Fred J. Maroon
Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Louisiana Crawfish, Lobster Mousseline & Potato Mousseline with Lobster Coral Sauce
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Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Louisiana Crawfish, Lobster Mousseline & Potato Mousseline with Lobster Coral Sauce

Jean-Louis Palladin, Fred J. Maroon, Jean-Louis: Cooking with the Seasons - February 19th, 2014

The third course from Jean-Louis Palladin's Spring Menu in Jean-Louis: Cooking with the Seasons.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup lobster mousseline
  • about 3 cups coarse salt for cooking potatoes for shells
  • 4 well-formed russet potatoes (9 to 10 oz. each)
  • 3 doz. active live crawfish, as large as possible (about 2 lbs.)

Potato mousseline:

  • 2 lg. russet potatoes (9 to 10 oz. each)
  • salt water (2 Tbsps. coarse salt mixed with 6 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tsps. chives, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp. lobster coral garnish

Prepare the lobster coral butter for the lobster coral sauce; refrigerate (this may be done several hours ahead).

Potato shells:

Heat oven to 400˚F. Cover the bottom of a 12” by 8” baking pan with 1/4” coarse salt. Wrap the 4 well-formed potatoes in aluminum foil and arrange on top of the salt. Bake until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When cool enough to handle, remove potatoes from pan, reserving pan of salt. With a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice off the top 1/3 of each potato; discard top portion. Using a sturdy teaspoon, scoop out the pulp to form shells with 1/4" thick sides and 1/2" thick bottoms, of each shell, using it all. Wrap the shells completely with aluminum foil and refrigerate (may be done several hours ahead).

Prepare the crawfish:

Steam and peel the crawfish.

To finish:

Heat oven to 400˚F. About 1 hour before serving time, make the potato mousseline as follows: peel the 2 potatoes and cut into 1” cubes; place in a large pot with the salt water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, finish the lobster coral sauce; set aside in a warm place until ready to reheat.

When the potatoes for the mousseline are cooked, drain and, while still piping hot, mash with the masher or ricer. Place in a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup of the cream, the butter and oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook over high heat just a few seconds until the butter melts and all ingredients are well blended, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Before removing from heat, thin if needed with a few more drops of cream (the mousseline should be quite stiff—just soft enough to be piped through a pastry bag nozzle; if in doubt, do not thin). Cover pan with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mousseline; set aside in a warm place.

Now place the reserved potato shells upright in the reserved pan of salt; use a fork to pierce once through top of the foil covering each shell. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes (the lobster mousseline should barely be cooked at this point). Remove pan from oven and set aside; leave oven set at 400˚F.

Meanwhile, add to the potato mousseline the chives and, if using, the lobster coral garnish; heat over medium heat just until warmed, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Spoon into the pastry bag.

Once the potato shells are out of the oven, unwrap shells and pipe the potato mousseline inside, using most if not all of it. Return shells, uncovered, to the 400˚F oven and bake just until mousseline is heated through, about 6 minutes. Warm the serving plates in the oven the last 2 to 3 minutes. When the potatoes have finished heating, remove pan from the oven, leaving potatoes in the pan; immediately reduce oven setting to 250˚F.

Reheat the crawfish in the 2 cups consommé over low heat just until warmed, about 7 minutes; do not let consommé reach a simmer.

To serve: Drain the warmed crawfish (use a slotted spoon) and arrange an equal portion on top of each potato; garnish with a sprinkle of chives and, if using, add dill sprigs and a light sprinkle of lobster coral garnish. Place the assembled potatoes on the heated serving plates; put plates, uncovered, in the 250˚F oven with the door ajar to keep warm while reheating the sauce.

To reheat sauce, cook over very high heat whisking constantly and briskly as before, just until the bright orange color is restored, 1 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and promptly spoon about 2 Tbsps. on each plate. Serve immediately.

Lobster coral sauce:

  • 1/4 lb. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 oz. raw lobster coral, fresh or thawed
  • 1/3 cup lobster consommé
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lobster coral butter:

Process the butter and lobster coral in a food processor until smooth and an even color. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours before using.

To finish the sauce:

Before proceeding, keep in mind that lobster coral curdles easily unless special care is taken during cooking. To avoid curdling, it’s important to use a heavy saucepan and to constantly very briskly whisk throughout the cooking process, even when the sauce is momentarily removed from the heat; be sure to scrape the pan bottom evenly as you whisk. If the sauce does curdle, strain it as directed below and continue cooking.

Now finish the sauce by placing chilled lobster coral butter in a small heavy saucepan and adding 1/3 cup of consommé. Cook, alternating between heating over very high heat for about 5 seconds then removing from heat for about 20 seconds (to prevent the coral from curdling and let the color develop), just until sauce is a bright salmon-orange, whisking constantly and very briskly; scrape the pan bottom evenly as you whisk. The cooking time will range from about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the intensity of the heat source and whether or not the sauce curdles and requires straining. As the sauce cooks, it will progress from its initial green color to an orange-brown and finally to the desired bright salmon-orange. (Note: During cooking, if the sauce thickens so much that whisking becomes markedly more difficult, promptly thin with more consommé and continue cooking. If the sauce starts to curdle, immediately remove from heat and without scraping pan bottom, quickly strain through chinois into another heavy saucepan, using the bottom of a sturdy ladle to force as much through as possible; then, if needed, thin with more consommé and continue cooking to the desired color.) Once finished, remove from heat and continue whisking 1 to 2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Find more recipes from Palladin's Spring: Menu Two: