Lobster croquettes, charred lime, nori gomasio


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Lobster stock

To make the croquettes

Charred lime mayonnaise

Seaweed gomasio

To begin, cook the lobsters. Bring the water to the boil in a large pan with the bay, lemon and tarragon. Kill the lobsters then drop them into the boiling water for 4 minutes
Remove the lobsters from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle (save the lobster cooking liquid for later). Remove the meat from the lobsters and chop into 2cm chunks – it doesn’t have to be perfect as it’s going to be mixed together later
Prepare the shells for roasting by crushing into small pieces – a good method for this is to wrap the shells in a tea towel and bash with a rolling pin to lightly crush. Pass the cooking liquid through a sieve and reserve to use in the lobster stock later
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Add the shells to a large roasting tin with the onion, fennel, leek, celery, garlic, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, star anise and olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes then stir in the tomato paste and roast for a further 10 minutes
Remove from the oven and deglaze the tray with the white wine, scraping the bottom to remove any residue. Transfer the mixture to a large pan and add brandy and Pernod. Cook out for 5 minutes, then add the reserved lobster cooking liquid, the tinned plum tomatoes, lemongrass and saffron
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then pass through a sieve into a clean pan and reduce until you are left with around 1.5l of liquid. Set aside until needed
To make the croquettes, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the shallots, cooking until soft but without colour. Turn up the heat to medium, add the flour and cook out for a few minutes before stirring in the cayenne pepper and paprika. Cook for a few more minutes then add the reduced lobster stock, whisking until smooth – it will be quite a thick mixture. Spread out on a tray and chill in the fridge until firm
Sprinkle the lobster meat and parsley over the surface, season generously then mix everything together until evenly combined. Roll the mixture into 30g balls and place on a large tray, leaving space between each ball. Transfer to the fridge to firm up
Once firm, coat the balls in the flour then, after dusting off as much excess flour as possible, dip in the whisked eggs. Roll in the breadcrumbs until you have an even coating and return to the fridge, again placing on a tray in one layer
  • 500g of Panko breadcrumbs (1)
  • 500g of flour, for dusting
  • 4 eggs, whisked
Meanwhile, make the charred lime mayonnaise. Remove the zest from both of the limes and cut in half. Place cut-side down in a hot, dry pan until blackened. Allow to cool
Whisk the yolks, Dijon mustard and vinegar in a bowl, then squeeze in the charred lime juice. Add the oil in a thin, steady stream while continuously whisking to make a mayonnaise – add more oil if needed and season to taste when ready. Cover and store in the fridge until required
For the seaweed gomasio, toast the nori and sesame seeds in a hot, dry pan until the seeds are golden. Grind together into a coarse powder then add the salt. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve
When ready to serve, preheat a deep-fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
  • oil, for deep-frying
Deep-fry the croquettes in batches for approximately 3 minutes until golden, allowing the oil to come back to temperature before you fry the next batch. Drain well on kitchen paper, place on a baking tray and finish cooking in the oven for 2 minutes
To serve, add four dots of mayonnaise to each plate and place a croquette on top. Spoon or pipe more mayonnaise on the side and sprinkle the gomasio over the croquettes. Serve immediately
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