Recipe: Better Surf and Turf
"I do a little surfing and turfing in my cooking," Chef Stone says. "When it's done right, it's delicious." One of his favorite examples isn't the old-school steak-and-lobster deal you might expect. Chef Stone opts for something a little more subtle. Skip the filet mignon and just add bacon marmalade for the turf, he says. "While lobster is always a showstopper, the corn butter holds its own. Sweet, creamy, and lighter than straight butter, it’s unlike anything you’ve tried." He adds, "This dish is also sensational with colossal shrimp standing in for the lobster."
Barbecued Lobster with Sweet Corn Butter and Bacon Marmalade
- 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 4 large ears yellow corn)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 115g salted butter, cut into 2cm pieces and softened
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 live Maine lobsters (700g each)
- About 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large ears yellow corn, husked and cut in half
- Kosher salt?
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Note: The corn butter can be made up to 1 day ahead, and the bacon marmalade can be made up to 5 days ahead. Cover them separately and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before using. The lobsters can be prepared through step 6 up to 6 hours ahead, covered and refrigerated.
To make the corn butter:
- Run the corn kernels through an electric juicer to extract the corn juice; discard the solids. You should get at least 1 1/2 cups of corn juice. Or, if you don’t have a juicer, puree the kernels in a blender. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract all the juice.
- In a small, heavy nonaluminum saucepan, bring the corn juice to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency. (The natural starch in the corn will cause the juice to thicken.) Transfer to a small bowl.
- Whisk the thyme into the corn juice. Whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time. Press a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface of the butter and let cool to room temperature.
To make the bacon marmalade:
- Heat a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until it is nearly crisp.
- Add the shallots and thyme and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the shallots are tender. Add the vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add the sherry and cook for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.
- Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool slightly, then stir in the extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
To cook the lobsters:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 lobster and immediately turn off the heat. Let the lobster cook gently in the hot water for 3 minutes. The lobster will be medium-rare at this point, which is what you want, since it will be grilled later. Remove the lobster from the hot water and immediately place it in a large bowl of ice water to cool. Repeat with the remaining 5 lobsters, returning the water to a boil before placing each lobster in the water. Once they are cool, drain the lobsters.
- Remove the claws from the lobsters. Using a very sharp chef’s knife, cut the lobster bodies lengthwise in half; remove and discard the intestines.
To barbecue the lobsters:
- Prepare a barbecue for high cooking over direct heat.
- Brush the lobster tail meat generously with some of the corn butter. Barbecue the lobster halves, cut side down, with the claws for about 4 minutes, or until char marks appear on the meat, then turn over the lobster halves and claws and cook for about 2 minutes longer, until cooked through. Meanwhile, lightly oil the corn, season it with salt, and barbecue for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until slightly charred.