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Gala Tasting Menu

Caramelized Maine Lobster Basted with Madagascar Vanilla, Truffled Tapioca Risotto, Fennel Confit and Olive Oil Foam
Chef Morou of Signatures — Washington, D.C.
Adapted by StarChefs

Wine Pairing:
Chardonnay, Firstland 2001 (New Zealand)

Yield: 4 servings


    For the Lobster
  • 4 (1 ½ pound) lobsters
  • ¼ cup vanilla syrup (see recipe below)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

  • For the Vanilla syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

  • For the Tapioca
  • 2 cups tapioca
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 cups lobster stock, warm
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
  • 2 Tablespoons cream
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon truffle oil
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the Fennel Confit
  • 1 fennel
  • 1cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the Foam
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 sheets gelatin
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup basil oil
  • ¼ cup truffle oil
  • Salt


Prepare the Lobster:
In a large saucepan, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil. Add the lobsters to the boiling water and cook over high heat for 8 minutes. In the meantime, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Remove the lobsters from the pot and immediately transfer into the iced water to stop the cooking. When the lobsters have cooled enough to handle, remove all the meat from the tails and claws. Brush all the lobster meat with the vanilla syrup and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.

Prepare the Vanilla Syrup:
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water. Stir constantly until the sugar has complete dissolved. Scrape the seeds from vanilla bean into the pot. Add the pod to the syrup. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove pot from the heat. Cover and allow syrup to steep for 30 minutes or until cold. Once syrup has cooled, discard the vanilla pod.

Prepare the Tapioca:
In a large bowl, combine the tapioca and milk. Allow the tapioca to soak in the milk for 1 hour. Then drain the milk and rinse the tapioca. Reserve. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the tapioca and garlic and then cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Cook until wine has reduced and pan is almost dry. Add the lobster stock and cook until the tapioca is tender. Remove mixture from stove and chill.

Prepare the Fennel Confit:
Cut the fennel into quarters. In an ovenproof dish, combine all ingredients. Cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Prepare the Foam:
In a bowl, soak the gelatin sheets in cold water until soft. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze to remove any excess water. In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Fold in softened gelatin sheet and salt. Stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When the mixture is cold, stir in all three oils. Transfer the mixture into a foaming canister.

To serve:
In a lightly oiled sauté pan over medium high heat, place lobster tails and cook for 1 minute. Add the butter and parsley. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and serve warm.

In a saucepan, gently heat the tapioca with some lobster stock. Add the corn, cream, butter, truffle oil, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir constantly until warm.

Spoon 2 Tablespoons of tapioca risotto into the center of a dinner bowl. Place lobster meat on top of the tapioca. Lean the fennel confit against the lobster. Pour 1 Tablespoon of foam on top of lobster. Serve.