Love is in the air and there's nothing like a homemade and fancy lobster recipe to impress your girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, or wife on Valentine's Day -- Lobster Puff Pastry Pizza.
This pizza recipe is not any New York corner pizza joint’s pizza but one that turns some of my favorite ingredients into a luxurious pizza that one might find in a Parisian restaurant.
With many of the fragrant flavors you'd use in "bouillabaisse", a Provencal-style fish soup, the aromatic flavors in this pizza will excite all your senses.
For the seafood toppings, I like to use local seafood. Montauk lobster is delicious any time of the year, particular on special occasions such as Valentine's Day, local swordfish and Peconic bay scallops, which are in season til March. The steaming liquid for the seafood provides the aromatic Provencal flavors -- white wine, water, fennel, orange zest and saffron -- all ingredients in a traditional bouillabaisse.
And, for the vegetable toppings, I roast and chop vegetables to add to the bites of seafood: plum tomatoes, fennel and red pepper. I prefer fresh tomatoes when they are in season although good quality canned plum tomatoes, preferably organic, can be drained and gently squeezed to remove excess liquid and used as a substitute for fresh.
The sauce is simple: roasted plum tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and garlic. To keep the fennel moist, pour a hint of wine to the pan. Garlic and wine are used liberally in bouillabaisse.
I love the challenge of a hand rolled, folded and turned puff pastry made with flour, water and butter. However, it is very time consuming and easy to mess up. To save time, I suggest buying a good quality puff pastry that’s pre-made. Many of the finer supermarkets carry puff pastry (my Whole Foods sells Dufour Pastry Kitchens, a local, New York City brand).
To create visual excitement and convey the contents of the lobster puff pastry pizza, use cookie cutters to make tiny puff pastry lobsters, scallops and fishes. For me, the best part of making this pizza is assembling the cooked pizza on a serving platter and garnishing it with the puff pastry seafood creatures. Magnifique!
Like most pizzas, this Bouillabaisse pizza recipe is best when it’s made fresh and served immediately as puff pastry is more fragile than traditional pizza dough. Everything can be prepared ahead of time, and the crust baked and pizza assembled just before serving. Serve with a simple salad, light dessert, and a cold glass of bubbly champagne.
Happy Valentine's Day.