Maine Lobster Chef of the Year 2012, MacKenzie Arrington, shares his winning recipe!
image by Ted Axelrod
Ricotta Gnudi and Maine Lobster with Truffle, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Chervil
Chef Mackenzie Arrington, The Dutch, New York City
Ricotta gnudi, 8 portions
1 pound Maine lobster, claw knuckles
1 pint truffle cream sauce
4 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, roasted
8 pieces chervil
8 slices black truffle, shaved
Salt and pepper to taste
1 quart ricotta
2 Tablespoons truffle oil
Salt to taste
Aproximately 1 quart flour
1 pound lobster, claw knuckle meat
2 pounds butter
TRUFFLE CREAM SAUCE
1 quart heavy cream
3 shallots, minced
1 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon truffle trim
Salt and truffle oil to taste
METHOD – RICOTTA GNUDI
1. Remove the ricotta from the liquid and place into a large bowl. Whisk until all the curds are broken up and the ricotta is smooth.
2. Season heavily with salt, whisk and taste. Once you’ve reached the desired level of seasoning add truffle oil in while whisking until you can taste truffle but it is not overpowering.
3. Add in the eggs and whisk until they are fully incorporated.
4. Switch to a rubber spatula and add in a small handful of flour and fold in. You want to incorporate the flour with as minimal motion as possible not to over work the gluten. Add in flour until the mixture begins to form up and not stick to the sides of the bowl as easily.
5. Flour your work services and place the mixture onto the flour. Sprinkle with flour and work the remainder in by “chopping and folding” it with a bench scraper.
6. Once the mixture has started to bind and is still slightly tacky you are ready to go.
7. Work with small amounts at a time and keep the main mixture covered with plastic wrap so it does not dry out. First make a single size piece to test in water that is just under a boil to make sure all of the seasoning levels are correct and the mixture holds together.
8. Roll the portions out by hand in an outward motion on a floured surface to great one quarter width cylinder. Use the bench scraper or a knife to cut the “gnocchi” into 1-inch pieces. Place onto a well floured sheet tray and then sprinkle more flour over top to start the curing process. Let the gnudi “cure” for a few hours under refrigeration before use.
METHOD – MAINE LOBSTER
1. Cook your claw and knuckles in boiling water seasoned with salt and any other seasonings you wish to use. I personally enjoy fennel seed.
2. Cook for about 7 minutes.
3. Shock them in ice water and then remove them from the shell for the final preparation.
METHOD — TRUFFLE CREAM SAUCE
1. In a sauce pot heat a little oil and butter over medium low heat.
2. Add shallots and season with salt.
3. Once the shallots begin to break down and sweat they will become very aromatic and translucent. You do not want any color.
4. While you are doing this process have the cream in a separate pot over low heat reducing. You want to reduce the cream by 1/4 by the end of the sauce so this just gives you a bit of a jump start.
5. Deglaze the shallots with wine once they are translucent and let the wine reduce down till it is “dry.”
You will be left with very soft and aromatic shallots at this point.
6. Add the cream and finish out the reduction.
7. Once the cream has come to the desired reduction, transfer it into another pot or bain marie.
8. Season with salt and truffle oil and add in truffle trim.
9. Cover with plastic wrap and let steep for 20 mins.
10. Reserve warm if you are going to use it right away, if not cool as fast as possible and store cold.
METHOD – PRODUCTION/FINISHING
1. Have a large pot of heavily seasoned water just under a boil.
2. Place lobster claws and knuckles into warm brown butter or drawn butter and allow them to heat through while you are preparing the rest of the dish.
3. In a warm pan add a couple drops of oil and place your chanterelle mushrooms in. Once they start to get a little color on one side and start to release liquid flip them. Once the mushrooms are tender season with salt and toss a knob of butter into the pan, toss the mushrooms or baste them with the butter. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place them into the base of the bowl.
4. Drop your gnudi into the bubbling water for about 45 seconds or until they are “dancing” on the top of the water.
5. Use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer the gnudi into a pan with about 2 ounces of your sauce.
6. In a circular motion move the gnudi around in the pan to cover them but do not break them. This will also help thicken the sauce.
7. Remove the lobster from the butter with a slotted spoon and season with a sprinkle of sea salt.
8. Gently place your gnudi around the mushrooms in the bowl and reserve the sauce in the pan.
9. Place the lobster knuckle meat with the gnudi but try not to smash your hard work.
10. Spoon out the remainder of the sauce over the gnudi, lobster meat and mushrooms.
11. Finish by placing the claw meat and shaved truffle on top. Garnish with a nice piece or two of chervil.
12. Serve and smile.