A few months ago we had a wonderful dinner at Combal.Zero** near Turin (Italy). My favorite dish of the evening was lobster carpaccio with gorgonzola sauce. It was such a surprising combination that I wanted to try to make something similar myself. The result was pretty good, although it was not as good at Combal. I know that Davide Scabin does a lot of experimenting to get a dish just right, so it was to be expected that my first try would not be as good. Unlike Davide, I served the claws with the dish and they were cooked. I noticed that the gorgonzola sauce also tasted great with the cooked lobster claws, so this sauce is even a good idea if you prefer cooked lobster.
Since the lobster is alive until just before you eat it, there should not be any issue with eating the lobster meat raw. You can keep a live lobster in your refrigerator up to a day if you cover it with a damp cloth.
For 2 servings
1 medium live lobster (about 600-700 grams or 1 1/2 pound)
For the gorgonzola sauce (enough for 4-6 servings)
250 ml (1 cup) milk
15 grams (1 Tbsp) flour
15 grams (1 Tbsp) butter
100 grams (4 oz) gorgonzola piccante
pinch of white pepper
2 Tbsp dry white wine
Start the sauce by making a bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Off the heat, add the flour.
Stir to make a roux.
Cook over low heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then.
Meanwhile, heat the milk (in the microwave) until hot but not boiling.
Add the hot milk all at once to the roux and whisk quickly to avoid lumps. Let the bechamel cook gently for a few minutes and keep stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
Add the gorgonzola, crumbled or cut into pieces, and stir to let it melt.
Add the white wine and stir some more.
Let the sauce cool to room temperature, with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the lobster head first (if you like you can kill the lobster first by thrusting a knife through its brain, but it will also be killed almost instantly by the boiling water) and boil it for 30 seconds only. This is only to kill the lobster and make it easier to get the lobster tail out of the shell; we are trying to keep it as raw as possible.
Remove the lobster from the boiling water with tongs and plunge it into ice water to let it cool rapidly.
This is just a gratuitous lobster shot for my Irish friend.
Twist off the tail and the claws. If you like you can also twist off the small legs since they do contain very sweet meat that you can extract by using a rolling pin. Discard the head, or use it to make lobster bisque.
Cut open the belly of the tail with scissors.
Now you should be able to peel off the shell with your hands.
The result will be a raw lobster tail. Put it in the freezer, covered in plastic wrap, for 10 minutes or so to make it easier to slice it thinly, but make sure it won’t freeze!
I thought it would be nice to try and cook the claws sous-vide in the shell. The claws have some very sharp bits however, that would puncture the vacuum pouch.
So cut those off first with a big chef knife (feel with your fingers where the sharp bits are).
Now you can safely vacuum seal the claws in a pouch. Cook sous-vide for 1 hour at 60C/140F.
You could also throw the claws back into the boiling water for 6 minutes or so to cook them.
Slice the lobster tail into slices as thin as you can get them with a sharp knife. The thinner, the more tender the lobster will be.
Arrange the lobster carpaccio on two plates.
Serve with some of the gorgonzola sauce and a claw.
At Combal.Zero this was served with a wonderful unoaked viognier from Piemonte. Since I didn’t have any viognier on hand, we tried it with a nice chardonnay and that was also great. I would recommend a riper style chardonnay from the south of France, Italy or Chile (rather than a white burgundy, which would be too dry) to accompany the blue cheese.