I recently heard about The Paper Chef and thought that it was an amazing idea. Basically: someone picks some random ingredients and you make up a dish including them. It’s like Iron Chef, only better because if you fail spectacularly, no one needs to know about it. Also, you don’t have the crazy “chairman” giving you the stink eye. Or maybe that makes it less awesome.
At any rate, the ingredients for this challenge were lobster, apricot, orange and ginger. I’d originally intended to make some kind of lobster burger with a fancy salsa, but I then realized that with a fancy salsa, a burger might be a bit much.
Instead, I opted to poach my lobster tail whole. I boiled some water for several minutes with quite a bit of finely grated ginger and salt. After about 10 minutes, I fished out the ginger with a spider, took the water down to a simmer, and added about 1/2 a cup of unsalted butter. I poached the tail for about 7 minutes (which was a bit too long; it was a small tail).
On top I served the salsa, which was composed of the following: chopped navel orange supremes, finely chopped dried apricot pieces that I’d soaked first in water with more ginger (hard to get fresh apricots in Edmonton in April), minced green onion, salt, and the juice of a key lime to cut the sweetness.
In the end, I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. I’ve never cooked a lobster (or any of its bits) for myself before, hence the overcooking. Still, it was really well seasoned and not so overcooked as to be inedible. And the salsa went really nicely with it! All the richness of the lobster and butter was very much helped by the lightness and freshness of the fruit. It could have used a little more ginger, but I used a lot of restraint because I do tend to overdo it with the ginger sometimes and I really didn’t want to wreck this dish. Grating a smidge into the salsa itself would have been nice.
With a few tweaks, I think I would actually serve this to people.