Lobster Salad Eclairs
These miniature eclairs are light and luscious. Pâte à choux pastry is piped and baked ~ filled with Lobster Salad, shredded lettuce and gently topped with fresh micro greens and heirloom tomatoes. Joy in every morsel.
I am just back from a glorious trip from the mid coast of Maine. Lobsters this summer are plentiful, actually there is overabundance. Warmer than normal spring temperatures triggered lobsters to molt earlier than usual, resulting in a sudden supply of soft-shelled or “shedder” lobsters. Soft shell lobsters were offered up and down the coast for $ 3.99 a pound for the smaller sizes. Look for special prices on them at your local market this summer. Although soft shell lobsters do not ship well, Fairway market is offering hard shells for $5.99 this week.
I like the rich egg flavor and crisp crunch these eclair shells offer - a different taste sensation to boring white bread rolls slathered with melted butter. Not to say there is anything wrong the New England Lobster Roll!(most restaurants keep the recipe classic). This recipe is more elegant and suitable for company. Think of them as Lobster Sliders - think I might have created the next trend!
Eclairs are not only suitable for sweet desserts but delectable with savory fillings. I like to fill them in summertime with herbed goat cheese or fresh ricotta cheese, and shavings of crisp vegetables. Pâte à choux pastry is fun and satisfying to make. Water and butter simmers, flour is added and stirred then eggs are added as you vigorously stir. A shiny then sticky dough comes together in a few minutes , and your arms got quite a nice work out! Then the magic happens as you pipe into shapes and watch them beautifully puff up and crisp in the oven. If you enjoy baking, these puffs are a must to master!
To assemble, cut the eclairs in half horizontally, fill with shredded butter lettuce and lobster salad. Top with a little heirloom tomato and micro greens. Use sliced chives if they are not available, they can be found at farmers' markets, gourmet shops and even Trader Joes. Micro greens are simply very “early” versions of greens or herbs that are intensely flavored and beautiful.
In the latest food trend, lobster meat is added to many ordinary foods for an decadent twist. Most sound better than they taste: lobster mashed potatoes and lobster macaroni and cheese. The problem lies in the reheating, and lack of freshness. I would encourage you to try adding lobster meat to make some new creations. Lately I am enjoying tabouleh salad with lobster, and vegetable and lobster enchiladas with fresh tomatillo salsa.
Enjoy the warm days of summer
Eclair shells - puffed and golden
Starting the pâte à choux
Adding the flour, stirring well
Adding the first egg, I do this by hand
The last egg added, shiny and sticky
Ready to fill into a pastry bag with a 1/2" tip
The ingredients for the lobster salad
Lobster salad - simple, and ready to use
Lettuce and lobster salad, heirloom tomatoes and micro greens
The finished eclair. Add top shell or serve open faced with beautiful and tasty micro greens
The lobsters I brought home from Maine
A road side truck selling just caught shellfish, Rockland, Maine