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Poached Maine Lobster with Sautéed Foie Gras, Pink Pearl Apples & Pickled Mustard Seed Vinaigrette

Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, California, Robert Curry / November 2011

Executive Chef Robert Curry Auberge du Soleil Rutherford, California

For 4 servings

Pickled mustard seeds:
• 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup mustard seeds
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 1/2 tsps. salt

  1. Bring all ingredients and 1 cup water to a boil; reduce heat to medium-high; simmer until mustard seeds pop and are no longer crunchy (about 40 to 50 minutes; add extra water as necessary to ensure mustard seeds are just covered with liquid while cooking); remove from heat; cool; place in airtight container; cover; reserve.

Mustard seed vinaigrette:
• 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tsps. shallots, minced
• 2 tsps. chives, finely chopped
• 1 tsp. black sesame seeds, toasted
• 1 tsp. lime juice
• 1/2 tsp. white soy sauce
• black pepper, freshly ground

  1. Whisk all ingredients except pepper in a bowl; add 2 Tbsps. reserved pickled mustard seeds; season; whisk well; cover with plastic wrap; reserve.

Apple butter:
• 4 Jonathan apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
• 6 Tbsps. unsalted butter
• salt
• 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

  1. Place apples and butter in small saucepan set over low heat; season; cover with a lid; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft; remove from heat. 2. Place softened apples with any liquids in the bowl of a processor; add vinegar; process until smooth; season; place in airtight container; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

• salt
• 2 1 1/4 lbs. Maine lobsters
• black pepper, freshly ground
• 4 1 1/2 oz. slices duck foie gras, scored
• 1 Pink Pearl apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
• 2 slices brioche, cut into batons and toasted
• 2 Flambeau radishes, thinly sliced
• 12 mizuna leaves
• 1 bunch chives, finely chopped

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil; add lobsters; cook 5 minutes; place in ice water bath with tongs; cool completely; remove from water bath; remove tails; reserve claw and knuckle meat for another use; remove shells; discard; slice tails in half lengthwise; devein; slice each half into thirds; reserve.

  2. Season foie gras with salt and pepper; cook in sauté pan set over high heat until cooked through; place on paper towels to drain; reserve (keep warm).

  3. To serve, spoon a line of apple butter off center down each plate; season lobster tail meat; drizzle with reserved mustard seed vinaigrette; place 3 pieces lobster along apple butter; arrange 3 apple slices on each plate; place 2 brioche bâtons next to apples; lean foie gras on top of brioche; garnish plate with sliced radish and mizuna leaves; sprinkle foie gras with chives; drizzle vinaigrette around.

What to drink: Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs 1988 Chef's Note: This dish represented the 1980s in the menu I served in late August to commemorate Auberge de Soleil's 30th anniversary.