Wulf's Kitchen: Lobster Salad with Chilled Corn Soup
Summertime is upon us and we are fielding countless requests for new lobster recipes. Here I’ve included one of my favorite corn soup recipes as a backdrop for lobster salad. I love this recipe because it can be served warm on a cold and rainy summer night, or as a chilled summer soup at your next brunch party.
There is something about the sweetness of the corn, the tenderness of the lobster, and the richness of the butter that brings it all together. Each dish can be enjoyed separately, but I promise the pairing of the two won’t disappoint.
Recipe by: Chef Jose Maldonado.
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For the corn soup
- 8 cobs (6 cups) of shucked corn
- 2 small onions sliced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of salted butter
- 11/2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 ⅛ cups of whole milk
For the Lobster Salad
- 8 ounces of Wulf’s lobster claw and knuckle meat
- 1 lb of salted butter
- 2 tbsp celery (small dice)
- 2 tbsp of cut cucumber (small dice)
- 2 tsp dill
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp tarragon
- 2 tsp shallots (minced)
Remove the corn husks and give a quick rinse. Once shucked, grab a small baking sheet, and lay corn flat in front of you (on top of your cutting board). Hold one piece of corn vertically on your cutting board (fattest side down on the baking sheet), very carefully take a knife, and begin to cut the kernels off the cob. The baking tray is here to catch the kernels as you free them. ** Don’t cut too close to the center or you will get bits of the core mixed in with your ingredients.** Once all kernels are off the cob, gently scrape them off the baking sheet and into a bowl.
***Hint***: For removing stray hairs from your bowl of corn. Simply run your hands under cold water and then slowly start to move your hand through the corn. The hairs will stick to your hands. Do this a couple times until your hand comes up clean.
Cut onions into thin slices. Once complete, put a medium sized stock pot on medium flame and allow the bottom to get hot. After about a minute or so combine onions and butter in your pot and stir. ** Be mindful of your flame. You do not want your butter or onions to take on color.** Sweat out onions and butter until onions are translucent. Add corn and stir. Allow corn to sweat for a couple of minutes as you stir them in with the onion butter mix.
Now pour your whole milk into your corn mix, sitting right above your corn. On medium flame allow your milk to come to a small roll and then turn off your heat. If you have a blender that can handle hot mixtures then blend hot for a smoother soup. Otherwise, wait till the mixture cools down before you blend.
After blending, let the mixture cool and then store in your fridge for later. **The soup will thicken quite a bit. You can always add more milk or water to thin out to your desired consistency. The soup can be made up to 4 days in advance and can be frozen if you’ve made too much. Consider using it as a base for your favorite seafood chowder and you can make multiple meals out of this recipe. Serve it hot or cold, either way is delicious.
Begin first by straining your lobster claw and knuckle meat to get some of the extra water retained by the lobster. You should let this sit just to take the chill off. It will ensure you get a more even cook on all of your little bits of meat.
Then begin to slowly melt your butter in a medium sized saucepan. Be sure to agitate your pan so the butter doesn’t take on any color. Increase your heat from small to medium flame and add your lobster. You want to continuously and gently agitate your pan as the lobster begins to slowly poach. You’ll want to do this for 3-4 minutes depending on the size and quantity of your lobster. Remember that lobster cooks very quickly so you’ll want to have a strainer and bowl handy.
Once your lobster is fully cooked, strain over a large mixing bowl (to save the butter) and put your strained lobster in a separate bowl and set in the fridge. This recipe is intended as a chilled summer salad but it is completely fine to eat it warm and tastes great either way.
***Hint*** That strained butter you have sitting in your mixing bowl can and should be saved. You’ll notice it takes on a red color, this is from the lobster. When we are plating later it will look great as a decorative drizzle over your salad and soup or it can be saved for a future pasta, or seafood dish.
While your salad mix is in the fridge cooling, begin cutting the rest of the ingredients for the salad. For the celery cut down the center of 2 stalks and then cut each of those in half again. This should give you four long sticks of celery that you can begin cutting into a small dice. Next move on to the cucumber. Begin By peeling your cucumber, then cut down the center, scoop out the seeds, and use the same method we used for the celery, till you have a similar sized dice. Mince your shallot and cut your herbs.
In a large bowl add all of your ingredients (lobster, veg, and herbs) and drizzle with a small amount of your favorite olive oil. Salt and Pepper to taste and mix gently. Once this step is done we are ready to plate
**Hint** I always cut extra vegetables when making a salad like this. It’s impossible to measure out what you need before cutting so as you’re cutting, set aside some small containers and fill them up as you cut each ingredient (keeping each separate.) This will help you organize your ingredients but also make it easier to save what you don’t use for this recipe in something else. Consider using extra in your next Tuna salad, maybe with some greens, add it to a soup stock, or simply just add it to a stir fry. When I cook I try my hardest to use everything and decrease the amount of waste I am creating, this includes using leftover ingredients from previous meals as ingredients for future ones.
Gently scoop some of your lobster salad into the center of your bowl. Then take your corn soup (If you’re using our recipe remember to thin out your corn soup base till it is your desired consistency for a soup) and slowly begin to pour it just to the side of the lobster. You’ll notice your soup start to spread to the remaining surface of your bowl, once your soup has come full circle around the salad, you can drizzle some of your warm lobster butter around your dish for a little extra pop on your plate.