…that is (for those who don’t already know), the Millefeuille of Crab and the thyme-butter poached lobster.
Let’s start with the result –
the crab : a resounding success, but given that this was a second attempt (see Apple Millefeuille with Creamy Crab) I was really just trying a different creamy mix….and it was better this time
the lobster : bloody marvellous….at least, the dish is a good one with the different aspects coming together well and making sense, if you know what I mean. As ever, things evolved as I was in the thick of preparing the dish – the initial idea was to place the lobster on a gazpacho inspired sauce, but with each element kept separate and with only one part being chilled (I had in mind yellow pepper, tomato and parlsey, with only the tomato and parsley being in ice cube form, contrasting with the hot yellow pepper sauce)….the parsley oil became thyme infused oil, the tomato became a lobster jus (with tomato in it, though) in ice cube form….at least the pepper sauce remained as expected (well, except for the addition of the “crab cream”)
So, now for the photos…..
Crab : today wasn’t about sexy presentation, it was about seeing if fresh, hand picked crab was worth the bother (and it is !!!), and getting the flavour right by having something interesting in the cream which makes a link with SE Asia, whilst remaining subtle enough to let the crab do the talking. I reckon that on this front it was a great success….but on the “sexy” front, better look at the photos from the crab recipie from a few weeks ago.
Lobster : when I do a dish for the first time I try to get the flavour and the presentation as good as I can – even though it never comes out as expected, I push myself as far as I can so that I can see what I need to work on. So, I had all of the elements that I plan to have on the 5th July – lobster poached in thyme butter, lobster ravioli, yellow pepper sauce (yellow pepper purée with the left over cream infusion from the crab), thyme infused oil and lobster jus ice cube. I dressed the plates as I have imagined them several times whilst travelling in the Paris metro, and all in all, not bad. Flavour was great, presentation will improve, the ice cube idea is good but I need to make it more “workable”. Anyway, I’ll let you make up your own mind…..
Poaching the lobster in “beurre monté” with thyme, à la Thomas Keller…a good technique, and easy to manage
I’m going to have to be careful with the portion sizes – lobster is damn expensive (as I guess you all know) and thus everyone is going to have approx. 50g of lobster meat, plus the 10g in the raviloi – perfectly fine for a tasting menu, but not necessarily easy to make each portion look pretty
What did I learn and what will change, if anything ?
Crab : I’ve got the good creamy “liaison” for the crab – an infusion of cream, lemongrass, corainder and thai fish sauce. The apple “chips” need to be thicker. The final dish needs a little something else, but I’ve already got that sussed….at least, in my head. Just need to do a little test ;-). One negative point is the time it takes to get the flesh out…..I bought a fantastic 1.3kg crab (tourteau, in French) which gave me 350g of flesh (brown and white) in the end, and it took a fair while to get at it ! This amount of crab is probably good for about 7 or 8 portions (approx. 50g per person) which means roughly 7 or 8 crabs to be picked the night before the meal……still, Marianne popped over for coffee and reckons that a good friend of hers is an expert crab picker, and given that she lives just next door to hte restaurant, I reckon that I’ve got at least a couple of helpers for prepping the crab…..ooofff. However, I might have to cancel the idea of using Spider crab because it’s just too much work for little return…..a shame because it’s Brittany through and through.
Lobster : other than what I’ve already mentioned, the main thing to sort out is the presentation. The flavours are good, though I over-cooked the lobster a wee bit and that simply won’t do on the 5th.
If you haven’t already booked, and you fancy trying out the above (and more), then get yourself onto my reservation page – Dom “For One Night Only” 5th July