I absolutely love lobster; it is a rare treat reserved for special occasions and celebrations and I savour every mouthful. This delicious starter is sure to impress your guests.
Emily Roux's lobster medallions with tortellini
Too often Christmas rhymes with over eating and indulgence so here is a healthy yet incredibly tasty dish to kick start the festive season. Lobster is a luxury ingredient so it is important that you make use of it all. No wastage allowed.
This recipe is quite versatile: try swapping the parsley for coriander and the lobster for prawns.
About this recipe
Preparation Time45 – 60 Minutes
Cooking Time30 Minutes
Emily Roux's Lobster Medallions and Tortellini
1 whole lobster (1kg)
150g egg yolk ( or 7 yolks)
300g 00 flour
1 tbsp. water, if needed
1 finely chopped shallot
1/4 bunch of finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp. olive oil
a drop of Tabasco
2 cups of fish stock or water
2 tbsp cognac
2 tbsp butter
1 roughly chopped celery stick
1/2 roughly chopped shallot
2 chopped tomatoes
1 crushed garlic clove
1 bunch of parsley
1 salted anchovy
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Although the recipe is a little intricate, you can do most of the preparation ahead of time to avoid the Christmas rush. You can cook the lobster in advance (the tail will stay fresh wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge for up to two days) and the tortellini can be frozen.
For the very best results begin with an impeccably fresh, live lobster. Alternatively, you can use cooked, whole frozen lobster (readily available in many supermarkets) though the texture of the finished dish will not be as delicate, nor will you be able to freeze the tortellini if you are planning to prepare this dish ahead of time.
Put the flour, salt and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Knead together by hand until you obtain an elastic dough, adding a tablespoon of water if necessary to make the dough more pliable. Wrap the dough in cling-film and rest overnight in the fridge.
If you are using a fresh lobster, fill a large pan (big enough to hold your lobster) with water, add a tablespoon of sea salt and bring to a rolling boil. Place the lobster into the water head first, cover with a lid, cook for 8 minutes and then remove. Once the lobster has cooled down remove the shell in three sections: tail, knuckles and claws. Set the tail aside under a damp cloth so it stays moist. Reserve the shell to make the bisque.
Shred the claw and knuckle meat for the tortellini filling.
Cook the finely chopped shallot in a tablespoon of olive oil until tender. Once cooled down, add to a mixing bowl with the shredded claws and finely chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a drop of Tabasco and combine the flesh with a tablespoon of olive oil. Using the palm of your hands roll out small balls, 2cm in diameter. Set aside in the fridge while you get on with the pasta dough.
Roll out the pasta dough as finely as you possibly can (it is much easier to use a pasta machine if you have one). The dough will fight you and bounce back but persevere until it is no more than 2mm thick. Once you have a long strip of pasta dough place the balls of lobster on top at intervals of 6cm to 8cm.
Cut the length of pasta into squares with a ball of filling sitting on each square. Brush each square of pasta dough with a little water before folding in half diagonally to seal in the filling. Secure each triangle with your fingers, then, with a point of the triangle facing you, bring the other two edges together in a circle and press them together to form the tortellini shape.
Using the back of a pan, smash the lobster shell into small morsels. Sear in a large saucepan over a medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter and roast the shell. Once the butter is foaming add the roughly chopped celery, shallot and garlic to the saucepan. When the vegetables are tender, incorporate the diced tomatoes.
Deglaze the pan with cognac, add the fish stock and leave to simmer for 25 minutes. Strain the bisque through a sieve, being sure to press the shells to squeeze out every last drop of liquid. You may need to reduce the bisque for a further 5 minutes to obtain the right consistency.
In a blender, combine the parsley, anchovy and olive oil to make a smooth paste and season to taste.
Cook the tortellini for 3 minutes in boiling salted water and strain carefully.
Serve the lobster tail lukewarm. Reheat it gently in the bisque making sure not to over-cook. Slice into bite size medallions and arrange on the plate with the tortellini, accompanied by the bisque, and a slick of the parsley condiment.