Loading The Journey, Part Two

  • Lobster and Avocado Terrine with Arañitas

    Lobster and Avocado Terrine with Arañitas

    This is a take on a dish that I created in Miami when I wanted something that reminded me of the favorite ingredients I grew up with in Puerto Rico: lobster, avocado, plantains, and Key lime, which is also of course, so Florida. Arañitas (“little spiders”) are small fritters made from grated green plantains. They are a nice crunchy garnish to the terrine. I also serve them as a bar snack or hors d’oeuvres.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings 4
    • Prep 1 hour
    • Cook 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Lobster
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh Key lime juice
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cooked lobster tail (14 ounces)
    For the Avocado Relish
    • 3 medium Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
    • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup seeded and finely diced red tomato
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    For the Arañitas
    • 1 green plantain
    • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
    • Salt
    • 2 cups canola oil
    • Chives, for garnish

    Method

    For the Lobster

    In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise and Key lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. (The lime mayo can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 2 days.) Add the lobster meat to the lime mayo and gently mix with a wooden spoon.

    For the Avocado Relish

    In a medium bowl, combine the avocados, scallions, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Mix gently with a rubber spatula to blend. Add with salt and pepper to taste. (The relish can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 2 days.)

    For the Arañitas

    Cut off both ends of the plantain and make 4 lengthwise incisions into the skin without going through the flesh.

    Soak the plantain in warm water for a few minutes. Peel the plantain by using a paring knife to lift off a piece of the skin, then use your fingers to pull all the skin off. This is a little easier to do under mild running water.

    Cut the plantain in half, and grate on the medium holes of a box grater.

    In a medium bowl, combine the grated plantain with the roasted garlic and salt to taste.

    Using your hands, mix well.

    In a deep fryer or a heavy medium saucepan, heat the canola oil until it reaches a temperature of 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer . Using your fingers, pick up about 1 teaspoon of the plantain mixture and press it flat.

    Carefully drop the flattened plantain mixture into the oil. Repeat to add 6 or 7 more arañitas to the oil, without crowding. Fry them, turning once, until golden brown, about 1 minute.

    Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately season with salt. Repeat to use all the plantain mixture. The arañitas should be served immediately, while still hot.

    To Serve

    Place a 2 by 4-inch ring mold in the center of a plate. Fill the mold with one-fourth of the lobster mixture. Use the back of a tablespoon to flatten and even out the mixture. Cover with one-fourth of the relish. Carefully remove the ring. Repeat on 3 more plates. (The terrines can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 2 hours.) Just before serving, garnish each terrine with arañitas and a chive.

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