Lobster Tempura With Creamy Stone-Ground Lemon Grits

makes 4 servings
Chef Bob Waggoner, Charleston Grill

Lobster Preparation:

4 small fresh lobster tails pre-steamed 5 min. each
1 medium sized green tomato, peeled, seeded, cut in cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup all purpose flour
salt to taste
Fresh ground white pepper to taste

Remove the lobster meat from the shells. Salt and pepper each tail and cut them in half lengthwise. Toss them each in the flour, then the heavy cream, then back in the flour once again. Set aside.

For the Yellow Tomato Tarragon Butter:

2 cups white wine (Chardonnay)
½ cup (noilly prat) French vermouth
3 shallots, chopped fine
1 large yellow tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (Mexican or French)
salt to taste
Fresh ground white pepper to taste
½ cup unsalted butter, diced into small cubes

In a small saucepan, heat the white wine, noilly prat, and shallots together. Reduce to 3 tablespoons of liquid.

With a small whip, add the butter cubes a few at a time over low heat. Whip slowly to emulsify the butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh tarragon and yellow tomato just before serving.

For the Grits:

2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
½ cup Charleston Grill stone-ground grits
1 to 2 cups heavy cream
salt and fresh ground white pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, chopped fine

Bring the chicken stock and butter to a boil in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the grits and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, allowing the grits to cook for another 15 minutes at a low boil, until the grits are thick and have absorbed most of the chicken stock. Stir occasionally to keep grits from sticking.

Add ½ cup of the heavy cream to the pot and reduce the heat, allowing the grits to cook slowly for another 10 minutes. As the liquid is absorbed, add more cream, cooking the grits until the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, with a total cooking time of at least an hour. The grits should be thick and full-bodied. Fold in the lemon zest just before serving.

For the Presentation:

Drop the lobster tails and tomatoes in a small deep fryer @ 375 °F for approximately 1 minute until brown. Spoon 2 tablespoons of grits in a soup bowl. Spoon a tablespoon of the yellow tomato tarragon butter over the grits. Gently set the lobster tempura and fried tomatoes on top of the grits.