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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lobster Patties

The added flavors - sweet juicy mango, crunchy slaw, the lime marinade, and the toasted cumin, coriander and fennel in the lobster patties - bring tropical notes to the burger without overwhelming the flavor and texture of the lobster. Serve this with a simple green salad and margaritas.

1-1/4 pound cooked Fresh (not frozen!) Lobster Meat, 1/4" dice
3 medium Limes, juiced
1/2 lb Shrimp, peeleed and deveined
1 medium Carrot, peeled, fine dice
1 medium Celery Rib, fine dice
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seed
1/2 tsp Whole Coriander Seed
1/2 tsp Whole Fennel Seed
2 Egg Whites
2 small Hot Red Peppers, seeds, stem and membranes removed, minced
4 TB Cilantro, fine mince
6 TB Panko Flakes
2 TB Flour
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Hot Sauce to taste

Zesty Slaw Topping

1/4 head Cabbage, trimmed, cored and cut in thin slices
1 Carrot peeled and shredded
1/4 medium Red Onion, sliced very thin, slices halved
1 TB Cilantro, minced
1 Green Chile, membranes, stem and seeds removed, minced
2 tsp fresh Ginger, peeled, minced
1/2 C Lime Juice
1/4 C Mayonnaise
Salt and Hot Sauce, to taste
6 Onion rolls
Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 ripe Mango, peeled, cut in thin slices

Using 2 medium glass bowls, marinate lobster meat 30 minutes in the juice of 2 limes and marinate shrimp 30 minutes in the juice of 1 lime. Still keeping them separate, drain lobster and shrimp, pressing out liquid. Refrigerate lobster and shrimp until needed.

Sauté the carrot and celery in a small amount of oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Heat a small dry sauté pan until hot, then add the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Toast the spices, stirring constantly, a minute or two until they start to brown and give off fragrance. Remove to a spice grinder and puree to a fine powder. Set aside.

Place shrimp and egg whites in the bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth, about 1 minute.

Blend the minced hot red pepper, cilantro, panko flakes, carrot/celery mixture, flour, lobster meat, shrimp/egg mixture, and toasted spice mix. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Divide into 6 equal portions and press firmly into burgers. Allow to rest 30 minutes, refrigerated, while making the Slaw Topping.

Slaw Topping: mix all the Slaw Topping ingredients well and refrigerate.

Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat. Using an egg or pancake ring, spray the rings with the vegetable oil spray or a light olive oil coating. Place patties inside egg forms, place on griddle pan and cook about 6 - 8 minutes on each side. When burgers are nearly finished, turn off heat and let burgers rest 2 minutes before gently removing with a spatula.

Toast the onion rolls until lightly browned, 2 - 3 minutes.

Place one patty on each of the toasted onion roll bottoms. Lay slices of mango on the burger patty, and top with a portion of the Slaw and, if desired, a slice of red onion. Lay the roll top over the slaw on each burger.

A binder material is required in a lobster burger to hold it together. However, restaurant lobster burgers, (usually factory-produced and sold frozen to the restaurant) seem to go way too far with the binding agents (to insure that the burger stays together and also to reduce the amount of lobster that goes into each burger, I assume) so, like a lot of lobster rolls you get in restaurants, they can be very unsatisfying. This recipe goes in the other direction, to see just how much lobster, and how little of the binding agent, can be used before the burger starts to fall apart. The formula used here - a little flour, panko and egg white for binders - works, but be aware that these burgers are delicate, especially before the egg white is cooked. That's why we recommend the egg forms, since the stress of turning the burgers with a just a spatula might be too much for them. The delicious lobster flavor and texture of these burgers is definitely worth the additional care you have to give them during preparation.

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