Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The French Laundry : "Peas and Carrots" -- Maine Lobster Pancakes with Pea Shoot Salad and Ginger-Carrot Emulsion

"Peas and Carrots"

Everyone, meet Coco, Miuccia and Donatella -- my new friends.


Friends for a few mintues, that is... until I drenched them in hot water and steeped them silly. Yes, that's how I like to treat my new friends.

But I did butter them up nicely after. Literally! Even found out there's a fancy name for buttering-up your newfound friends - it's called beurre monté

Now that you know how nice I treat my new friends, let's begin!

Oh wait... Before I actually begin this recipe, I had to learn how to steep a lobster here. It was surprisingly easy! About 5-10 minutes per lobster, not bad!

Part 1 - Lobster Glaze

I heated the canola oil and sauteed the lobster bodies (and shells too). This smelled really good. So good that if I could eat the air around the cooktop, I would!

Then, I added the tomato, carrots, thyme, water and simmered for 1hr 15 minutes. I then strained and simmered again until the sauce was just 1-2 tsps.

Yes, you read that right. This process requires to simmer about 4 cups of liquid down to 2 tsps. It took patience!

In the interest of time, I might need to skip this step the next time I do this recipe again! So there, consider yourself warned!

Part 2 - Lobster Filling

This part is so easy, all that's needed is to mix all ingredients plus the reduced lobster glaze above. So I don't have an excuse when I realized after that I forgot the mascarpone cheese!


Silly, silly, silly me!! No wonder when I finished this dish, I was like, hmm, there's something missing. It's not really French Laundry quality!

Oh well, next time, I promise to redeem myself to friends who were kind enough to be my taste testers in this experiment!

Part 3 - Carrot-Ginger Emulsion

Yes, your eyes are not tricking you. That's a Jamba Juice cup you're seeing right there!
But I can explain! I don't have a juicer and didn't want to buy one so I just bought a carrot juice from Jamba!

Forgive me, pretty please! =)

This step is again pretty simple. All that's needed is to reduce the juice, whisk in the cream, then whisk the butter. Just be sure that when you whisk in the butter, your saucepan is not too hot, otherwise, the sauce will break!

Then, I blended with an immersion blender until it's emulsified.
If you don't have an immersion blender, I think it's ok to skip this step. It wont' affect the taste, this is just for presentation to have those little bubbles when you plate them!

Or if you're patient, use a wire whisk, I think that will work too.

Part 4 - Crepes

Again, this is rather straightforward. If you've been making regular crepes, this is nothing different. Although, I have to say, I will definitely invest on a crepe spreader next time I do this recipe again. That way, the crepes are even and thinner.

Part 5 - Pea Shoot Salad

Super easy, it's just like making any regular salad.

Part 6 - Plating!

So after 4 hours of slaving in the kitchen, this is what you'll have!


But please don't let that stop you from trying this recipe. The only reason it took 4 hours for me is because I had to take pictures as I cook, you see! I bet the next I do this, I can probably do it in 3 hours and 50 minutes! :P

The verdict? I didn't like my first version since I forgot the mascarpone. When I added it and did a little tweak to the steps (skipped putting the crepes in the oven which kinda dried the edges, instead, I microwaved the crepes for 30 secs which made it even softer!) . So the verdict is YES, when done right, this recipe is a Michelin star worthy!!

Time: 3-4 hours. Sadly, yes, that's the sacrifice!

Difficulty: Easy. It's just a bunch of steps and a lot of patience reducing liquids.

Calories: about 511 calories per serving

Total Cost: About $70-80 because lobsters don't come cheap!

Will I do this recipe again? If I can find a free afternoon again, absolutely!!


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