Friday, June 18, 2010

Vanilla-Butter Poached Lobster Tails and Watercress Parsley Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Well, they always say to save the best for last and that is exactly what I have done in my GULF COAST SEAFOOD WEEK recipes. Absolutely succulent, sweet southern spiny lobster tails slow poached in butter that has been scented with vanilla beans and fresh tarragon cooked to perfection. Adorned with a peppery salad of watercress, the freshness of flat leaf parsley and the cool crispness of cucumber all lightly dressed in a vanilla-butter citrus vinaigrette that will knock your socks off. Please, please prepare this dish using our delicious spiny lobster tails and fresh produce and help support the gulf coast states through our trials by oil. Our seafood is still safe, healthy and delicious and we are open for business. Come on down! I hope you enjoy.

Vanilla-Butter Poached Lobster Tails and Watercress Parsley Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette


1 lb. unsalted butter
2 large vanilla beans
2 or 3 sprigs tarragon
6 medium spiny lobster tails in the shell (about 5 ounces each with shell)
1 Tbsp. orange zest, grated 
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. lime zest, grated
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. vanilla-butter, reserved after poaching
2 cups watercress
2 cups flat leaf parsley
2 cups cucumber, seeded and diced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 250'

Place the butter in a shallow casserole dish that will hold all six lobster tails. Place in oven to melt the butter. When the butter has melted, skim some of the solids off and discard. This will give you an almost completely clarified butter. Split the vanilla beans with a sharp paring knife and run the back of the blade down the bean to scrape out the tiny vanilla seeds. Place the seeds and the beans into the melted butter along with the sprigs of fresh tarragon and return to oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and place lobster tails in the butter, flat side down and return to oven and poach in butter for between 12 and 15 minutes. Turn tails over with shell side down and continue to poach for another 12 to 15 minutes or until the lobster meat appears translucent. Remove from oven and reserve tails on a plate to cool to room temperature.

While the lobster is cooling prepare the citrus vinaigrette by combining the zests, juices, white wine vinegar and olive oil with a whisk. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of the vanilla-butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Place the watercress, parsley and cucumber in a large bowl. Lightly dress salad with the vinaigrette or to taste.

Remove lobster meat from shell. Reserve shell for use later. Carefully slice lobster meat and arrange across about one cup of the dressed salad per person. Garnish with additional vinaigrette if desired.

Don't throw out the vanilla-butter that is left. Most of it will be left and it can be fortified with even more flavor and kept either refrigerated for two weeks or frozen for about one month. To fortify place the lobster shells, a few more sprigs of tarragon and about a 4" length of orange zest into the vanilla-butter. Return to the 250' oven and let simmer for about one hour. Remove from oven, cool and strain through cheesecloth. Discard solids. Place the butter in a clean container and refrigerate until solid again. The fortified butter can be refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up to one month.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254.9
Total Fat 15.6 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.6 g
Cholesterol 125.9 mg
Sodium 338.9 mg
Potassium 274.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Sugars 2.0 g
Protein 21.6 g

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