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Spiny Lobster and Chanterelle Gratin

  • 1 1/2 pounds local spiny lobster
  • 1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Lobster:

A day ahead, boil lobster until barely cooked (approximately 5-6 minutes — do not overcook). Remove lobster and immerse in ice water bath. Remove tail meat from shell, rinse, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Lobster Cream:

Roast lobster shells in 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Crush shells and place in stainless steel pot. Cover with cream and cook over medium-low heat until thickened and you can taste lobster in the cream (reduce by at least one half). Strain cream from shells and set aside.

Chanterelles:

Tear into small pieces and set aside. Saute minced garlic and shallots in olive oil until translucent, add mushrooms, and cook until tender. Remove from heat, add thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble:

Slice lobster tail meat in half lengthwise, then into small, 1/2-inch thick pieces. Using three 6- to 8-ounce ramekins, pour two tablespoons of lobster cream into the bottom of each. Divide lobster meat equally between ramekins, layering in a pinwheel pattern. Evenly coat top of lobster with one ounce of goat cheese. Finish gratin by filling remainder of each ramekin with chanterelles.

Bake in pre-heated 350-degree oven for approximately 8-10 minutes. Since lobster and chanterelles are pre-cooked, the dish just needs reheating to allow the goat cheese to melt and combine the lobster cream.

Using oven mitts, carefully invert ramekin onto warm plate and serve hot, with warm, crusty baguette.

Makes 3 individual 6-8 ounce gratins.

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