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Truffled Polenta with Mariscos

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been fooling around with this idea for awhile, and posted something very much like this recipe on another thread. That one was inspired by DC Sunshine who said, "cook me something with Moreton bugs." Since then, I made some changes, cooked this "perfected" version, and wrote it out in such a way that it can be cooked beautifully by an advanced-beginner with ambition and a little time.

Elegant, luxurious, delicious, wildly eclectic and plated beautifully -- It's a great fish course in a meal to impress. Hope you like it!

(Makes 4 Appetizer Portions)

2 lbs total, shell on slipper or spiny lobsters (number depends on weight)
12 medium shrimp with shells
14" of fennel tops, divided
Handful parsley
Brown onion
1-1/2 cup dry vermouth, divided
8 oz bottle clam juice
2 shallots
1 cup polenta
6 oz butter (12, tbs, 1-1/2 sticks), divided
6 diver scallops
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
4 oz truffle oil
(Optional) 1 oz jar or can, preserved truffle
Fresh chervil, parsley, and tarragon
6 chives

Remove the tail meat from 3 or 4 Slipper lobster tails. Reserve the tails and the remaining lobster parts separately. Slice the scallops in half, horizontally, so they are roughly as thick as the shelled shrimp. Reserve. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails attached. Reserve the shrimp with the scallops, and their shells with the lobster parts.

Making the fumet:
Make a fumet (light fish and/or shellfish stock) by quartering an onion, adding it to 4 cups water and 1/2 cup of vermouth, and bringing to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the reserved shrimp shells and heads. Break up the reserved lobster shells if necessary and add them, with about 12" fennel top, cut up, and a dozen sprigs parlsey. Simmer 10 minutes, add, the clam juice, and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve.

(Optional) Smoking the lobster tails:
Prep your pit to run at about 225, burning a mild wood such as alder, pear or citrus for smoke. Smoke the tails for approx 20 minutes, or until they are opaque and starting to curl. Wrap the tails in cling wrap and reserve. (Note: If you don’t have a smoker available, saute the tails with the scallops and shrimp, see below.)

Starting the polenta:
While the tails are smoking, mince the shallots, and saute in 2 tbs butter until soft. Add 3-1/2 cups of the fumet and bring to a boil. When the stock is boiling, add 1/2 cup vermouth, and slowly whisk the polenta in. Reduce heat to medium low, cook, stirring frequently with a spoon, until thick and soft, 20 to 30 minutes for most polentas. Remove the polenta from the heat, and stir in 6 tbs (1 stick) butter. Cover with a ceramic plate, and reserve warm.

Cooking the shellfish:
Cut the scallops in half, making crescents. Season them and the shelled shrimp with salt and ground chipotle or smoked, hot paprika. Preheat a skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil. While the oil heats, cut the garlic cloves in quarters, and add them to the pan. Cook until just brown and discard them, reserving the oil. Saute the scallops and shrimp in extra virgin olive oil until just done. Remove the plate which was serving as the lid on the polenta, and reserve the shrimp and scallops on it. Pour off all but 1 tsp of oil, and reserve the pan.

Note: If you were unable to smoke the lobster, season, cook and reserve with the other shellfish. As the tails will take slightly longer, than the scallops and shrimp, I suggest cooking them first. Remember the shellfish will continue to cook slowly while being reserved on the warm plate – so, barely cook them through.

Preliminary assembly:
If you have preserved truffle, remove the truffle(s) from the jar, and reserve the juice. Slice the truffle(s) very thin (requires a VERY sharp knife or a truffle shaver), brunois, or chop to a slightly irregular mince. Chop enough chervil, tarragon and parsley in equal proportions so that you have 3 tbs of chopped fines herbs. Stir one half the fines herbs in to the polenta, along with 2 tbs truffle oil, half the truffle and all the reserved truffle juice. Plate the truffled polenta by dividing evenly into 4 shallow bowls with generous rims. Reserve the remaining fines herbs.

Divide the scallops and shrimp evenly and garnish the bowls with them along the outside.

Unwrap the lobster tails and slice into medallions. Arrange them on the polenta in a chrysanthemum pattern (shingled circle).

Making the sauce and finishing the dish:
Take the feathery leaves off the remaining 2" of fennel top, and mince, add to the reserved fines herbs.

Make an emulsion cuisson by heating the shrimp/scallop pan with the reserved garlic oil, and deglazing it with the remaining 1/2 cup of vermouth. Bring the wine to the boil, and reduce by 1/4. Lower the heat to medium-low and whisk in 4 tbs of butter 1 tbs at a time. When the last piece is half melted, remove from heat and whisk in 2 tbs truffle oil, 1 tbs at a time (and the remaining truffle pieces, if you have them). Pour the emulsion over the polenta. Garnish with the remaining fines herbs, fennel and a three split chive halves.

Please let me know if you do or don't like the recipe, about any issues you have, and/or any improvements you think should be made.

As always, if you repost the recipe or share it with someone else please attribute it to me, Boar D. Laze. I'd really appreciate it if you could mention my eventual book: COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Amateurs

Thanks for listening,
post #2 of 5
Im all over this one!:roll:

post #3 of 5
Hi ... looks good at first read. What are "slipper lobsters?" Never heard the term before.

Check the quantity of slipper lobsters in the ingredient list. Should read "3 or 4"

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Slipper lobsters are warm water, lobster-like crustaceans from Down Undah, without claws, which are usually available pretty cheaply. Since I'm from California, where they're abundant I forgot to add "spiny lobsters" which are the same thing from a culinary and value standpoint, if not from the biological.

Taking the recipe out on its "perfection" run for lunch yesterday, I actually used a regular Maine lobster which I bought (live and with attitude) for $8.99 a pound at a Vietnamese fish market in Rosemead. They didn't have diver scallops which would have been better, but I bought a couple handfuls of bay scallops and they worked okay. The shrimp were alive too. Such are the vagaries of Viendong III Superfood Warehouse. You've got to go there to believe it.

I edited the whole lobster line, so "3 or" was fixed with extreme prejudice.

post #5 of 5
WOW...... I know what Im eating tomorrow!!!
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