We were planning on attending Diner en Blanc Chicago on Friday night, but MS had an awful cold and we couldn’t attend. I had purchased all the items for our planned picnic dinner the prior night (before he got sick), so I had all this food to use. We may not be attending Diner en Blanc, but nothing is stopping us from having a fabulous dinner at home.
I only made one minor change to the menu at home from the picnic menu – instead of serving the Filet cold, I decided to serve it hot off the grill. I made the Lobster Salad earlier in the day so it could properly chill and the flavors could fully meld.
Chilled Lobster Salad
Ingredients (for two servings as a co-entree)
- Two 5.5 ounce lobster tails – in shell
- 1 tablespoon of minced shallot
- ~3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons thinly sliced tarragon
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste
I ended up purchasing two 5.5 ounce lobster tails at the local grocery store. These tails were previously frozen but were completely thawed when I purchased them. I filled a pot with enough water to cover the lobster tails – with about 1.5 inches more water than I needed. While the water was coming to temperature, I rinsed the tails under cold water for about 30 seconds. Once the water came to a roaring boil, I dropped the lobster tails in and boiled them for about 5 minutes – in general I cook lobster about 1 minute per ounce. I usually am just cooking small tails, so I can’t confirm if this time works for whole lobsters though. The tails will curl, so if you want them to remain flat/straight, you should stick a wooden skewer through the tail (towards the top of the shell) – this will hinder the curling. Since I was planning on chopping the meat for a salad, I didn’t care if it curled up.
After about 5 minutes, I drained the water and tails into a colander and rinsed the now cooked tails with cool water. Once the tails were cool to the touch, I used kitchen shears to slice down both the top and bottom of the shells releasing the meat. Cut the tail meat into 1/2-1 inch cubes. Put these in the fridge and let them chill for a couple hours.
An hour or two before you want to serve this chilled salad, put the shallot and lemon juice into a small dish and let the flavors meld for 20-30 minutes. Whisk a dollop of mayo into this mixture and then mix this thinned out mayo mixture over the cubed chilled lobster meat. Mix in the tarragon.
Depending on how much you love mayo, you can either add more dollops of mayo into the mixture until it comes to the consistency that you like or you can leave it as is. I added another two tablespoons of mayo – purely personal preference.
Finally I mixed in some lemon pepper and kosher salt to taste. You can use fresh cracked black pepper too – but I really dig lemon pepper and don’t get a a chance to use it all that frequently.
When it comes to the Filet Mignon, I’m a traditionalist. With good quality meat (I picked up two 4 ounce Filets from the butcher counter) a little salt and pepper is all you need to make a great meal. I turned the gas (propane, not natural – I prefer the heat of propane vs natural gas) on high, dropped the lid and let the grill heat up to 500F. Once at temperature, I reduced the heat from high to medium high and placed the small steaks on direct heat. After about 2 minutes I turned the steaks 90 degress (so I could get the lovely grill marks). After another 90 seconds I flipped the meat.
You can’t cook a steak based on time – there are so many variables (starting temperature of the steak, temperature of the grill, thickness of the steaks). The only way to really know when the steaks are done is with an instant read digital thermometer. I pulled our steaks off before they hit 140F and let them rest for about 10 minutes on the cutting board before plating them.
I paired the steak and lobster with some grilled asparagus and some boiled new potatoes.
The lobster was quite tasty. This isn’t a meal I would cook every day, but it was a nice little treat for us. I would definitely cook this lobster again – it would be great on a long sandwich roll. I can’t enough enough of a refreshing lobster roll.
Do you do a surf and turf at home? Do you dig chilled lobster salads as much as I do? How do you cook lobster?