Crispy Skin Steelhead with Poached Lobster, Braised Endive, Cauliflower and Speck Vinaigrette

  • serves 4

A gourmet dinner meal that will wow your guests.Courtesy of Chef Carmen Ingham for the Hawksworth Young Chefs Scholarship.

2 Ratings
Directions for: Crispy Skin Steelhead with Poached Lobster, Braised Endive, Cauliflower and Speck Vinaigrette


4 4-oz/112 g portions of steelhead, scales removed

1 16-oz/448 g Atlantic lobster

3 oz schinkenspeck (German ham-bacon), brunoise

1 Belgian endive

½ cauliflower

100 mL chicken stock

100 mL heavy cream

2 Tbsp creme fraiche

150 mL olive oil

50 mL red wine vinegar

30 mL white wine

15 g Dijon mustard

15 g honey

2 lemons

1 shallot

2 clove garlic

4 sprig thyme

2 scallions, green ends chiffonade

kosher salt, to taste

100 g butter

15 mL grapeseed oil

224 g pate a choux (optional; see note)


1. Bring a pot of water large enough to fit the lobster to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the lobster, letting it steep for 2 minutes. Remove the lobster, detach and reserve the tail, returning the rest back to the hot water for another 5 minutes. Using scissors cut through the soft bottom half of the shell and remove the tail meat. Remove the claws from the water and carefully crack them and remove the meat. Refrigerate the tail and claw meat and reserve the body for making stock. Add the tail and claw shells to a small pot with the olive oil and infuse on low heat for 1 hour, with the zest of 1 lemon and 1 crushed clove of garlic.

2. Season the Steelhead with kosher salt on the skin side only, and refrigerate flesh side down.

3. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, add half to a small pot with 100mL water, cream, creme fraiche, and a sprig of thyme. Simmer until the cauliflower is fully cooked and most moisture has reduced, then remove the thyme and blend on high speed for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, strain through a fine mesh chinoise, and reserve. Put a small saute pan on high heat, lightly coated with grapeseed oil. Add a tablespoon of butter, when the butter has foamed and the foam has subsided, immediately add the remaining cauliflower, shaking the pan to ensure even browning. Add the remaining clove of garlic and sprig of thyme, and season lightly with kosher salt. Remove the cauliflower from the heat and reserve, discarding the garlic and thyme.

4. Cut the endive into quarters lengthwise and sautee lightly with a tablespoon of butter. Season lightly with kosher salt, add the chicken stock, garlic clove, thyme, lemon zest, and juice of one lemon, and simmer on low heat until tender.

5. Saute the Schinkenspeck on medium heat. When it has turned golden brown, add the red wine vinegar, honey, and dijon, and stir to emulsify. Strain the infused olive oil through a fine mesh chinoise and add to complete the vinaigrette and reserve.

6. In a small pot, reduce the white wine with a tablespoon of water and a sprig of thyme and lemon zest until the pot is almost dry, then discard the thyme and zest. Remove the pot from the heat and quickly whisk in 80g of butter one small knob at a time to make a beurre blanc, adding the remaining lemon juice at the end. Vacuum seal the reserved lobster meat with the beuure blanc and poach sous vide with an immersion circulator at 60 degrees celcius. Alternatively, add the reserved lobster meat to the beurre blanc pot and poach on very low heat until fully cooked, about 6 minutes.

7. While the lobster is cooking place a pan on high heat and coat with grapeseed oil. Using a knife, scrape the skin of the steelhead to remove as mush moisture as possible and pat it dry with paper towel. Season the flesh, and cook skin side down until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crispy. Heat the cauliflower puree, vinaigrette, endive and cauliflower florets. Remove the Steelhead pan from the heat and flip the fish over to finish cooking it. And arrange all components on heated plates as desired, garnishing with scallions.

8. *Note: Pate a choux, also known as choux pastry, is a dough that when poached and then sauteed, becomes Parisienne gnocci. Using a piping bag, add 1.5cm wide tubes of dough into simmering water and poach for 2 minutes. Remove and when cooled, cut into 1.5cm long pieces. Sautee with butter until golden brown and serve immediately.

See more: Fish, Seafood, Vegetables, Dinner, Gourmet

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