Lee Adams, the head chef of Skye, The Park Lane Hong Kong’s fine-dining rooftop restaurant, shares the secrets of his signature dish.
(PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
What was your initial inspiration for this recipe?
It’s a take on something that I used to eat when I was quite young in England, like home food. But I wanted to give the diners of Skye a bit more of a luxurious experience.
When did you think about making it a signature dish at Skye?
I’ve known since I was quite young that I wanted to be a chef – and there were a few dishes that I always thought of, even when I was younger. “Ahh, if I ever got my restaurant, I would put this on the menu…” Originally, it was just going to be macaroni and cheese, but obviously, now I’m older and wiser. I think you can’t just put macaroni and cheese on the menu! [laughs]
Where does the lobster come from?
From Brittany. We get it live – we buy it live and we get the delivery three times a week.
Is it a difficult dish to cook?
I wouldn’t say it’s difficult. The difficulty is in making sure that the base recipes are correct, whether it’s making the pasta, the bouillabaisse, the Mornay sauce… They are very traditional recipes, which sometimes seem to be quite easy to take shortcuts but are easy to get wrong. To make a good bouillabaisse, a good Mornay sauce… it takes time. So it’s these things that, if you get them right, everything will fall into place.
How long did it take to create, adapt and finalise the recipe?
I guess it was two to three months of just thinking, sourcing the ingredients and tasting before we actually put it on the menu and we thought: “Yeah, we got that right.”
Skye, The Park Lane Hong Kong, 27/F, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay (parklane.com.hk)
(PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
Brittany blue lobster mac & cheese (serves four)
2 Brittany lobsters
5g butter (for lobster)
100g 36-month Comté cheese (grated)
100ml lobster bisque reduction
1kg lobster head
1 Roma tomato (chopped)
1tbsp tomato paste
50g vegetable oil
1 bunch thyme
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cut the lobsters on the cross of the head and bring directly down between the eyes. Twist the head from the body and wash thoroughly. Twist away the claws from the body.
Bring water to a rapid boil. Place the knuckles in and start a timer for 2 minutes. Once the 2 minutes have finished, place the bodies in and boil for an additional 4 minutes. Remove the lobster parts from the water, and place on a tray to drain and chill. Once cooled, break open the shells and remove all of the meat.
To finish, heat the 5g butter in a pot to 63°C. Submerge the lobster tails, knuckles and claws in the butter and heat through, approximately 8 minutes. Transfer the lobster parts to a paper towel to drain any excess butter. Season and serve warm.
Comté cheese sauce
In a thick-bottomed saucepan, melt the 2tbsp butter and foam it a little. Add the flour and cook out lightly, stirring all of the time. Gradually add the milk and whisk until fully incorporated each time before adding more. Once all the milk is added, cook for a few more minutes to cook out the flour. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheese, followed by the remaining butter. Pass through a chinois and store in the fridge.
In a large saucepan, bring some of the vegetable oil to a high heat. Add the broken-down lobster heads and cook, stirring regularly, until they have glazed a little in the pan. Add the chopped tomato, thyme and tomato paste, and sweat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the rest of the oil and place in a 180°C oven for 1 hour. Cool down after it is finished. Strain the oil through a sieve lined with muslin.
Cook the macaroni in salt water for 8 minutes. On the other side, heat the cheese sauce and lobster bisque, and then combine the lobster meat and the pasta. Grate the Comté cheese on top and finish in salamander with the lobster oil.
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