates, and prepared the pea salad. Pretty simple that: take pea shoots, wash and dry. Mix in some rock salt, pepper, shallots and, pièce de resistance, lemon oil. Rolled up the crèpe in a pretty package, and topped with the pea shoots.
Voilà. Peas and carrots. Served with a Pouilly Fumé. We pretty much couldn't move after that.