Every so often, I have come up with an idea that my chefs think is odd – until they taste it! This is one of them. Unfortunately, and naturally, not all lobsters are landed in perfect condition. Sometimes one of the large claws is missing or they are too big to serve whole. This recipe is perfect, because it calls for nice chunks of meat. You could put whatever vegetable you want on these kebabs, but I like the char of leeks with the lobster and herbs. It’s a perfect dish for a barbecue.
Lightly pickled lobster and leek kebabs
4 lobsters, 600-800g each
16 baby leeks, trimmed and washed
100ml white wine vinegar
finely pared zest of 1 lemon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
100ml olive oil
handful each of parsley, chives and mint
Cornish sea salt
lime wedges to serve
Place the lobsters in the freezer for an hour before cooking to put them to sleep.
Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Add the leeks and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove the leeks with a slotted spoon, drain, cool and set aside (keep the boiling water).
Take the lobsters out of the freezer and place them on a board. To kill them instantly, firmly insert the tip of a strong, sharp knife through the cross on the head. Twist and pull off the heads, claws and legs. Blanch the tails in the boiling water (used for the leeks) for 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Add the claws to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the meat from the tails and set aside. Drain the claws, crack them open and extract the meat.
To make the kebabs, you will need 8 short skewers. Cut the lobster tail into 2cm chunks and the claw meat into bite-sized pieces.
Thread the tail meat, baby leeks and claw meat alternately onto the skewers. Lay the kebabs in a shallow dish.
For the dressing, combine the wine vinegar, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Pour half of the dressing over the lobster kebabs, cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Light the barbecue or heat a non-stick char-grill pan. Finely chop the herbs, add to the remaining dressing and stir to combine.
When the barbecue or pan is hot, add the skewers and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve the skewers immediately, with some of the dressing spooned over and lime wedges.
Serve the rest of the herb dressing in a bowl on the side.
Extracted from Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (Quadrille, approx €17). Photography © David Loftus.