A Scottish Seaside Specialty
1 live lobster, about 600g, placed in the freezer for thirty to minutes to send it to sleep before cooking
2 carrots peeled and sliced
1 onion peeled and sliced
1 bulb of fennel sliced
sprigs of thyme and rosemary plus stalks of parley, tarragon and parsley, if available
a lemon, sliced
a teaspoon each of black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and star anise
a glass of dry white wine
2 desserts spoon of salt
2 desserts spoon of sugar
plenty of water to cover , about 6 litres
For the salad:
a bunch of green asparagus, base discarded, the rest peeled with a speed peeler
2 raw baby carrots shaved into ribbons with a swivel head peeler
a quarter of a small head of cauliflower, broken down into florets, shaved thinly on a mandolin or sliced thinly by hand
4 radishes, sliced into paper thin rounds
pink pickled ginger, optional, about a dessertspoon
your choice of herbs such as chives cut into 2 cm longbatons, chervil and tarragon
1. To cook the lobster - Place all the ingredients in a large pot, cover well with water. simmer for thirty minutes to infuse the flavours, topping up with water as required to prevent evaporation. place the lobster into the water and cook for 8 minutes then turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. allow the lobster to stand in the water for a further ten minutes then lift the lobster out onto a tray and leave to cool completely. once cold, break open the lobster shell to remove all the meat from the tail, claws and knuckles. set aside the meat for now.
2. bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then blanch the asparagus for three minutes or until tender then refresh in ice cold water. drain carefully and dab dry on paper towel, refrigerate until needed.
3. to assemble the dish, cut the asparagus tips in half across the middle (not length ways) to give tips and bases. arrange the bases across the plate in a criss cross fashion. slice the lobster meat up to give four pieces of meat from each claw and eight pieces from the tail. arrange these so they are leaning against the asparagus bases then lean the tips of asparagus against the lobster scatter and arrange the remaining vegetables around the plate and sprinkle with the picked herbs drizzle some olive oil over the plate and season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper then serve at once
This recipe comes to us courtesy of Geoffrey Smeddle from the Peat Inn in St. Andrews, Scotland.