Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lobster Cocktail

I recently read a survey that said 79 percent of American people believe that Valentine's Day is romantic because they eat special food that they have prepared for, or with, someone special. It also found that 65 percent of those questioned were planning to celebrate Valentine's Day by cooking and sharing a romantic evening at home this year, rather than going out to eat in a restaurant.

With that in mind, I thought I would share this recipe that I have made many times over the years for special occasions, and its elegant simplicity has never failed to impress and delight our guests. The recipe uses lobster, which is expensive, and may be difficult to obtain in some areas, so the lobster could be replaced with large shrimp (fresh or frozen) with equally good results.

  • 1 lobster (about 1 1/2 lbs), boiled
  • 1 lettuce heart
  • 4oz mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon cognac, or brandy
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • generous pinch of ground ginger
  • 12-15 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 4 slices lime
  • 4 black olives
  1. Shell and slice the lobster.
  2. Arrange the lettuce leaves in four glasses and top with the lobster slices.
  3. Beat the mayonnaise with the tomato puree, cognac or brandy, and lime or lemon juice.
  4. Season with ginger, Tabasco, paprika and salt.
  5. Stir in half the whipped cream.
  6. Pour the dressing over the lobster and garnish with the remaining cream, the lime and the olive.
To make sure this cocktail is a winner, choose to serve it in tall, elegant glasses.

You can prepare these cocktails ahead of time, and refrigerate for up to an hour, then simply add the remaining cream and garnishes just before serving.

To make the evening really special serve with champagne, or a dry white wine, and melba toasts or crispy bread.

This recipe, along with many other delicious shellfish recipes and cooking tips can be found in the amazing book, Shellfish, by award winning chef Anton Mosimann.

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