Lobster, Artichoke and Chanterelles

On this 10th day of November, we had to celebrate an important event and Champagne was on the menu. To go with it, I decided to a cook a lobster with artichokes and chanterelles, served with a relatively sophisticated sauce made from the lobster head as well as the cooking juice of my vegetables. This recipe was originally and partly inspired by multi-starred chef Alain Ducasse, but I largely improvised with my available ingredients (Ducasse’s recipe calls for black truffle, truffle juice...). Here are the different steps I followed: 

1. Lobster
- This recipe is for small, individual-portion lobsters
- Poach the lobsters in simple boiling water for 2 minutes 
- Separate the head, the tail and the claw, ensuring to recuperate separately the tomalley/coral in the head and and all the water rendered and keep it preciously in the fridge 
- Poach the claws 2 more minutes (keep the poaching water) 
- Reserve the claws and the tail, and use the head for the sauce 

2. Sauce 
- Remove the sand pocket and the gils in the head, 
- Crush the head and the little legs in a pan and sear them in neutral oil with shallots, carrots, celery, herbs and spices (as I had very fresh turmeric root, I add some !) , flambé (Armagnac, or Cognac, Bourbon…) 
- Add the water rendered by the lobster, add some poaching water to cover the whole, and simmer/boil for 30/45 minutes (do not salt, as the broth is naturally salted and it will considerably reduce) 
- Mix the whole in a blender, strain, and put the broth obtained to boil to further reduce 
- When reduce by around 75% (you should have 1 cup maximum), let cool down, add the tomalley/coral, a tsp. of tomato paste, stir it up and let simmer for 5 minutes. If need be, blend the sauce in a mixer or with an immersion blender to give it a creamy texture 
- Adjust the sauce seasoning, salt, pepper or piment d’Espelette… 
- Keep on a warm spot 

3. Vegetables
- « Turn » the artichokes (it means removing the outside leaves, trimming and heheading it, removing the hay) and cut them in quarter, keeping them in lemony water to avoid oxidation 
- Sear them in neutral oil with the carrots cut in segments, chopped onion/shallot, celery, herbs (bay leaves, sage, cloves…) , deglaze with white wine and let stew, lid on, till the artichokes and carrots become tender but still a little crunchy. Strain, reserve the artichoke, carrot and the cooking juice
- Steamed the romanesco florets above the lobster poaching water 
- Heat the chanterelles cut in two halves (I took big chanterelles looking a bit like my artichoke) in an pan with no fat till they render their water, keep the water. Finish cooking the chanterelle in foamy butter 

4. Grand Finale 
- Cut the lobster tail in medalions and shell the claws 
- Heat up the medalions and the claws in the chanterelle butter, adding some butter if need be, and baste the lobster with this butter, for a couple of minutes maximum 
- Add the chanterelle rendered water, the chanterelle/lobster butter, the artichoke/carrot cooking juice to the lobster sauce, simmer 5 more minutes, add a tbsp. of cold water in small pieces and let it melt in the sauce to give it more brilliance 
- Plate the whole together… and pop up the Champagne!!!