Butter-Poached Maine Lobster With Sweet English Pea Puree, Morel Mushroom Ragout & Spring Flowers

recipe courtesy of Chef Collin Crannell, Executive Chef of the Lobster Restaurant, Santa Monica, California

Serves 4

  • 4 Maine lobsters (approx. 2 lbs each)           
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons, sliced                       
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 carrot, sliced                       
  • 2 ½ gal water, cold
  • 1 Spanish onion, sliced

Place all ingredients except for the lobsters in a large stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Place the lobster in the water for 3 minutes. Remove and immediately plunge into ice water for 15 minutes.

Remove the claws, elbows and tail from the body, and pull the head shell away from the legs. Reserve the head for decorating the plate. Using kitchen scissors, cut down the middle of the tail shell, being careful not to cut the meat. Remove the tail meat, then cut the shell of the elbow and claw, and remove the meat carefully. Hold in the refrigerator. (This can be done the day before.)

  • 6 lbs butter, unsalted 
  • 3 sprigs rosemary

Cut the 6 lbs of butter into cubes and place along with the rosemary into a tall saucepan over very low heat. As the milk solids start to separate, skim off the white from the surface, (this may take 30 to 40 minutes). Do not boil. (If the bottom of the saucepan begins to burn, pour into another pan.)

Morel Mushroom Ragout:

  • 1 ½ lbs morel mushrooms, cleaned and halved (or substitute any wild mushroom)        
  • Juice of 1 lemon       
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium shallots, minced               
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced                   
  • 5 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 ½ cups J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay       
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the olive oil, followed by the morel mushrooms. Sauté for 10 minutes, then add the shallots, garlic and 1 tablespoon butter, and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add the J. Lohr Estates Chardonnay and reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and butter. Reduce by half again, then add in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Sweet English Pea Purée:

  • 2 cups + 1 ½ cups English peas, shucked  (or substitute frozen organic)       
  • 4 cups water, cold                
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Yukon potato, peeled and diced           
  • salt and pepper to taste   
  • 1/2 cup leeks, white section only, diced

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add a hand full of salt. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Place the 3 ½ cups of peas into the water for 1 minute or until tender, then plunge into the ice water. When the peas are cold, strain them, and then run cold water through the peas until the ice cubes are melted. Separate into 2 cups and 1 ½ cups.

Using a small sauce pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then the leeks. Slowly sweat the leeks until translucent. Add potatoes and water, and turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce by half, then add the 2 cups of peas and place all into a blender. Using a kitchen towel folded over, hold down the blender lid (be very careful!) and quickly pulsate on and off until the mixture has momentum. Then turn on the blender, open the lid, and add the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste. Keep warm.

Cooking the Lobster:
Place the lobster in the tall pan of melted butter, gently stir and cook for 8 minutes. DO NOT BOIL.

Plate Presentation:
While the lobster is cooking, add the remaining 1 ½ cups of peas to the morel mushroom mixture. Place the pea puree on a plate and spread out into an oval bed. Put the morel mushroom ragout in the middle. Remove the lobster from the butter, and place the lobster tail on top with the knuckles and claws around the plate. Garnish with some spring flowers and good quality Italian extra virgin olive oil. Trim the lobster head and place near the lobster tail. Enjoy with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay!