Photo Credit Gemma Morson Photo Credit Gemma Morson

Try this recipe for a birthday dinner or even St Valentines Day, from Michelin star chef and Gary Rhodes protegégé Paul Welburn, head chef at Searcys.

Serves 4

Lobster –
2 x 300g-400g live native Cornish lobsters
3 tsp mayonnaise
3 tsp crème fraiche
Juice of ½ lemon
Season to taste
½ tsp chopped chervil

Bloody mary sorbet-
1 litre tomato juice
75ml belvedere Bloody Mary Vodka
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
5 splash of tabasco (depending on the heat you prefer)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pickled fennel
1 bulb of fennel (sliced thinly as possible)
150ml white wine
100ml whit wine vinegar
150ml water
50g caster sugar
1 x star anise
1 x sprig of thyme

Avocado puree
2 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp crème fraice
Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
Baby gem leaves – washed and torn roughly
Fennel cress (optional)
Olive oil to dress the leaves

Method

For the lobster, first cook the lobster, the most humane way is to place the lobsters in a freezer for 30 mins to relax and place them in a dormant state, then once removed pierce the lobster with a knife just behind the head pressing the tip all the way through, may seem a lot of work but fresh lobster is the only way to eat it in my opinion.(it can be replaced with the traditional prawns but it is supposed to be a special occasion!)

Next place the lobsters into a pan of boiling salted water and allow to cook for 8 minutes, remove and place into iced water, immediately remove the shell and slice the meat up and reserve the claws for garnish.

Mix gently the chilled sliced lobster meat with the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, herbs, lemon juice and season to taste, keep till required.

For the bloody Mary sorbet combine all the ingredients in a bowl , like the drink it’s a personal preference to the seasoning, lemon juice and heat from the tabasco, for me I like that strong kick of flavour and this ends up as the replacement for the traditional Mary Rose sauce in the finished dish so bear this in mind.

Once mixed churn in an ice cream maker and then store in a plastic container in the freezer until ready
For the pickled fennel bring all the ingredients apart from the fennel to the boil and then pour directly onto the thinly sliced fennel , cover and leave for a minimum of 1 hour to marinade, the longer the better if possible.

For the avocado puree place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth adjust the seasoning to taste .

To serve take a retro-style martini glass, place the baby gem leaves dressed in olive oil and lemon juice in the base, top with a generous mound of lobster mix, add few shavings of the pickled fennel and top off with a spoon of avocado puree, the dressed claw some fennel cress, and finally a spoon of the bloody Mary sorbet

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