I think lobster is the best thing to eat during the summer. I can’t imagine something more juicy and perfect to have when it’s hot and miserable out. It cheers me up and fills me up without being heavy or leaving me feeling over-full afterwards. I love the sexy, messy process of cracking open the shell and dipping the tender meat into melted butter. I love the taste of cold, fresh lobster on a fluffy toasted roll with a little mayonnaise and fresh herbs mixed in. To me, lobster is the perfect summer food.
The other food I think of as part of a quintessential summer evening chips and guacamole. I know it’s corny but margaritas and Mexican food on a summer night just about sums up some of my more drunken nights these past three summers with my friends in the city. And isn’t it true that finding the perfect avocado is like finding a little jewel? Every time I pick a good one and get it home it’s so exciting…more so than other seasonal foods. I’m not sure what it is – maybe because we don’t grow them locally, or because they can be so hit or miss in New York…but getting a perfectly ripe, sweet, soft avocado and mashing it up to eat with chips is just about the most satisfying thing to have with a cold drink on a summer night.
Fresh corn is just the iconic symbol of summer and we couldn’t make a chilled soup without throwing it in there somewhere. This bite was basically born out of some of my unfulfilled summer cravings. Now that I’ve had my lobster and a taste of avocado, I think I may have to get some margaritas tonight…
1 ¼ lb lobster
1 corn on the cob, blanched with kernels removed
For the Lime Beurre Blanc:
Beurre blanc is a sauce used often in French cooking, and is typically made using a reduction of white wine or vinegar and shallots. When you emulsify the sauce using cream, as I have done here, the sauce is also known as a Beurre Nantais. You can make this type of sauce using many acidic agents as your starting ingredient, and here I’ve used some lime juice, zest and sugar.
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp white granulated sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp heavy cream
3 tbsp butter
For the Soup:
1 Hass avocado, diced
1 tsp Habanero chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
2 limes, zest and juice
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
- Set a large pot of water to boil for the lobster and the corn.
- In the meantime, get started on the soup. Slice the chili pepper, shallot and cucumber. Zest and juice the limes.
- Dice the avocado and put ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to combine ingredients, then slowly add the stock and then the cream until the soup has reached the desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper and chill at least 30 minutes.
- When water is boiling, blanch corn for 3 minutes and set aside.
- While corn is cooking, prepare the lobster. For a lobster of this size, the tail and small claw should cook for approximately 2 minutes and 15 seconds. The large tail should take 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I pulled the lobster apart by first removing the head, and then pulling off the two claws. This process is not for the faint of heart, so you can buy lobster claws and tails if you don’t want to kill the lobster yourself.
- Cook the lobster according to above cooking times. Crack open the shell and remove the meat.
- Cut the corn kernels off of the blanched cob to use as garnish.
- For the beurre blanc, reduce the lime juice, zest and sugar mixture by half. Whisk in the cream and combine. Gradually add in the cold butter, whisking the entire time to emulsify the sauce. Remove from heat and do not let it get too hot or too cold, or the sauce will break.
- To assemble the bite, I used a Chinese soup spoon. Ladle a few small spoonfuls of soup into the spoon. Skewer a piece of lobster onto a toothpick, glaze with lime beurre blanc and place above the soup. Garnish with corn kernels and serve.
© 2010 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle