Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lobster Spring Roll with Curry Sauce

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Lobster Spring Roll with Curry Sauce
Serves: 4

Lobster spring roll with curry sauce
This is really much easier and quicker than you might think given the elegant presentation. Really – read on and you will see how simple it would be to serve to your family or at your next dinner party. It makes for a great appetizer or an elegant entrée. Importantly, it is best if made the day before and assembled on day of serving. That gives you that time to get other things ready for your meal. And, if you buy cooked lobster meat – there is no cooking in this recipe. How great on a hot day!

If you have never worked with rice paper, it is practically foolproof if you pull it out of the hot water on time.  If left too long, it will fall apart. Made from rice and tapioca flour, with no wheat products, consider including in a gluten-free diet. The circular wrappers are thin, brittle, and opaque and marked with a crosshatched pattern. Store in a well-sealed container out of direct sunlight for up to one year. One package contains approximately 35-40 pieces so you will have plenty to spare. It has a smooth and a rough side. When you roll, you should put the smooth side down.
Rice paper can be used for any kind of spring roll. 
Rice paper holds the roll together
You can use just about anything you’d like as a filling for spring rolls. Vegetables should be either lightly steamed or sautéed and sliced into thin slivers. Examples would be matchstick carrots, cucumber, red pepper and diagonally cut green onions. If you are using noodles, it works best to break them in half before cooking so they’re not too long. Fresh herbs are also wonderful.  I have used none of these in this spring roll, as I want to feature the wonderful lobster.  Cooked shrimp or small bay scallops could easily be substituted.

Personally, I have never been able to bring myself to cook a live lobster. Just cannot do it.  And it is easy to find frozen cooked wonderful Maine lobster at your fishmonger or grocer. This recipe will make more sauce than you will likely need. I used the sauce on grilled boneless chicken breasts the next night – or it would be great with a grilled fish or cut the sauce ingredients in half if you do not want leftovers.
  • 6-8 oz cooked Maine Lobster meat, cut into chunks
  • 1 Hawaiian papaya, chopped
  • 1 Mango, chopped
  • 6 Tb + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (divided)
  • 2 Tb chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rice Paper, about 8-9-inch diameter
  • 2 Tb Indian, yellow madras curry powder
  • 4 Tb cream sherry
  • 2 Tb honey
  • 1 C mayonnaise
  • 4 Tb sour cream
  • 4 Tb chopped Macadamia nuts
  • Black caviar – for garnish

Things to do the day before serving:
Cut 8 oz cooked Maine lobster into medium to large chunks. Gently mix in a bowl with 1 chopped Hawaiian papaya and 1 chopped Mango. Drizzle over with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  Mix gently, cover, and refrigerate. It is best if done 1 day ahead.
Scooping the seeds out of the papaya

Lobster, mango and papaya mixture
In a small pan, toast 2 Tb Indian yellow madras curry powder until fragrant. Add 4 Tb cream sherry, mix and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat and let it rest 10 minutes until it cools. Once cool, pour into a mixing bowl, add 6 Tb apple cider vinegar, 2 Tb honey, 1 C mayonnaise and 4 Tb sour cream. Mix, cover and when cool, refrigerate. This also is best done 1 day ahead.
Yellow curry
Things to do the day that it is served:
When ready to serve, add 2 Tb chopped cilantro to lobster filling. Mix gently but thoroughly.  Fill bowl, or pie plate, with warm water. Dip rice paper in warm water for about 3-4 seconds until rice paper becomes moistened with water. Carefully remove, place smooth side down, and quickly blot gently the remove excess water before adding your filling to rough side. If you have a tear or hole, toss the wrapper and begin again.  
Soaking the rice paper. Note the elegant hands of the blog publisher!
Fill and roll (like a burrito) one at a time before starting on your next spring roll. Layer the lobster filling on the edge of the wrapper closest to you, about 1/3 way from edge. Note that it is important to apply a little pressure, as you roll, to ensure that the roll is firm and tight. Very gently pull away the edge of the wrapper from work surface and roll over the filling. Slowly start to roll away from you and “tuck” in your filling toward you to keep the roll tight. Once at the “fattest” part of the rice paper, roll in the sides on the right and left. Finish the roll, smooth edges and set aside on a clean surface as you complete the remaining rolls. This can be done a couple of hours in advance of serving.
Making the roll.....

The finished product
 To serve as an entrée, put the curry sauce on a plate, place spring rolls on top, drizzle a little sauce over the roll and top with chopped Macadamia nuts and a dollop of black caviar. Pass additional sauce separately. 

If serving as an appetizer, using a sharp serrated knife, slice the spring roll in half, place on plate with a small dollop of sauce on top –to hold the caviar in place – sprinkle with nuts and serve with small container of sauce on the side for dipping. 
Served as an entree
In any setting, this dish is a showstopper. No one needs to know how simple it was to create unless you choose to divulge. I would only serve this with champagne…but that's just me. Any excuse for the bubbly. But, if not you’re favorite, try a viognier. And, most important, try making this. You will be amazed how quick and easy this comes together.

Bon Appetit!


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