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Top Shelf: Lauren’s Lobster

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Top Shelf: by Chef Lauren Loudon

While taking in the beauty of the British Virgin Islands on one of my first charters as a yacht chef, I came across a local fishing boat with fresh lobster the size of my arm. “I’ll take two,” I shouted, then disappeared to the galley to play around with flavor ideas for the flapping creatures. It was a scorching hot day in the Caribbean summer, so I decided to veer away from the usual grilled lobster and instead concocted the following, which soon became a charter favorite for lunch, canapés or a starter.

Ingredients:
2 live lobsters
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 naval orange – zest and juice
1 scallion, sliced
a pinch of paprika
a pinch of turmeric
1 tsp wholegrain Dijon Mustard
a small handful fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional:
avocado
mango
pink grapefruit
rolls

Add a pinch of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a vigorous boil.

Add lobsters and cover firmly with a lid to keep them inside the pot.

Set a timer for 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the lobster. Remove lid when water is boiling again.

In the meantime, slice the scallion, zest and juice the orange, and roughly chop the basil.

Immediately immerse the lobsters in an ice-water bath to stop further cooking.

Once cooled, remove the lobsters’ tails from the heads, then remove the meat from the tails. Roughly chop lobster meat into bite-size pieces and place in a medium-size mixing bowl.

Stir in the mayonnaise, orange juice, orange zest and scallions.

Add the mustard and spices, season with salt and pepper to taste and, finally, add the basil.

There you have the basic recipe for what quickly became known as “Lauren’s Lobster.” I have served it in a variety of ways, including these two simple options:

  1. Blitz the lobster mixture in a food processor for a few seconds into a fine “mousse.” Using a round mold, place the lobster mousse on a base of fried plantain rounds and top with puréed avocados for a fresh starter with wonderful Caribbean flavors.
  2. Stuff the lobster mixture into a buttered roll, or simply back into the tail shell, and serve alongside a green salad with fresh mango and pink grapefruit for a light and healthy lunch.

Use whatever is fresh and locally available wherever you are, and remember that the best part about being in the kitchen is that the choice is yours and the options are endless.

Lauren Loudon is our guest columnist this month. She has been a yacht chef for more than four years. Top Shelf recipes are designed for the owner and guests. Comments are welcome below.

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