Valentine’s Day Dinner, Part 2 ~ Lobster Ravioli with Warm Lobster Vinaigrette

The second ravioli course that we made for our romantic Valentine’s Day dinner was lobster ravioli with warm lobster vinaigrette. The recipe is from the chef at Corton restaurant in New York City, so it was our second stop on our virtual trip to NYC. I could almost see Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan on top of the Empire State Building in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. 😉

The spices in the vinaigrette are a truly unique combination, and I would have never thought to put them together myself. It has a lot of Asian elements along with French and Indian. I found what I needed at Market Spice in Pike Place Market, which is always an adventure! If they don’t have a spice, I likely won’t find it in Seattle.

I followed the recipe closely, and I would highly recommend it for a special occasion. It is time consuming, but we thought it was well worth it. It made us appreciate what high end restaurants go through for one dish :).

Lobster Ravioli with Warm Lobster Vinaigrette

From Corton chef Paul Liebrandt

1 (1 1/2 pound) lobster

1 cup white-wine vinegar

1 cup dry white wine

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

10 black peppercorns

1/2 lemon, sliced

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Pinch of madras curry powder

1/2 large egg white

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 piece lemongrass, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

8 kaffir lime leaves

6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 star anise

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Pinch of espelette pepper

Pasta Dough (recipe follows)

All-purpose flour, for work surface (or ’00’)

1 large egg yolk, beaten

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Fill a large pot with 32 cups water. Add vinegar, white wine, carrots, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and lemon; bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Add lobster headfirst. Cook for three minutes. Remove lobster from pot and remove claws. Return claws to pot and continue to cook 8 minutes more. Immediately transfer lobster to ice-water bath to cool; drain.

Remove meat from lobster, reserving shells. Cut lobster meat into 1/4-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add curry powder and egg white; stir to combine. Using a teaspoon, form twelve 1-inch balls of lobster mixture and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; transfer to refrigerator uncovered, until well chilled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Chop reserved shells into equal size pieces. Place olive oil and chopped shells in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until liquid has evaporated from shells. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until shells are bright red, but not sizzling, about 10 minutes. Add lemongrass, shallot, kaffir lime leaves, cardamom, ginger, and star anise. Increase heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Add enough water to just cover; cook until liquid is reduced by two-thirds, stirring occasionally.

Strain mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down on solids to release liquids. Discard solids and return liquid to skillet. Cook over low heat until liquid is reduced and slightly syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and esplette; vinaigrette will look broken. Keep warm.

Set the rollers of a hand-crank or electric pasta machine at their widest opening. Unwrap dough; flatten with the palms of your hands and run it once through the machine. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter and run through the machine again.

Now change the rollers of the pasta machine to the next decreasing setting; roll dough through machine twice. Keep rolling the sheet through the machine two times on each decreasing setting until you have rolled it through the last (thinnest) setting.

Cut sheet in half crosswise and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out 24 rounds of pasta, covering cut pasta with plastic wrap as you work.

Working with 2 pasta rounds at a time (and keeping remaining pieces covered while working), brush 1 round with egg yolk and place 1 ball of lobster filling in the center. Lay second round directly on top and press edges together to seal. Repeat process with remaining pasta rounds and filling.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Add raviolis, taking care not to overcrowd and working in batches if necessary, cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, rewarm vinaigrette, if necessary.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer ravioli to warm serving plates or bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and serve immediately.


Pasta Dough

From Corton chef Paul Liebrandt

(Makes enough for 12 (2-inch-round) raviolis)

3 large egg yolks

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons ’00’, flour plus more for work surface

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and eggs; add olive oil and whisk until slightly emulsified. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds. Add flour and pulse until a cohesive ball of dough forms, about 30 seconds.

Remove dough from food processor. Add a pinch of flour to work surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest in a cool place 2 hours before using.

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