While taking a French cooking class, the chef gave me advice that has stayed with me through my cooking adventures. He told me to listen to my heart when cooking and use ingredients I love, the flavor of the final dish would reflect Amour!
Truffle Roasted Lobster Tails in Champagne Sauce came from my love of two things – lobster and champagne. The Flavor Tiers in this recipe interact rather interestingly since the sauce used to infuse the lobster tails is also a part of the finishing sauce. Starting the dish by roasting the lobster tails with black truffle oil creates a savory balance to the sweetness of the lobster meat. Using a small amount of Alaskan Salmon Roe caviar and shaved black truffles as the final Tier completes the presentation with a bright color and adds a bit of a salty topping to compliment the champagne flavor.
The Flavor Tiers begin with 8-9 oz lobster tails roasted with black truffle oil. The next Tier consists of a Champagne Sauce that includes additional black truffle oil and an assortment of wild mushroom. The rule of thumb when cooking with wines of any type: if you would not drink it then you should not use it in cooking. I suggest using a non-vintage bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label as the Champagne in the sauce. This mid-range, medium bodied Champagne has the right balance of acidity to complement the herbs and mushrooms.
Once the lobster tail meat has been infused in the Champagne Sauce, it is reduced and crisped parsley and tarragon are added to create a thick, rich sauce. While the final Tier is simply a scant tablespoon of caviar and sprinkling of shaved black truffles, it provides an elegant ending.
The dish can be served with the lobster meat in the shell and the mushrooms along side, but I recommend you pull the meat from the shell and lay it on top of the mushrooms before saucing. This prevents any accidental “tossing of the lobster meat” across the dinner table!
Jazz. What else! The playlist includes several artists from the 1920’s Paris as well as more recent to complete the “les Années folles” evening.
4 fresh lobster tails, 8-9 oz each (can substitute frozen lobster tails partially defrosted)
4 t black truffle oil
1 1/2 T black truffle oil, divided
1 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, porcini, shiitake, crimino, sliced
1/3 c minced shallots
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1 t salt
3 C champagne (Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label)
1 1/2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 T fresh tarragon, chopped
1 1/2 T tarragon butter
1 5.5 oz jar Alaskan Salmon Roe Caviar
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Split the underside of the lobster tails taking care not to cut into the flesh. Slightly separate split taking care to not break tails completely.
Pour ½ teaspoon of black truffle oil into each tail. Push tail back together and coat outside of each with ½ teaspoon of black truffle oil. Place on broiler pan underside up. Bake for 10 minutes, turn, continue baking until shell is bright red; approximately 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool slightly and remove meat in one piece from tail shells.
Place 1 tablespoon truffle oil and shallots into a large skillet. Sauté shallots over medium heat until shallots are transparent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn to low heat and add sliced mushrooms and salt. Cook 10 minutes until mushrooms have released some of their moisture. Add peppercorns, bay leaf and champagne. Bring to simmer and add lobster meat. Turn off heat and let rest 2 minutes.
Remove lobster meat and place in bowl, cover with foil to keep warm. Remove mushrooms and place in bowl, cover to keep warm.
Rapidly boil the champagne sauce over high heat until reduced in half; 5-6 minutes. While sauce is simmering, place parsley, tarragon and tarragon butter in a small skillet. Sauté the herbs over medium high heat until crisp about 2 minutes. Add herbs and butter to sauce reduction. Mix.
On each of 6 plates, evenly divide mushrooms to one side of the plate. Place a lobster tail on top of the mushrooms. Evenly divide the Champagne Sauce between plates, pouring on top of the lobster and a swirl around the plate.
Top each serving with 1 teaspoon caviar and a sprinkle of shaved black truffles.
On opposite side of the plate, place a Gratin de Pommes mound. Serve.
With appetizers, Gosset Grande Reserve Brut is rich non-vintage champagne from one of the oldest house in Champagne; with dinner, better to go with a white Burgundy such as Ropiteau Meursault 1er Cru Poruzot which provides an elegance without competing with the champagne in the sauce
There are two basic choices that always go well with lobster; Witbier (Belgian Whites) for their crisp wheat flavor and citric edge such as Western Herd Back Beat Witbier or Hefeweizen with their spicy wheat aroma, such as Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen
Save the cocktails as a part of the after dinner drinks and then think classic French. The French Blonde with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and fresh grapefruit juice or Sidecar using Lillet a French liqueur from Pondesac and sweet red vermouth. Their citric overture provides a pleasant finish to the evening.
Bourbon Pate with Cranberry Chutney and Spicy Bourbon Peaches – serve with grilled brioche; the pate’s firmness provides a buffer between the fruited layers ensuring the brioche retains it crustiness
Éclair with Cognac Crème and Insanely Deep Fudge Sauce – small éclair filled with a smooth cognac laced crème and covered with a crazily deep dark chocolate hot sauce.