Rocco DiSpirito Union Pacific, New York, NY

Maine Lobster à la Royale with Summer Truffles, Morels and Cavaillon Melon

Yield: 1 serving

Maine Lobster à la Royale

  • One 1¼ pound lobster
  • Approximately 4 cups water, to cover
  • ¼ cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons leeks, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Verjus (optional, see note)
  • ½ cavaillon cantaloupe melon

For the lobster, bring water, vegetables, vinegar and herbs to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. Put lobster in a pot. Pour strained vegetable broth over the lobster just until covered. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and then cool on a rack. Remove meat from shell and reserve. Cut gills out of the head and mash head with a rolling pin. Mix shells and head with shallots and leeks. If using, add splash of Verjus and cover with water. Slowly bring to a simmer, letting impurities and solids rise to the top. Do not mix these in. Cook for 30 minutes. Strain through a chinois and then through a coffee filter, creating a lobster consommé.

For the melon, cut a 1½" ring of melon with a ring mold that is about ½" thick. Using remaining melon, cut 7 pieces that are ½" x ¼". Purée melon squeezing out as much juice as possible. Heat juice to a simmer, skimming off foam that appears. Strain through a chinois. Continue to reduce juice to a light syrup, creating a Melon Glaze. Reserve.

Mushroom Truffle Ragout

  • 2 whole morels
  • 1½ Tablespoons summer truffle scraps, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shallots, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 cup Madeira
  • Mushroom broth or water, to cover
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sweat morels, truffle scraps, shallots and garlic in butter. Deglaze with Madiera wine. Add mushroom broth to cover. Simmer until vegetables are tender and them purée and strain through a chinois. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnishing

  • ¼ ounce chive buds, cut into 1/3" batons
  • ¼ ounce yellow chives, cut into 1/3" batons
  • Butter, cooked until golden brown

Cook chive buds and yellow chives in butter until they are soft. Remove and drain on towels.

Muscat Beurre Blanc

  • 3 Tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon morels, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of Melon Glaze
  • ¼ teaspoon truffle, minced
  • Splash of white truffle oil
  • ¾ cup muscat
  • 2 pounds butter

Sweat shallots in a sauté pan until translucent. Add morels and truffles and sauté until soft. Add Melon Glaze. Add muscat and reduce. Over a low heat, add butter and splash of truffle oil and whisk until incorporated. Be sure not to heat too high or sauce will break. Cover and keep warm.

Lobster Foam

  • 1/3 cup lobster consommé
  • 1 Tablespoon lobster roe
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat consommé and whisk in roe until thick. Strain and reheat. Foam with an emersion blender.

To serve, heat lobster in Muscat Beurre Blanc. Warm melon ring and Mushroom Truffle Ragout. Place melon ring on plate. Fill with ragout. Remove lobster from beurre blanc and glaze with melon syrup. Place a piece of melon on top. Sprinkle chive buds and yellow chives over lobster. Sauce plate with lobster consommé and melon syrup. Place Lobster Foam on top of lobster.

Editor's Note Verjus is a delicious and versatile alternative to vinegar made from the natural juice of unripened green grapes. Verjus is used in preparations like mustards and sauces to heighten flavor. Verjus may be found in some gourmet stores, or you may order it and other French specialties from French Feast, 214 East 89th Street, #5E, New York, NY 10128, Tel: (212) 860-7716.