LOBSTER EGGS BENEDICT
1½ lbs whole live lobster
2 egg yolks
½ cup water
1 cup clarified butter (recipe below)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground white pepper
Bring a stockpot of water to a boil on high heat. Add lobster, cover pot with a lid and boil for 2-3 minutes. Transfer lobster to a platter and let cool. Remove meat from tails and claws. Cut meat into 1/4-inch dice.
In the top of a double boiler on medium heat (or in a bain-marie, which is a bowl set in a pan of very hot water), whisk together egg yolks and water until fluffy, light in colour and slightly thickened.
Place clarified butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat and warm it up. Slowly add clarified butter to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Fold in lobster meat. Stir in lemon juice, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Keep warm in the double boiler (or bain marie) while you poach eggs.
¼ tsp white vinegar
4 English muffins
1 recipe lobster hollandaise
4 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
1 cup mixed-herb salad (equal amounts of chervil, chives and parsley)
Fill a deep frying pan with an inch or two of water and bring to a rapid simmer on medium heat. Add vinegar. Break each egg into a cup then gently slip it into the simmering water, stirring water gently into a whirlpool to help shape egg into a neat oval. (The vinegar will also help the egg whites set.) Cook egg for about 3 minutes, until the white is no longer transparent. Use a slotted spoon to transfer poached egg to paper towels to drain. Repeat the process for each egg.
Slice English muffins in half, then toast lightly. Arrange two halves on each of four warmed plates. Place a poached egg on top of each muffin half. Stir chervil into the lobster hollandaise and spoon over each egg. Garnish with herb salad on the side.
2 cups butter, unsalted
Place butter in top of a double boiler over boiling water on medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, until it separates and milk solids appear. Skim off and discard any white foam that forms on the surface. Remove from stove and let cool for 10 minutes. Place in refrigerator until it hardens.
Use the handle of a serving spoon to make a small hole in the top of the hardened butter. Carefully pour away and discard water and milk solids.
Place clarified butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To use, melt as needed. Yields about 1½ cups.
How to save a split hollandaise sauce
"Rescue a split hollandaise by placing a teaspoon (or tablespoon, depending on the amount of sauce) of crushed ice on the surface of the hollandaise right along the bowl (metal works best). With a small whisk, stir the ice carefully in small circles (always in one direction) into the hollandaise until that one spot begins to emulsify again. Then start very slowly to make bigger and bigger circles, always waiting until the previous area is emulsified."
—Frank Pabst, Blue Water Café