One of the most important instincts for a chef, or someone who loves cooking, is the art of portioning the relative amounts of different ingredients in a dish.
In a salad, the challenge is to create a suitable dressing and use just enough of it to enhance and unite the flavors without overwhelming any of them.
Serving this salad should invite your guests to slow down and savor the sweetness.
Serving it in a martini glass will insure an elegant presentation.
Lobster and avocado
2 - 1 1/4 pound live lobsters
3 lemons cut in half
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 medium Spanish onion, small dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 red pepper, small dice
1 rib of celery, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 ripe Haas avocados
1 head romaine lettuce cut into chiffonade
2 perfectly ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups of canola oil
Salt, white pepper to taste
Fill a large stockpot 3/4 of the way with filtered water, lemon halves squeezed and Old Bay seasoning.
Over high heat until rapidly boil, add the lobsters and cover. Cook for 8 minutes, remove them and put them into a large bowl filled with ice and water. This will stop the cooking process.
Let them sit in the ice water for 5 minutes, then remove them and cut in half lengthwise.
Remove all the meat and cut into bite sized pieces, except the lobster claws. Remove the claw meat from the shell and leave whole. Save them for a garnish.
You can save the shells for another use, such as a shellfish stock. Place the lobster meat in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
In a small saucepan cook the celery in salted water until it turns bright green (about 2 minutes). Strain, rinse with cool water and set to the side.
Heat a medium sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil then the diced onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red and jalapeño peppers and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl, add the cooked celery and let cool for 30 minutes. Then add the chopped lobster meat and mix until well blended.
Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits with the heel of your knife. Peel and slice into thin strips and set aside.
Next we will make the dressing.
Add the tomatoes, red onion, capers, rice wine vinegar and sugar to a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute. Then slowly add the canola oil while still blending. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
To put this dish together, divide the chiffonade of romaine among four martini glasses and the same for the lobster salad.
Garnish with the avocado slices and lobster claws on top and drizzle each with the tomato vinaigrette and enjoy.
Tips and Techniques
.Cooked sweet shrimp make a fine substitute for the lobster meat.
.Chiffonade, literally translated from a French phrase that means "made of rags," culinarily., Iit refers to thin strips or shreds of vegetables.
. A glass of Banfi 2005, Rosa Regale will embellish this dishes' elegant nature.
Contact Chris Kennedy at Seasoned Catering at (561) 351-0221, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.