Stephen Kalt's Lobster Gnocchi Parisienne
Two large bowls
Large sautee pan
Medium to large sauce pot or rondeau
Small sauce pot
Ingredients for the Gnocchi
2 live lobsters, 1 ½ pounds each
1 cup AP (All Purpose) flour
1/2 cup Mascarpone
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Chive
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Tarragon
1-2 tsp Salt, to taste
½ tsp. ground white Pepper
½ cup frozen peas or ½ cup fresh English peas, blanched in salted water until tender (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Fill a large container or bowl half way with ice.
Break the lobsters apart, separating the claws from the body and then the tail. Break open the bodies and separate the center piece with legs and gills from the outer shell. Discard the shell. Pull all of the grey gill material away from the sides of the body of the lobster and discard. Cut the remaining lobster body into four pieces, place in a container and refrigerate, reserving for making the sauce.
Place the tails and claws in the boiling water.
Add water to the ice in the bowl to cover.
Remove the tails after 2 minutes and place in the ice. Remove the claws after 4 minutes and place in the ice water. After 4-5 minutes, break the tails open and remove the meat. Crack the claws open and remove the meat. Cut the thin, darl part of the claw off and discard.
Place the lobster meat into a food processor. Gently pulse and process the meat until just pureed. Scrape the bowl and place the pureed lobster meat into a stainless bowl.
Add mascarpone, the mixture of chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Incorporate all of the ingredients completely. Add half a cup of AP flour and gently fold the flour in to the mixture, incorporating completely.
Start a pot of salted water and begin to bring to a boil.
Place the sticky lobster mixture on a flat work table. Sprinkle flour, an ounce or two
at a time, onto the lobster mixture. Using a dough scraper, fold the mixture in half.
Sprinkle a little more flour. Fold the mixture again and gently press the mixture, evening out the thickness. Keep doing the same thing until the texture is soft and supple and no longer sticky. Soft and a bit moist is important. Gnocchi means pillow.
Use your hands and create a square of dough about 2 inches thick. Using the dough scraper, cut a strip of dough about 1 ½ inch thick.
Pull the strip away from the main section and sprinkle with flour. Gently roll the strip of dough with both hands
against the surface of the table into a long, rounded tube. Keep the tubs as even as possible.
Tip: If it seems too sticky, add a little more flour. It should lengthen and end up about one inch in diameter.
Cut pieces of the strip about 1 inch thick, creating the gnocchi. Place the pieces of gnocchi on a sheet pan with a piece of parchment that is floured.
Again, fill a large pot with water and add enough salt to make it taste a bit salty once it is hot. Bring the water to a boil. Have an ice bath nearby again. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and gently swirl the water with a large spoon so the gnocchi circulates.
The gnocchi will come to the surface in about 2-3 minutes. When they have all risen, remove them with a slotted spoon or pour into a colander.
Place them in an ice bath to chill. Keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
For the Sauce
Lobster bodies from the lobsters above
4 whole shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2nTbsp. tomato paste
2-3 oz. Port
2-3 oz. Cognac
1 quart water
1 1/2 oz. AP flour
2 oz. olive oil
2 oz. heavy cream
2 oz. butter
Heat a medium sauce pot or rondeau over a low flame for 4-5 minutes.
Add the olive oil and raise the flame to high. When the oil starts to smoke, add the raw pieces of lobster bodies. Allow the bodies to sear for 2 minutes and reduce the flame to low.
Turn the lobster pieces over to the uncooked side.
Add the shallots, fennel seeds, and one ounce of butter. In 4-5 minutes, turn the lobster pieces again along with the shallots.
Tip: We are looking for everything to lightly brown.
Once everything browns a bit, another 5-10 minutes with the flame on low, add the tomato paste and mix well so the paste coats everything and even starts to brown a bit on the bottom of the pan, 5-10 minutes longer.
Turn the flame back up to high, stand away from the pan a bit, and add the cognac. BE CAREFUL. It can flame up. When the cognac reduces to almost nothing, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and add the port.
Turn the flame back down to low. Add the flour and mix well. Add the water.
Bring the water to a boil over a high flame and then lower the flame. Allow the mixture to cook on low for 45 minutes, one hour maximum.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. It should have the consistency of heavy cream. Place the strained sauce into a small sauce pot.
Add the heavy cream, bring to a boil, and lower the flame.
Whisk in the remaining butter, season with salt and pepper to taste.
4 ounces butter
1 TBSP. each of chopped fresh chive, parsley, and tarragon, mixed
Heat a large skillet over medium flame for 2 minutes. Add the butter. When the butter melts and starts foam, add the chilled gnocchi.
Allow the gnocchi to lightly brown on one side and turn them, again allowing them to lightly brown.
Add the peas (optional) and allow them to warm for 60 seconds
Spoon the browned gnocchi onto 4 plates. Spoon the finished sauce over the gnocchi and garnish liberally with the chopped fresh herbs.
Chef Kalt’s Lobster Gnocchi is so
divine and oh so rich, that a
glass of Riesling will pair nicely
with this dish.