Chef Joe Cipro’s Recipe of the Week

Roasted Cauliflower With Lobster & Corn Reduction, Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 2-lb lobster
2 c durum flour
2 eggs (beaten)
2 ears of corn
1 head of cauliflower
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 c of milk
1/4 c olive oil
1 carrot
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 onion
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c white wine
3 celery stalks
Salt and pepper to your liking
4 sprigs of tarragon

Method
The first step in the lengthy process of preparing this dish will be to make your pasta. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, simply place the durum flour in the mixing bowl and form a cone shape with a small depression at the top, like a volcano, where you will place your beaten eggs, and then turn the KitchenAid on at low speed.

Watch the mixture closely. When a solid ball of pasta dough is formed, remove it from the mixing bowl, wrap in plastic, and set it aside for a few minutes until you’re ready to work with it.

If you do not have a KitchenAid, the old fashion way will work just fine. Flour a cutting board and form the volcano shape, add the egg at the top and slowly incorporate the ingredients until a ball of pasta dough is formed.

Stand the corn cob lengthwise and carefully slice the corn from the cob. Set the corn kernels aside for later and add the cob to a stockpot along with half the onion, carrot, thyme, bay leaf, and celery. Fill with one gallon of water and bring to a boil.

Once the stock reaches a boil, place the lobster in for 10 minutes.

Remove and immediately submerge the lobster in an ice bath and reduce the stock to a simmer.

When the lobster has cooled, cut open the tail and claws to remove the meat and set it aside in the fridge until later, and return the lobster shells to the stock along with the tomato paste.

While the stock simmers, cut up the cauliflower florets, toss them in olive oil, and season. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, rotating the tray half way through the cooking process. When they’re done, place them in the food processor or blender with two tablespoons of the butter and the milk, then blend until a smooth thickened puree is achieved. Set in fridge to cool.

Now it’s time to assemble the ravioli. If you have a small, hand crank pasta machine at home, this is the time to pry it from the back of the cabinet. If not, a rolling pin and some elbow grease will work fine.

Form the ball of pasta dough so that it fits into the machine. Press the pasta through a few times starting at the thickest setting, working it down to the one setting that will produce a nice thin sheet of pasta. Then, using a cookie cutter, punch eight large circular pasta sheets. Brush four of them with water and place a spoonful of the cauliflower puree in the middle of each. Then, cover each with another sheet of pasta. Carefully press the edges together, removing any air pockets, and then seal the ravioli using a fork. Set aside on a floured plate until you’re ready to cook them.

After about two hours of simmering, the stock is ready to be strained, and the sauce is ready to be finished.

Start a roux in a small pan with the all-purpose flour and the rest of the butter. Cook it over medium heat for about five minutes, stirring often so it does not burn. Then strain the stock and blend it with the roux on high until a sauce consistency is reached.

After hours of painstaking work, we are ready to assemble our dish. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, then drop the ravioli in.

In a large sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil, then add the mushrooms and the corn kernels. Deglaze with white wine and let reduce for one minute.

Add the lobster and corn sauce and the chunks of lobster meat. When the ravioli floats in the boiling water, they are ready to be finished at two minutes in the sauce on a medium low heat. Plate the four ravioli and garnish with a sprig of tarragon.