August 9th, 2010

Lavish Lobster Macaroni Bake

The time has passed and  the pub is finally open.  Mr.P and I agreed all along, the style of food that we will cook and serve in the pub would be that of the British Larder. Informal good food that we enjoy eating ourselves, cooked well and using the best that land and sea offers from our local county. We want it to be still lavish and special without the white starched table cloths and the stiff atmosphere, in all fairness we want the best of both worlds. Call us greedy but then I suppose there is nothing wrong with that either.

This lavish lobster macaroni is the exact dish that we have put on the menu for the opening and will enable me to produce proper costings  I thought it best if I cooked this dish to give all the British Larder readers a look test and once the doors are open you could happily tuck in on the taste test. It’s not going to be the cheapest dish on the menu as you can imagine but it surely will be lavish and cooked with a lot of love.

When I cooked this dish, I so enjoyed every moment as it took me right back to the years when I used to cook lobsters every day for the lobster raviolis on the exquisite  menu of the restaurant where I used to work . It was a daily task performed early in the morning and it was my job to cook the lobsters, pull them apart and prepare the meat for the raviolis. I have a mild allergy when I touch cooked lobsters, my fingers swell up and they itch fiercely. I remember how the boy’s used to call me a “pansy” for wearing the yellow marigolds, they thought I could not stand the pain  when the sharp bits of shell pierced my finger but it was due to the mild allergy. Boys!! I can eat it  which is a good thing because this is one of those dishes I would not miss for the world.

Lobster is still classed as a delicacy with its incredibly high prices. Lobster should not be taken for granted and for that reason I use the whole lobster to make this lavish dish. It takes the average lobster about eight years to reach maturity, hence the strict fishing regulations that ensure a caught lobster must measure at least 10cm from the eyes to where the tail is attached to the body. There are several groups of crustaceans known as lobsters. However, the most commonly known and used by chefs in the UK is the North American or European lobster, with its blue coloured armour. See the one in the picture above, it was brought in from the river Ore near Orford.

Lobster Bisque

  • 2 x 1lb lobsters
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
  • 2 banana shallots, sliced
  • ½ bulb of fennel, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Large handful of herbs such as parsley and thyme
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 white peppercorns
  • 6 large very ripe plum tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 80g tomato purée
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 100ml brandy
  • 300ml vermouth
  • 1 L fish stock
  • 500ml veal stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

First cook the lobsters to obtain the meat. Bring a large pan of water to a rapid boil. Put a knife through the brain of the lobster to ensure it's put to sleep humanely. Remove the tails and claws.

First cook the tails for 3 minutes and refresh in ice water. Then cook the claws for at least 7 minutes, depending on the size of the claws, refresh in ice water. Remove the meat from the tails and claws, refrigerate.

Roast the heads along with the rest of the shells at 220°C for 30 minutes, Crush the shells.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot, sauté the shallot, fennel, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns and coriander seeds until golden brown. Add the herbs, cayenne pepper, tomato purée, diced tomatoes and roasted crushed lobster carcasses.

Deglaze the pan with the brandy, cook until sticky, add the vermouth and cook until it becomes syrupy.

Add the fish and veal stock, bring the bisque to a gentle simmer for 40 minutes, and remove the impurities as necessary.

Blend the bisque using a Thermomix and pass through a fine sieve.

Bring the bisque to the boil and reduce until it is the correct consistency. Add the cream and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Lavish Lobster Macaroni

  • 300g macaroni tubes
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Lobster bisque
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 salad onions
  • 2tbs chopped soft herbs such as basil, oregano, chives and chervil
  • Cooked lobster claw meat
  • Cooked lobster tail
  • Fried basil leaves
  • 100g grated Parmesan
  • 150g mascarpone cheese
  • Semi-dried vine cherry tomatoes

Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted boiling water, drain and refresh.

Mix the cooked macaroni with the lobster bisque; you will need to judge how much bisque you require, you will not need it all. Mix in 100g of the mascarpone, half the Parmesan, sliced spring onion, egg yolks and add the chopped herbs and lobster claw meat. Season to taste.

Spoon the lobster macaroni into a lightly greased serving oven proof dish, spoon the rest of the mascarpone on top in small dollops and scatter the remaining Parmesan over.

To Serve

Bake the lobster macaroni until hot and the top has caramelised, heat the lobster tails, slice and arrange on top with the semi-dried tomatoes, fried basil leaves and a lobster claw. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

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13 Comments to “Lavish Lobster Macaroni Bake”

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  1. Amna says:

    Dear Madalene,

    I made this recipe at home a week or so ago and just wanted to tell you how much of a success it was!! The entire platter was simply wiped clean they loved the bisque so much. Thank you :)

    All the best with your new pub!!

  2. Congratulations Madelene. Hope your restaurant brings you happiness and lots of luck.

  3. Sara says:

    Hi, Visited last your lovely restaurant saturday and very much enjoyed the lobster macaroni it was superb!
    Good luck!

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