December is drawing to a close and as a caterer and private chef, I have a love-hate relationship with the month. I love all the parties and how many new people we can touch with our food. I hate it because I don't get much time to be with friends and family.

So when I get a chance to cook for family and friends, I try to make the most of it! So I wanted to do something a little extravagant and do a bit of a play on the Italian tradition of "the feast of seven fishes" a Christmas eve tradition.

Speck and spinach wrapped lobster tail

serves 4 people as an appetizer

2 5oz lobster tails

3/4 # fresh baby spinach

6 thin slices of speck (smoked prosciutto)

4 1/2 in. slices of store bought polenta

2 cups low sodium creamy tomato soup

1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/4 # butter

Olive oil as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Red pepper flakes to taste

Ice bath

- In medium-sized sauce pan that will fit both lobster tails, place 2 quarts of water and bring to a simmer.

-In a small sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and quickly sauté. When garlic is fragrant, add spinach and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place on a plate in the fridge to chill.

-Place soup in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer.

-Place lobster tails in simmering water for approximately 4 minutes or until the shells turn bright red and the flesh bright white. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE TAILS!

-Remove tails from simmering water and place into ice bath.  When the tails are cool to the touch remove the shells and return them to the simmering water. Clean tails of "mud vein." Place in fridge to keep cool.

-Add 1 cup of lobster stock to tomato soup. Adjust soup seasoning with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

-On clean cutting board, lay out speck side by side. Layer thin layers of cooled spinach on speck then lay lobster on top of spinach. Wrap completely with speck and repeat with second tail.

-Place 2 medium saute pans over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter to each pan. When butter is frothy, add polenta to one pan and lobster rolls to the other.

-Baste the lobster rolls with butter/oil combination until speck is lightly crispy. Cook 7-9 minutes until lobster is hot through but not overcooked.

-Allow polenta to get crispy on one side then turn over.

-Remove lobster from pan and let rest on paper towel.

-In warm bowls, place one slice of polenta, spoon sauce around polenta and top with 2 slices of lobster roll and serve hot.

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