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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Roasted Lobster Brushed with Rouille

So, I originally intended to griddle my Lobsters as I did last year... but the little voice on my shoulder kept screaming ROUILLE at me.
"Ok, ok," I calmed the voice, "I will try."
Well, after carefully watching Fonfon's video tutorial, I thought I was armed and dangerous with madd Rouille making technique.
I might as well let it out now.. I've never in my life made mayonnaise from scratch.  It seems like something basic enough, but as working egg whites into "winter sports" readiness, mayonnaise takes a bit of familiarity with the hand mouvements.  It is not fool-proof.. and sometimes, you have to admit to being that fool.  There is a moment in the egg yolk beating to oil pouring ratio or debit where you either make it or break it.  I thought I had made it, but then its consistency was not that mayonnaise-like consistency I was hoping for.  I even "cheated" and used an electric beater, but to no avail.  It stayed a thick sauce instead of a mayo, but oh was it delicious!
It was thick enough to use as a "glaze" before roasting.. as well as a dipping sauce, so all was not lost!
I used it on my pre-cooked thawed American northern Atlantic (east coast) lobsters.
A word on lobsters.
They are beautiful creatures, and must be cooked the day they "die," or even better, the day they are caught.  When fresh, they are usually still alive.  I just don't have the heart to cook it alive.  I know somewhere in my brain that even if I buy it pre-cooked frozen, it was cooked alive before being frozen in its brine.. but I just can't do it.
Same with crawfish or crab.  I love to eat them, but I won't buy them alive.  It's strange because I don't have that guilt or terrible strangeness with shellfish or even shrimp.  I used to go fishing using live shrimp as bait.. and that really didn't bother me.  It bothered me more to see the fish gasp for fluid to flow through its gills.
Ok can we get back to this meal please before I temporarily become vegetarian?
There were only 3 or us so I used 3 lobsters, but the sauce makes enough for 10 or more.
3 thawed pre-cooked lobsters, sliced down the center and drained of excess "water"
handful chopped parsley
drizzle of lemon juice onto each half
2 egg yolks at room temperature
2 large garlic cloves, grated or crushed
2 tsp Rouille spices (chile powder, paprika, saffron)
pinch fleur de sel
few cracks black pepper
1/2 tsp quality mustard.. meaning not the fluorescent crap you find in the US (I used Amora)
few Tbsp olive oil
few Tbsp canola oil
some really technically out of this world elbow grease or an electric beater
1.  Place the egg yolks, garlic, and mustard in a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined.
2.  Start beating.. either electrically or with your elbow grease or heart pumping.  While this is happening, add a drizzle of the oils, starting with the olive oil.  Keep pouring it in until it thickens.  Besides the fact that there is garlic in there, this process is just called "making mayonnaise."
3.  When the mayo has combined, stir in the rouille spices, fleur de sel, and black pepper.  Give it another beat if it needs it.  Taste and make sure it's got enough of everything.
4.  Brush this mixture onto the lobster halves,
drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle on some chopped parsley.
5.  Bake, flesh side up, for 10 minutes at 200°C 400°F.
Serve with extra dipping sauce and feel your body slowly rising to the heavens..

You may not have noticed, but these 3 lobsters were females and full of roe.  That roe is the most divine I've ever had.  I may have "stolen" most of it off the tip of my finger before baking, but I admit my greed.  I don't regret it!
This lovely starter was followed by some griddled octopus for a very very happy ending..

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