Monday, 16 February 2015

Lobster Mayonnaise (or Langoustine Mayonnaise)

A beautiful accompaniment to butter-poached lobster, langoustines, or prawns for a special occasion...

This will make a whole batch of mayonnaise, so not only can you enjoy it with lobster, you'll have plenty left over that you can enjoy in other ways - whether you mix in some juicy fresh prawns or crabmeat and top halved avocados, or have in a baguette, have as a topping for jacket potatoes, or even mix a spoonful into eggs for a tasty rich omelette...

It's no different to making 'normal' mayonnaise (which I think is actually quite easy), you just flavour the oil first - my recipe for lobster oil is here and just takes 20 minutes plus cooling down time.

My preference is to make mayonnaise in a bowl with a whisk by hand, as I've never had a fail that way, it only takes a few minutes and you can see that the egg yolks are emulsifying as you go - however I've included videos for making it with a normal food processor or a Thermomix.

If you'd like to make it with an ordinary food processor, then I recommend you use this method, as demonstrated by Gordon Ramsay:

And if you would like to make it using a Thermomix, then there is a method here - plus if you put something in your Measuring Cup, it will help to weight it down while you pour the oil in, ensuring an even flow.

So, having decided how you'd like to make it, here are the ingredients, and my method!

Remember this recipe contains raw egg, so make sure your eggs are from a reputable source (Lion Brand, if possible), and not to serve it to anyone who may be immune compromised, e.g. pregnant women, children, the elderly etc.

  • 3 medium egg yolks (at room temperature - approximately 50-70g)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of dijon mustard (at room temperature)
  • 300 ml lobster oil (at room temperature)
  • Lemon juice (of half to one lemon, to taste)
  • Fine sea salt to taste (up to 1 tsp)

(See above video links if you wish to use a food processor or Thermomix - add the egg yolks and mustard and mix first, then slowly drizzle in the oil, and add the lemon juice and salt at the end, to taste)

1. Before starting, it is best to make sure that your ingredients are all 'room temperature', to avoid your mayonnaise not emulsifying (i.e. splitting although this is not the end of the world and can be rescued - see tips at the end).

2. Whisk together the egg yolks and mustard first, until smooth, in a medium-sized bowl.

3. Whilst continuing to whisk, very slowly add the oil in a thin drizzle (or get someone to help you!), making sure that it is mixing in evenly - you may need to stop drizzling it in now and then, to make sure you're mixing it all in properly.

4. Continue until all of the oil is mixed in and you have a thick and glossy mayonnaise.

5. Add up to one level teaspoon of salt (to taste) and whisk in the juice of half to one lemon to taste (whisk in half, then taste and add more if desired).

6. Serve with butter poached lobster, and fresh chives or tarragon scattered over it. Store the remainder chilled in the fridge.

Rescuing split mayonnaise using another egg yolk...
 If your mayonnaise looks really runny, and then separates into a split mess that looks like oil with scrambled egg floating in it... don't panic. It is easy to rescue. In fact, if it happens for a second time, you can rescue it again - all is not lost! I'd suggest if you have a second fail in your food processor or Thermomix, you're doing something consistently wrong, and I'd recommend trying to rescue again by hand, using a bowl and whisk (as in the photo on the right).

All you need to do is pour your split mayonnaise back into a jug, clean out the bowl or food processor, and then start again using one egg yolk with 1/2 a teaspoon of mustard whisked into it. It might be useful to get someone to help you, pouring while you whisk. Very slowly pour your split mayo onto your new egg yolk, and whisk it in vigourously as you go, making sure it's emulsified (as in the bowl on the right). You should find that doing this manually prevents a failure, as you can see what you're doing, and control the speed of your whisking to make sure you incorporate the split mix as you go.

Butter poached lobster served with lobster mayonnaise, pan-cooked asparagus, a watercress and grapefruit salad and crostini... the full recipes are here!

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