Hand Picked Maine Lobster with Apple Charcoal Butter Hollandaise

By: Nicholas Krunkkala, 2015 Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Finalist

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Hand picked Maine lobster, apple/ charcoal butter hollandaise, smoked tomato ricotta, pickled green strawberry, sumac dusted potato chip

Serves 5

Ingredients

Pickled strawberries

5 unripe berries sliced lengthwise
2 oz white balsamic vinegar
1 oz champagne vinegar
1 oz rice wine vinegar
2 oz white wine
2 oz white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon local honey
1 tablespoon Maine maple syrup
Half of a cinnamon stick
Pinch of Maine sea salt

Charcoal for the hollandaise

4 large tablespoons room temperature ricotta
2 tablespoons smoked tomato puree
1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt and pepper

For the potato seasoning

Teaspoon sumac
Teaspoon smoked hot paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns
Pinch of Maine sea salt or kosher salt

Apple puree for hollandaise

1 honey crisp apple cut into pieces with the core (very important to leave core in)
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ tablespoon hot paprika
Half cinnamon stick
1 table brown sugar
1 table maple syrup

Hollandaise

5 egg yolks
Pinch of salt and pepper
Pinch of smoked hot paprika
Splash of cider vinegar

Directions

STEP 1: Make the pickled strawberries; this can be done 1 week in advance to ensure the flavor soaks into the berry. It is important to use unripe strawberries that are green with a little red. You can get this in early summer at any farm or farm stand that sells strawberries, or Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm in Pownal grows strawberries deep into the fall.

Let all the ingredients come to a boil in a sauce pot, let cool completely then pour over the sliced berries. It is very important to let this pickling solution cool otherwise the berries will turn to mush.

STEP 2: Make the charcoal for the hollandaise; this should be done the night before and you can kill two steps at the same time. Prepare a charcoal grill with kings ford charcoal. Let the coals burn until white and ready to cook on about 20 minutes. When the coals are ready use a long metal spoon to take the coals out and put in a metal container the coals will be very hot and will smoke. Pour approximately one pound of clarified butter over the hot coals and cover immediately. This will cause the butter to smoke and you might think you started a fire but it will create and very unique tasting butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit over night at room temperature.

While this is going on take five Roma tomatoes cut lengthwise and placed flesh side down on the grill. Add a handful of woodchips to side of grill the tomatoes are not on and cover, this will infuse a nice smoke flavor in the tomatoes. Let this go on for about 15 minutes checking frequently making sure not to burn.

When tomatoes are ready puree in robot coup until smooth, then you’re ready to make the smoked tomato ricotta

Whisk all this together until smooth

STEP 3: Lobster; make sure you buy picked lobster from fish store or else you can use whole lobsters and clean yourself. If using whole lobster I like to use soft shells I feel the meat is a little sweeter and more tender and it will save you a couple of bucks at the store. You’re going to need about 6 ounces of lobster meat or meat from approximately 2 1 ¼ lbs lobsters. Cut the meat into pinky nail sizes. Mix all the cut lobster with the flavored ricotta add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

STEP 4: Take one russet potato and slice thin on mandolin lengthwise. Fry chip at 350 degrees until bubbles stop forming or until chip is golden brown and crispy. Season the chip right when it comes out

STEP 5: Making apple puree for hollandaise.

 

Bring the apples and liquid up to a boil over high heat let simmer until apples are soft and liquid has reduced. Puree the mixture in food processor until smooth, should have consistency of apple butter. Use what is left over to spread on warm bread

STEP 6: Making the hollandaise;

Add all the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and slowing add the melted clarified charcoal oil while whisking profusely. This is a difficult step and you have to work fast ensuring the egg yolks don’t scramble. Always keep whisking, you can take the yolks off the heat and whisk more until you start to form peaks, you should add about 5 ounces of the butter. Spoon in about 2 tablespoon of the pureed apples and whisk more over the heat. You want the sauce to be thick and not too runny.

To plate place the chips down put a dollop of the hollandaise on followed by the lobster then the pickled strawberry. Garnish with micro basil…