Lobster Ravioli with Lobster Stock Reduction, Saffron Emulsion and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil


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This incredibly elaborate dish is for the very adventurous chef. Every bit of the dish is made from scratch, including the ravioli, so make sure to leave plenty of time to cook. It will surely impress dinner guests!

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  • 2 chicken lobsters (about 1 1/4 lb.)
  • Browned Lobster Stock Reduction:
  • 2 lobster bodies and shells
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/2 C. brandy
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 green onion, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 branches basil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, cleaned and scraped
  • Saffron Emulsion:
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 leek, with roots and greens removed, cleaned and washed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tbs. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tbs. saffron threads
  • 1/4 C. white wine
  • 1 C. fish, shellfish or vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Spinach Ravioli Dough:
  • 1/2 lb. semolina flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 oz. spinach puree
  • 1/4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Ravioli Seasoning:
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 tsp. chopped thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. chopped tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Reserved tomalley
  • Reserved lobster tails, chopped
  • 1/4 C. Armagnac or good Cognac
  • 2 Tbs. reduced lobster stock
  • 1/4 C. small diced brioche
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked
  • 1 Tbs. toasted pumpkin seed oil
  • 4 chervil sprigs

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To prepare the Lobster: Bring water to boil in a large pot and add lobsters. Turn off heat and steep 2 minutes. Remove lobsters, separate tails and claws. Return claws to water and steep 7 more minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove claws and tails from shells, cut tails in half and reserve. Reserve shells for browned lobster stock. Reserve tomalley for ravioli filling.

To prepare the Browned Lobster Stock Reduction: Clean and chop lobster bodies with a cleaver, preheat large roasting pan in a 450 degree oven. Add half of oil to roasting pan and add lobster bodies. Return to oven and roast for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until bodies start to caramelize. Add chopped tomato and deglaze pan. Return to oven, stirring every 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to caramelize as well. Add tomato paste and caramelize for 5 minutes. Remove roasting pan from the oven and deglaze with brandy. (Be cautious as brandy may flame).

In a separate stockpot, slowly sweat all the other ingredients in remaining oil. Add roasted lobster bodies and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, skim well, and simmer for no more than 30 minutes with the bodies (longer and the stock will turn bitter). Remove, strain through a chinois, return to heat, and reduce until a syrupy sauce consistency is attained. Season and reserve. (Adding cream or butter is optional).

For the Saffron Emulsion: Rub parsnip with oil and roast in oven until done. Allow to partially cool and rub to remove skin. Chop and reserve. In a medium sauce pan, cover and sweat garlic, shallots, ginger and leek in butter. Make a sachet from thyme, bayleaf, coriander and peppercorns. Add sachet, parsnips, saffron and white wine. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add stock and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, remove sachet and transfer to a blender. Purée completely and strain through a fine sieve. Return to heat, adjust seasoning and add butter. Using a hand blender, froth until butter is emulsified and very foamy.

For the Spinach Ravioli Dough: Place semolina flour in the bowl of an electric mixer. Make a well and add whisked eggs, spinach puree, oil and seasoning. Attach the paddle and mix until a dough is formed. Continue mixing for at least 4 minutes in order to develop the gluten. Dough should be lightly soft, elastic and not more than faintly damp to the touch. If dough is wet, continue mixing and add all purpose flour, one dusting at a time until texture has improved. Remove dough from bowl, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator to rest at least 1 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Using a pasta machine roll pieces of dough out until very thin, dusting with all purpose flour as necessary to ensure the dough doesn’t stick to the machine. Lay sheets out on a cutting board and using a large circular cutter, cut out 8 large (approximately 3-inch) disks to make the raviolis. (Hint: cut 4 of the disks 1 size bigger than the others as they will be the tops which have to be stretched down around the filling during assembly). Lay disks on parchment and refrigerate.

For the Ravioli: Melt butter with oil in a small sauce pot. Add, season and sweat shallot, garlic, celery and herbs. Add tomalley and lobster. Flame with cognac. Add and reduce lobster stock. Stir in brioche, adjust seasoning, remove from heat and cool.

Lay out the smaller 4 ravioli pasta disks. Divide filling into 4 even parts and roll into balls. Place the balls in the middle of the pasta disks and brush the circumference with egg yolk. Place the large 4 ravioli disks over the filling and stretch down around the filling, using a fork to press the circumferences of the disks together and seal the ravioli.

Preheat a large pot of boiling salted water and gently lay ravioli in. Turn down water to a simmer and cook 3-4 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Remove from water, pat dry and serve. Plate raviolis in centers of plates, drizzle with lobster reduction and spoon saffron emulsion around. Garnish with a drizzle of toasted pumpkin seed oil and chervil.

Yield: 4 servings

From: Estate by the Elderberries, Oakhurst, CA

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