We're ringing in the month of May with Marc Forgione's recipe for one of his signature "multicomponent masterpieces" from our Top Pick in Cookbooks, Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories from the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant. The acclaimed New York chef and star of "Iron Chef America" offers a lineup of his most spectacular dishes alongside details of his rise in the culinary world and the challenges he faced along the way. Are you ready to take Forgione's dare to become fearless in the kitchen? Then roll up your sleeves and take on this Chili Lobster + Texas Toast.
CHILI LOBSTER + TEXAS TOAST
This has become a dish that, along with the Chicken Under a Brick (see page 213), we’ve sort of become known for. But it didn’t become wildly popular until Sam Sifton, the dining critic for the New York Times at the time, wrote his review of the restaurant, devoting a whole paragraph to Chili Lobster, and adding it to his list of recommended dishes. After that, Chili Lobster got on everyone’s radar and has since remained one of our most popular offerings on the menu. On any given night, we go through anywhere from 30 to 50 lobsters, and when you’re doing 130 covers, 30 to 50 is quite a big chunk!
- 4 (1½-pound) lobsters
- 2 cups Lobster Stock (see page 385) or store-bought
- ¼ cup sriracha
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 6 ounces (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- Juice of 2 limes
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 4 thick slices brioche or sourdough bread
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons sliced scallions, green parts only, soaked in ice water
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove the tails from the lobster bodies and cut the tails into 1-inch pieces while they are still in their shells. Remove the claws and place them in the pot of boiling water. Simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer the claws to an ice bath. Once cool, remove the meat from the claws and knuckles and set the meat aside. (See page 134 for instructions.)
2. Bring the Lobster Stock to a simmer and add the sriracha and soy sauce. Piece by piece, using a hand blender or a whisk, whisk in 6 tablespoons of the butter until emulsified. Finish with the lime juice and season with salt. This sauce may seem too spicy at first but the sweetness from the lobster will help balance it out.
3. Season the lobster tails with salt on both sides. In a wok or a large sauté pan set over high heat, heat just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Just before it starts to smoke, add the lobster tails, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 1 minute, undisturbed. Add the ginger and onion and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the lobster stock emulsion and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 1 more minute or until the lobster is cooked through. Remove the lobster meat from the sauce and distribute it among 4 plates.
4. Add the claw and knuckle meat and reduce the remaining sauce until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. While the sauce is reducing, butter the bread slices with the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and season with salt and pepper. Cut each bread slice diagonally—you should wind up with 8 triangular slices. Toast the bread in a toaster oven until toasted and golden brown.
5. Taste the lobster sauce and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Add the claw and knuckle meat to each bowl. Finish with the mint chiffonade and sliced scallions. Divide the sauce evenly among the four bowls and serve the lobster with Texas toast on the side—you will want it all to mop up the sauce afterward.
MAKES ABOUT 4½ CUPS
This recipe will also work to make crab or shrimp stock; just substitute the respective shells for the lobster shells.
- Canola oil, for the pan
- 1 pound lobster heads, feathers removed
- ¼ cup chopped onions
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup chopped fennel
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 1 fresh or ½ dried bay leaf
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF; position the rack in the middle. Add enough oil to a roasting pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the lobster heads and toss to coat them in the oil. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the bones are well caramelized.
2. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Crush the bones with a wooden spoon. Add the onions, celery, and fennel, and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato paste, and then add the wine and 4 cups of cold water.
3. Transfer everything to a large stockpot set over medium heat, and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat, add the thyme, tarragon, and bay leaf, and allow the stock to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and let cool slightly. Transfer to an airtight container or containers and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. The stock will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.