Lobster is one of the most sensuous foods in a chef’s goodie bag. Long linked with amorous pursuits, the lobster has been connected with every legendary lothario since Casanova. In more modern times, its indelible mark as a catalyst for passion has been captured on film in climatic moments in works from Flashdance to the unforgettable Tom Jones. Here it is unsheathed and its complicated shell for even easier access and then infused with vanilla’s scent of passion
3/4 lb. cooked lobster meat, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 large zucchini
1 leek, green tops discarded
1/8 t garlic, minced
2 T jicama, finely diced
2 T peeled and deveined celery, finely diced
1/2 vanilla bean, split leangthwise
1 t powdered saffron
1 T chervil, chopped
1 1/2 T ripe roma tomato, seeded minced
2 c heavy cream
Sea salt and white pepper to taste and fresh chervil for garnish
Recipe by Nitzi Rabin
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Section Zucchini into four even, hollowed-out logs (zucchini can be hollowed out with the tip of a vegetable peeler.) Roast the zucchini logs on the middle oven rack until just tender to the touch, about 15-20 minutes. Set your logs aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan gently heat the cream, adding chopped leek along with the garlic. Cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, just long enough to flavor the cream. Strain out leek and garlic, then season the cream with salt and pepper. Add the split vanilla bean to your warm, fragrant cream and simmer to infuse the vanilla flavor to you liking. Remove the bean and set it aside. Stir in the saffron and reduce cream over medium heat to a sauce consistency, watching carefully to prevent it from boiling over. Adjust seasoning (cream sauce can be prepared ahead).
Add celery and jicama to sauce and cook for one or two minutes, and then add the lobster. Gently warm through. Cover baking dish of zucchini with aluminum foil and return to the oven to reheat, about 4-5 minutes. To serve, place 2 tender zucchini in the center of the 2 plates. Stuff the hot logs with the creamy lobster mixture, allowing some to overflow. Spoon additional cream into zucchini and drizzle more onto the plate. Sprinkle chopped chervil and minced tomato over your warm lobster cream.