The basics to good food are quality ingredients. It doesn’t matter where you’re cooking. If you start with lackluster produce, it won’t taste as good as the in-season varieties. Personally, I’m looking forward to my garden-fresh tomatoes as they start to ripen. We have green ones on the vine, and a few of the different cherry varieties are starting to produce dinner, but when those giant heirlooms start turning different shades of yellow, orange, and red I will be in my own personal culinary heaven. The best way to eat them is definitely fresh off the vine, and this lobster and heirloom salad is perfect for highlighting both ingredients.
Filmed at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, the following Top Chef alumni and culinary masters came together to discuss how real, fresh ingredients make a world of difference in their favorite recipes:
Tim Love (Dallas’ The Woodshed and The Lonesome Dove)
Hugh Acheson (Atlanta’s Empire State South, The National and Five and Ten/ Judge on BRAVO TV’s Top Chef )
Jonathan Waxman (NYC’s Barbuto)
Michel Nischan (Connecticut’s The Dressing Room/Wholesome Wave CEO)
Be sure to head to Hellmann’s Facebook Page for weekly sweepstakes and a chance to win a trip to next year’s Food and Wine Festival in Aspen!
Chef Hugh Acheson’s Lobster, Heirloom Tomato, Petite Mustard Greens, Field Peas with Lemon & Urfa Chile Hellmann’s Dressing
1 lemon, sliced in half
1 tablespoon old bay
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 one and a half pound lobsters, live and kicking
2 tablespoons minced bacon
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 bay leaf
½ cup field peas
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 ½ pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons urfa chile
¾ cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1 x 50-count container of petite karate mustard greens
1 x 50-count container of petite red ruffled mustard greens
The mustard greens can be ordered from Chef’s Garden if unavailable in Aspen. I like Karate, Red Ruffled and Firestreak as varietals.
The field peas should be fresh and I will cook there. If you have problems sourcing, I can ship them. I won’t need many.
Urfa chile is a smoky Turkish crushed chile. If you can’t find it, let me know… I can ship that as well.
The tomatoes can be whatever, just a good colorful mix.
Bring two gallons of water to a vigorous boil and add the lemon, the old bay and one teaspoon of the salt. Add the lobsters and cook for six minutes and then remove the lobsters to a large ice bath. When they are cool, pull off the claws and the tail. Cut the tail in half lengthwise and pull out the meat. Crack the claws and the knuckles and get the meat from there. Lightly rinse the meat to remove the albumen (white stuff that exudes from the meat). Reserve the meat and set aside the lobster bodies for a stock or bisque.
Cook the field peas by warming a small pot on the stove over medium heat. When the pot is warm add the bacon and let it cook for two minutes. Add the shallot and cook for one and a half more minutes and then add the chicken stock, peas, and the bay leaf. Cook for 25 minutes
or until the peas are just tender. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and set the peas aside in their cooking liquid while you assemble the rest of the salad.
Core the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes into 1 inch pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl and season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Let them sit for ten minutes at room temperature and then add two tablespoons of olive oil, the one tablespoon of red wine vinegar and one teaspoon of
Urfa chile. Strain the field peas and add them to the tomatoes. Toss well and continue to let it hang out at room temperature.
Combine the ¾ cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise with the lemon zest, lemon juice, the remaining ½ teaspoon urfa chile, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and the crème fraiche.
To finish the salad, place a tablespoon of the lemon-Urfa Hellmann’s on each plate and spread in a circle or a rectangle with a small offset spatula. Cut up the lobster into bite sized pieces and arrange in a random pattern on the plate. Take a spoon and spoon the tomatoes and beans
around the plate. Dot the plate with mustard greens and serve.
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