Michael Salmon's Lobster Funchi
Inevitably, we all end up with the task of making hors d’oeuvres. Whether making them for our own dinner parties or taking them to friends or family, the same hors d’oeuvres appear time and time again. We become efficient and confident with certain preparations and when the feedback is positive, it becomes even easier to prepare the same recipe.
Here is a chance to mix things up a little bit. My recipe for Funchi Rounds with Maine Lobster and a Dill Aioli combines polenta (called Funchi on the island of Aruba) with our delicate Maine lobster with a spicy aioli accented with fresh dill.
I guarantee it will be a standout at your next dinner party.
Funchi Rounds with Maine Lobster and a Dill Aioli
Yields 24 pieces
2 cups water
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 pound cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1. Combine 1/2 cup of water with the corn meal and salt.
2. Boil the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water over high heat. At a boil, whisk the softened cornmeal into the water, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in gruyere cheese. Cover and reduce the heat to low, continuing to cook for 5 minutes.
3. For this recipe I use two mini muffin pans. Each pan has 12 small indentations. Place an oversized piece of plastic wrap over each muffin pan. Starting at one end, fill the plastic lined tins with a heaping Tablespoon of the hot corn meal mix. Press the mixture into the tin, forming a firm cake. Using your thumb, create a small indentation in the top of each corn meal round. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.
4. Combine the lobster with the olive oil, salt and spices. Mix well to combine.
5. Un-mold the corn meal rounds and fill the indentation with a dollop of the dill-aioli. Top with some lobster meat and a sprinkle of Italian parsley.
4 garlic cloves
2 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill sprigs
kosher salt to taste
1. Mince the garlic and mash it with the side of a large knife (using a little salt) until it becomes a smooth paste. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne and Dijon mustard.
2. While whisking the egg mixture vigorously, add the oils in a very slow stream. Whisk constantly, adding the oil slowly until all of the oil is incorporated. Add the mashed garlic and dill. Season with salt, cover and chill.
MIchael Salmon is the chef and co-owner of The Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine.