Suggestions for a special dinner
My girlfriends birthday is coming up. I'm thinking of making a homemade ravioli for her. Filled with boiled lobster, chanterelle mushroom, tarragon butter. Sauced in a dijon saffron cream sauce. Does anyone have suggestions for improvement, or think some of these flavour combinations won't work together? As well, I would like to cook a beef tenderloin paired with mushrooms in some sort of way, suggestions for this would also be appreciated! Thanks.
Sounds absolutely delicious. I might suggest, if you weren't planning on it anyways; if you're using fresh lobster, use the shells to make a stock and add it to the cream sauce for more lobster-y flavor; though there is the danger that the lobster will overpower the saffron. You also may want to check the acidity afterwards. Good luck.
First, I would never boil a lobster, if I could avoid it. Steam it, for the same amount of time as you would boil it, depending in it's size. Boiling seem to me to take flavor out of it. Also, it fills the shells with water that later squirts all over.
Second, lobster for me goes best with lobster or melted butter, nothing else.
Your dish is fancy, sounds fine, but the tarragon and the dijon flavors may very likely drown out the flavor from the lobster. I'm not a big fan of dijon sauces, but that's me. One of the first things my wife cooked for me had asparagus as a side with a dijon sauce.
Something like this, may do you well:
What you have planned sounds delicious, but here are my suggestions anyway:
Ravioli with lobster, mushrooms, and fresh ricotta mixed with a dab of butter (for buttery richness). Sauce in a tarragon cream sauce instead of the dijon/saffron (lobster is so milk, I'm not one to overpower it with tarragon, dijon, AND saffron). Make this the first course.
Take a seared filet and make a peppercorn pan sauce - meat juices (and any crispy bits) deglazed with some red wine, add crushed peppercorns and some cream (or half & half) until the sauce is reduced and slightly thick. More mushroom in the sauce would work, but it should be a good dish without it. Steamed asparagus would make a nice veggie side, too.
End with chocolate or panna cotta for dessert. Both are decadent, one is for a chocolate sweet tooth. Chocolate pot de creme or an individual pudding cake with whipped cream. It may be sacriligious, but the frozen panna cotta at Trader Joe's is better than anything I can make and it is easy (just defrost).
Wow, your girlfriend is really lucky! I was wondering if you would consider instead serving the ravioli in a broth, as you will be having a beef tenderloin. To me to have it in the cream sauce sounds a bit heavy followed up by beef. Just a thought.
There are too many competing flavours going on in the ravioli for me. I'd do a much simpler lobster ravioli (no mushrooms) and just serve with melted butter, and/or a concentrated sauce made from boiling up lobster shells and then boiling further to concentrate.