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Pan-Seared Lobster Tail with Tropical Fruit Salsa

TIP FROM THE CHEF | This recipe is part of a five-course progressive dinner. If you are using this as a stand-alone dinner, I recommend doubling the portion size. Substitutions or omissions can be to create a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan option. I recommend preparing the tropical fruit salsa and pomegranate gastrique in the beginning. If you prefer a simpler version of this dish, any one or two of the sauces listed will work. It can also be done without the toast, although I’d add a bit of extra frisee if that is your choice.

4 four-ounce lobster tails or substitute 12 sea scallops or 4 large leeks

2 tablespoons butter

Dry white wine

1/2 lemon

1 head frisee, cleaned and cut into small pieces (About 2″ X 3″)

4 1″ thick slices of Sourdough Baguette, toasted

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

BEURRE BLANC

1 stick cold unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), cut into tablespoon-sized chunks

2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced shallots

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pinch white pepper

1/2teaspoon fresh lemon juice

TROPICAL FRUIT SALSA

1 mango

1 peach

1/2cup diced fresh pineapple

1/4 cup red onion

1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

POMEGRANATE GASTRIQUE

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 shallot, minced

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

2 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp dry sherry

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

TROPICAL FRUIT SALSA

Finely chop the first six ingredients

Crush garlic in a garlic press

Mix in all seasonings

Let chill for one hour

POMEGRANATE GASTRIQUE PREPARATION

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium low heat.

Add shallots and cook until they are translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the remaining ingredients to the pan.

Over medium-high heat, bring to a very light boil, then reduce the heat to low.

Simmer until the fruit is very tender (5 to 7 minutes) and remove from heat.

BEURRE BLANC PREPARATION

PREP TIME | 15 minutes

COOK TIME | 30 minutes

MAKES | 1/2 cup

DIRECTIONS

Slice small chunks of butter into a small bowl.

In a medium saucepan, bring wine and vinegar to a boil. Add shallots, salt, and pepper. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. There should be about 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid left. If you reduced it too far, then add 1 tablespoon of water to remoisten. Remove pan from heat. Whisk 2 pieces of butter into the reduction.

Set the pan over low heat and continue whisking butter into the sauce a chunk at a time, allowing each piece to melt before adding more. Remember to maintain low heat and never let the sauce come to a boil once the butter is added, or the sauce will separate.

Remove sauce from heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.

LOBSTER TAIL PREPARATION

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

While skillet is heating, cut the end off the tails and discard (Or keep all the shells to make stock later).

Cut the top shell lengthwise, but do not cut through the meat. (If you cut through the meat, it’s actually ok, your meal just won’t be quite as pretty).

Remove meat from shell and dust with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Slice into 1″ thick medallions.

Put bread in the toaster.

Melt butter in skillet. Add a Lobster tail and turn the heat down slightly.

After about three to five minutes, turn over.

After three minutes deglaze with wine and juice from lemon and cook for one more minute.

Turn off heat.

PLATING

Place toast on plates.

Place 3 or 4 sprigs of Frisee on each piece of toast.

Spoon about two tablespoons of beurre balance over the frisee

Place lobster meat on toast rafts.

Spoon two tablespoons of salsa on each toast raft.

Drizzle two teaspoons of pomegranate Gastrique on each raft.

ALTERNATE PREPARATIONS

Alternate preparation number one:

Sea scallops will work beautifully with this preparation. My preference is to use 10/20s. The only difference in preparation is the scallops will cook a bit quicker.

Alternate preparation number two:

This dish can be done vegetarian or vegan. The only substitutions are the leeks and either vegan butter or olive oil.

Leeks can be used as substitute scallops. Cut three 1″ thick portions of leek from the bottom end of each leek.

Cook the leek for about 15 minutes.

Start the leeks in the skillet the same as the lobster, but after they are turned, add white wine, lemon juice, and a 1/2 cup of vegetable stock. Cover and turn the heat down to medium-low for about ten minutes.