Chef Collin Crannel took over Santa Monica's seafood standby, The Lobster, just one month ago, and has already begun to infuse the menu with some surprising new dishes. Here is the recipe for one such dish, his lobster salad-- but as you can see from the photo below, it does not contain mayonnaise (the only celery is used for court bouillon). This bright, vibrant and refreshing salad is perfect for those seventy degree Santa Monica winters.
With avocado, little gem lettuce, winter citrus vinaigrette and fried leeks.
From Chef Collin Crannell of The Lobster
2 1 1/2 lb. Maine lobster
8 little gem lettuce (or any baby lettuce will do)
1 leek (fine julienne and rinsed clean)
1 ruby red grapefruit
3 satsuma tangerines
3 blood oranges
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups canola oil (for frying)
2 carrots, large rough cut
1 celery stalk, large rough cut
1 brown onion, large rough cut
2 bay leaves
16 whole black peppercorns
3 tbs. kosher salt
1 cup dry white wine
6 qts. cold water
1. Prepare the court bouillon by placing all the court bouillon ingredients in a 2 1/2 gallon, non-reactive stock pot, such as stainless steel. Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.
2. Add the lobsters head first and cook for 8 minutes. Remove the lobsters and place on a sheet pan to cool. Discard any of the vegetables from the court bouillon.
3. When cool enough to handle, hold the lobster over the sheet pan and twist the claws off, then the tail. With a large chef knife, split the lobster tail in half, remove the meat and cut each half in two. Place the claw on a cutting board, then using the back of the chef knife, crack the claw to open the shell and remove the meat. With a pair of scissors, cut the shells off the knuckles and remove the meat.
4. Each plate will have half a lobster.
Winter Citrus Vinaigrette
1. Remove the pith and skin from the grapefruit, satsumas and blood oranges. Cut out the segments from each citrus and squeeze the leftover, to remove as much juice as possible. Mix only the 3 juices and strain. Measure 1 cup of juice and place in a sauce pan. Reduce by half and let cool.
2. When juice is cool, season with salt and pepper, then slowly whisk in 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
1. In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of canola oil to 365 degrees and add the julienned leeks. Slowly move the leeks with tongs to ensure even cooking. Once fried, remove and place on paper towels, then season with salt.
Little Gems and Avocado
1. Split the little gems in half, clean and dry.
2. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and cut into 3 wedges.
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1. Place the little gems on a plate separate from one another, then the three wedges of avocado around.
2. Place a mixture of all three segments around and in between, then the lobster pieces.
3. Spoon over the citrus vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place a light layer of fried leeks over the salad and serve.