In a stockpot, heat the oil. Add the celery, onion, curry powder, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the lobsters to the pot, cover tightly and cook until they turn bright red, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to a bowl to cool; reserve the cooking liquid.
Working over a large bowl to catch the juices, twist the lobster tails off the bodies. Using poultry shears, split the tail shells lengthwise and carefully remove the meat; pull out and discard the black intestinal veins. Crack the knuckles and claws and remove the meat. Cut the tails into 1/2-inch medallions and the remaining meat into small pieces.
Strain the lobster cooking liquid and any lobster juices into a small saucepan, pressing hard on the solids. Boil gently until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche and some lemon juice. Fold in the lobster meat and 1 tablespoon of the chives. Set 2 Johnnycakes on each plate and spoon the warm salad on top. Garnish with the remaining chives and serve.
The lobster salad can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm the salad gently before serving.
Brendan Walsh would be happy to serve a Brut Rosè Champagne.
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