Johnny Hamman, the mastermind behind pop-up dining concept Slippery Spoon, explored the concept of pairing food with fabric for us. This is the second dish in the series he created around this theme, and it’s inspired by gold sequined cloth (the first was soy-glazed beef tataki inspired by leather).
4 lobster tails, shells removed
edible gold leaf or glitter
For the avocado tempura
1 soft avocado
juice of 1 lemon
1 bottle stout beer
1 cup cornflour
1 cup self-raising flour
For the tomato hearts
For the bisque aïoli
1 egg yolk
2 cups vegetable oil
offcuts, claws and shells from lobsters
1½ cups tomato puree made from skinned tomatoes
1½ cups onion, chopped
1½ cups celery, chopped
1½ cups carrot, chopped
1 sprig thyme
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 cup sherry
1 cup water
1 clove garlic
To prepare the lobster, cook tails in a steamer until firm to the touch. Season with salt and pepper and gild either with gold leaf or glitter. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
To make the avocado tempura, mix beer, cornflour and self-raising flour, and season with salt and pepper. Peel and cut avocado into quarters and dress with lemon juice. Place avo in beer batter and fry in a pot of oil heated to 180˚C until batter turns golden brown.
Remove avocado slices from oil immediately and drain on paper towel. Keep warm in your oven’s warming drawer until ready to serve.
To prepare the tomato hearts, use a circular stainless steel cookie cutter to cut out the core of each tomato. Top and tail tomato hearts and season each cylinder with salt and pepper before dressing with good olive oil. Allow to stand for one hour and set aside.
To make the bisque aïoli, first prepare two cups of homemade mayonnaise: whisk yolk with mustard and salt for around one minute, then slowly add oil while you continue to whisk. Set aside. Fry onions, celery and carrots on low heat until all is tender. Add lobster offcuts and fry for five more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer slowly for two hours.
Place everything in a food processor and blitz thoroughly. Strain through a muslin cloth. Infuse your homemade mayonnaise with the reduced bisque. Add small amounts at a time, tasting as you go (you might not need to use all of the bisque).
To serve, place each lobster tail on a plate with a tomato heart and a crisp, warm slice of avo tempura. Dress with aïoli.