Courtesy of Pam McKinstry (svkitchen.com)
4 (4 to 5 ounce/115 to 145 g) lobster tails, defrosted,
4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, divided use
Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons (45 ml) minced fresh tarragon, divided use
12 ounces (340 g) dried linguine
3 tablespoons (45 ml) very finely minced shallot
Pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
⅓ cup (80 ml) dry white wine
½ cup (120 ml) Cheater’s Lobster Stock (recipe follows)
6 to 8 ounces (170 to 225 g) baby spinach
2 tablespoons (30 ml) crème fraîche
Grated zest of 1 lemon
For the Cheater’s Lobster Stock
4 lobster tail shells
1/3 cup (80 ml) white wine
3 or 4 peppercorns
1 small piece onion
1 small piece carrot
1. Remove the meat from the lobster tails in one piece and reserve the shells.
2. Arrange the lobster tails in a single layer in a large (gallon/3.8 litre) cooking pouch; add 3 tablespoons (43 g) of the butter, a scant pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the tarragon.
3. Vacuum seal the pouch and refrigerate until ready to cook.
4. Meanwhile, make the Cheater’s Lobster Stock. (Note: It takes just a few minutes to prep, but plan on 1 to 2 hours to cook and reduce the stock and the process through step 4 can be done a day in advance.)
• Chop the tail shells or use scissors to cut them into 2 or 3 pieces each.
• Put the shells in a medium-size pan and cover with cold water.
• Add the white wine, peppercorns, onion and carrot to the pan.
• Bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about 1 cup (240 ml).
• Strain the stock, discarding the shells and solids. Makes about 1 cup. Freeze unused stock for up to 6 months.
5. When ready to cook the lobster, fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 140F/60C and also fill a large pot with at least 2 quarts (1.8 litres) of water and bring to a boil over high heat on the stove.
6. Submerge the lobster pouch in the water bath and cook for 15 minutes.
7. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of kosher salt and the linguine to the pot of boiling water, and stir the pasta for about 1 minute. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
8. While the pasta is cooking, add the remaining tablespoon (14 g) of butter to a large skillet and melt over medium heat.
9. Add the shallots and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots soften, about 3 minutes.
10. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until most of the wine evapourates, about 6 more minutes. Stir in the lobster stock and continue to cook until the liquid reduces by half, another 3 to 4 minutes.
11. Add the spinach to the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach wilts.
12. Using tongs, transfer the hot linguine from its pot to the skillet, and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently to coat the linguine with the sauce. Stir in the crème fraiche and reduce the heat to medium.
13. At this stage the lobster should be cooked. Open the pouch and pour the accumulated juices into the skillet.
14. Slice the lobster into ½-inch (1.25 cm) thick pieces and add them to the skillet.
15. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the lobster is hot, about 1 minute.
16. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining minced tarragon.
17. Divide among shallow warm bowls, garnish each serving with fresh lemon zest, and serve immediately.