As you know, I’ve posted a lot of the Maine chefs. The Lobster Chef of the Year for a difficult match, but here is the winning entry from Chef Kelly Patrick Farrin. Norm and I both cast our votes at the well-attended event and the choices were difficult. My Kelly’s entree was outstanding.

Herb Grilled Maine Lobster Tail on Arugula with Chive Ricotta Gnocchi & Corn Milk
Kelly Patrick Farrin – Azure Café

4 Portions/Dinner Entree

Main Components
4 Maine lobster tails
4 oz. herb infused butter
4 cups packed wilted arugula
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
32 chive ricotta gnocchi
6 oz. corn milk puree

Grilled Maine Lobster Tail
4 Maine lobster tails (each split and de-veined)
4 oz. unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon chive, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, minced
Pinch Maine sea salt, per tail
Salt and Pepper

Directions – Grilled Maine Lobster Tail
Prep Time: 5 mins.

1. To remove lobster tails from live lobsters, twist tail back and forth until it breaks free
2. Cut with sharp knife down the middle underside of each tail lengthwise, remove intestinal debris. Leave lobster meat in halved shell.
3. Remove all small “feeler legs” from underside of each tail.
4. Place head and claws in small pot of boiling water for 8 minutes. Then remove and cool. Set aside.
5. In small sauce pan add butter, thyme, chives, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bring to simmer, and reserve.
7. Rub lobster tail with Maine Sea Salt and grill, meat side down first for 2 1/2 minutes.
8. Flip lobster tails and brush meat with herb-infused butter. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 more minutes. Reserve excess herb-infused butter.

Wilted Arugula
4 cups packed fresh arugula
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

Directions – Wilted Arugula
Prep Time: 5 mins.

1. Wash arugula in cold water, place in salad spinner to remove excess water.
2. Cut grape tomatoes into quarters, length and width cut.
3. Bring saute pan to medium heat.
4. Add olive oil and garlic to saute pan. Cook just until it begins to change color.
5. Immediately, add grape tomatoes. Cook 1 minute.
6. Add arugula to saute pan, toss with tongs for 1 minute.
7. Finish with fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan leaving behind excess liquid.

Chive Ricotta Gnocchi
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons chives, minced
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 oz. butter
Pinch of Nutmeg

Directions – Chive Ricotta Gnocchi
Prep Time: 15 mins.

1. Mix ricotta cheese, egg yolks, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, lemon zest, chives and salt together in mixing bowl with rubber spatula. Fully combine.
2. Slowly add sifted All Purpose flour to ricotta mix. Fold small amounts of flour into wet ingredients until it forms and becomes a soft dough. Reserve excess flour.
3. Once soft dough is formed, let sit in covered bowl for 5 minutes to rest.
4. Place dough on clean, floured countertop to reduce sticking. Kneed dough until smooth and elastic.
5. Cut dough into 4 equal parts and roll with fingers to form long and round, 1/2 thick ropes.
6. Cut dough into 3/4” segments and reserve on floured baking sheet, make sure gnocchi are not touching each other.
7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place gnocchi in water and with a wooden spoon, carefully stir to separate. Then, boil for 5 minutes.
8. Remove gnocchi from heat and pour into colander. Lightly coat with olive oil.
9. Pour onto sheet pan and cool in refrigerator.
10. Heat saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter and gently place gnocchi in pan.
11. Brown each side for a crispy outer shell. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Corn Milk Puree
2 corn on the cobs

Directions – Corn Milk
Prep Time: 10 mins.

1. Shuck and clean corn.
2. Remove kernels from cob with knife, cutting downwards into the pith of the cob.
3. Place kernels in food processor and pulse until macerated.
4. Pass corn puree through fine mesh strainer (chinois). Use the bottom of a ladle and press until puree is almost dry. Reserve liquid, discard pulp.
5. Heat double boiler and place corn liquid in bowl.
6. Heat until it thickens.
7. Place in small squirt bottle or use teaspoon to sauce plates.

Plating Time: 3 mins.

1. Place butter seared gnocchi’s in center of plate.
2. Next, use tongs to place wilted arugula on top of gnocchi.
3. Arrange 2 grilled half lobster tails together and place on top of arugula.
4. Spoon extra herb-infused butter over grilled lobster tails and shell.
5. Finish with circular pours of corn milk around plate.
6. Garnish with fresh rosemary. Serve and enjoy, Cheers!

Equipment Needed

  • Grill
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife
  • Kitchen Spoons
  • Ladle
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Sauté Pans
  • Stock Pot
  • Colander
  • Small Sheet Pan
  • Basting Brush
  • Tongs
  • Salad Spinner
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Food Processor
  • Fine Mesh Strainer (Chinois)
  • Squirt Bottle
  • Plates
  • Measuring Spoons/Cups
  • Double Boiler

You can experience more of Kelly’s cooking at Azure Cafe in Freeport, ME.

Azure Cafe

123 Main Street

Freeport, ME 04032

207 865-1237