This week Celebrity Chef from Ready Steady Cook & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala cooks us Surf & Turf!
Surf and turf is an American concept from the 60´s intended to raise the bar a little on middle class food! In other words, by adding a lobster tail to your beef, makes it posher! These days we see surf and turf all over the world, for example Burger and Lobster restaurants opened in several locations in London and New York. Recently my youngest daughter Stefanie sent me a message from Brazil saying that she had the most amazing raw surf and turf using oysters and steak tartare. I immediately went to work on a similar concept using fresh giant prawns with beef tartare spiced up a bit with chilli and ginger and offered it to my lunch time clients who loved it. Either way cooked or raw the idea of eating something from the ground like beef and combining it with something from the sea sounds unusual but tastes unusually, sensational!
I recall the occasion when I cooked surf and turf for the pop star Beyonce in Abu Dhabi. She was performing at the Yas Marina Circuit where my company was contracted to look after all food and hospitality. She had asked for some fresh fish and the crew wanted burgers, so we served some fresh red snapper with some fish sushi and lobsters. We also served homemade cheeseburgers on one large platter and we arranged lobster tails around the burgers. Beyonce who loves her food but looks after herself, tries to stay away from red meat. She swooned at the buffet of fish shellfish and sushi and commented it was the most beautiful food, but where is the pizza? She was joking but in truth she loves a jalapeno pizza! Meanwhile the crew had finished off the burgers and the lobsters together on one plate whilst Beyonces plate was a bit finer consisting of some fresh fish, quinoa salad and a little lobster, no burger. I called in to check on them all and she said Chef we are great, I love you! Beyonce I said I love you too… but then again so does the whole god damn world! A few hours later she performed live at our arena at Yas Marina in front of 46,000 people after The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009. My mother was with us in those days and although she had memory loss, she remembered some of the words to crazy in love and the best thing I never had and she moved a little to the music whilst we watched the show from a suite above the arena…… I didn’t know that you liked Beyonce I said to my mum, Beyonce she said… Who’s that?
For The Classic Burger
I love a classic burger and then add any relishes, spices etc to it afterwards and not into the meat. For me the quality of the mince is paramount and the flavours of the mince kept simple by seasoning well, by all means you can add some spices if you wish!
Ingredients for 4
1kilo of good quality minced beef (chuck steak or braising steak)
with a little fat left in
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 teaspoons of paprika or sweet red pepper
150g of salted melted butter
4 high quality burger buns
Lettuce, thin sliced tomato, thin sliced gherkins, coleslaw, garlic mayonnaise and Marie Rose dressing
2 onions sliced thinly and caramelised in a pan with butter and oil until golden
- Season the meat well with salt and pepper and the paprika.
- Mould the mince in your hands to create 4 evenly sized burgers. Make them into a ball first then flatten them.
- Place them onto the hot BBQ or on a hot griddle pan but don’t move them. Leave them for a least 3 mins and let them crust and seal.
- Whilst they are cooking brush some of the butter onto the burger and when you turn them keep basting with the butter, it adds a terrific glaze and flavour. If feeling adventurous you can add flavours to the butter like mustard or garlic and herbs etc
- Cook for a further 3 mins on the other side. Cook for longer for well done.
- Toast the burger buns
- Get all the salad ingredients ready
- Serve mustards and ketchup on the side if desired
For the Lobster
Ingredients for 4
2 whole lobsters weighing approx. 500g each
1 whole lemon sliced
1 large bowl of icy water
4 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with two cloves of minced garlic
4 heaped tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
200 ml of truffle cream sauce (see below)
Juice of 1 lemon
When cooking Lobster live it is humanely correct to put them to sleep first. We do this by putting them in a freezer for between 1 and 2 hours and that way they don’t freeze but they sleep. Cook one at a time or else the water temperature falls and by the time it comes back to temperature it will overcook the lobsters.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the sliced lemons and some salt
- Drop the first lobster in the water and cook until the water comes back to the boil and then leave for 2 minutes boiling, remove and immediately chill in the iced water to stop them continually cooking.
- Repeat the process for the second lobster
- Remove lobsters from the icy water after a few mins
- Remove the meat from the lobster claws and cut the lobster bodies in halves to keep the lobster meat in the shells
For the Truffle cream
- 250ml of thick cream
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 50g of butter
- 1 heaped teaspoon of truffle pieces
- 2 teaspoons of truffle oil
In a small saucepan sweat off the onion and garlic in the butter being careful not to burn the butter. Add the cream and cook on a low heat. Finally add the truffle pieces the truffle oil and season and taste.
To serve the burger
When the burgers are cooked spread some of the garlic mayo on the toasted sides of the buns. Put the burgers on top and then top them with the caramelised onions and then add the salad leaves and coleslaw, tomatoes and the gherkin. Top with marie rose sauce and skewer the top of the bun together with the bottom.
To serve the lobster
Take the 4 bodies of the lobster and heat in a pan with a little oil and the chopped garlic and baste. Now spoon the warm truffle sauce over each of the lobsters and top each with plenty of parmesan cheese. Bake in a pre heated oven 200c or grill until the cheese is golden brown. Squeeze the lemon juice over and serve next door to the burger on the same plate!
Follow Steven on Instagram: saunderschef
Email any questions to [email protected]
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best Contemporary International Restaurant 2019-Costa Del Sol