Lobster Salad From President Barack Obama's Dinner Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |


Two weeks ago, we had a historic event at Red Rooster: President Obama came to the restaurant. This week, we’re going to be sharing the recipes from the Democratic National Committee Fundraiser so you can make your own version of the President’s dinner. If you’re not in the mood to cook, you can order eat it at Red Rooster Harlem for a limited time. For a sneak peak of the recipes, check out the full menu here.

For the video click here.

Check back tomorrow for the next recipe!


Prep Details

Servings: 4


Lobster, Pickled Pear, and Red Oil

2 medium size lobsters, 1 1/2 - or 1 1/4-pound each

Smoke wood

1 cup white distilled vinager

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

2 Asian pears, 1 cored sliced into 8 pieces, 1 cut into 6 wedges, grilled

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon berbere(if not, paprika)


Salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 slices prosciutto

1 head frisee, tops and stem discarded, torn into small pieces

2 cups watercress

8 pieces green asparagus, grilled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup green shelled peas, blanched

Apples, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Wasabi, one dollop per plate

American sturgeon caviar, end of a teaspoon, very small amount

Lemon Vinaigrette

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 high-quality extra virgin olive oil

Buttermilk, Cheddar, and Bacon Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish

12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1 egg, beaten


Photo: Lindsay Hunt

For the Lobster:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt the water generously and add the lobsters. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and remove the meat from the shell.
2. Cut both tails in half.
3. When the lobsters have cooled, place the lobster in a perforated pan surrounding the burning smoke wood. Place on top of another pan, and wrap with plastic wrap.
4. Smoke for 10 minutes then remove from the plastic wrap. Set aside.

For the pickled pear:

1. Combine the vinegar, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool to warm.
2. Add the sliced Asian pear and set aside.

For the Red Oil:

1. In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable oil and the berbere. Heat the oil until hot but not simmering or boiling.
2. Let it cool down and then strain through a coffee filter.

(You will have extra Red Oil, which you can keep at room temperature for up to a week. See headnote for suggestions about how to use extra Red Oil.)

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:

1. In a medium-sized bowl combine the lemon juice and mustard with a whisk.
2. Combine the two oils in a liquid measuring cup. Drizzle the oils in a slow stream into the bowl, whisking constantly to emulsify.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

For the Prosciutto:

1. Heat a skillet over high heat. Sear the prosciutto in a hot pan for 10 - 15 seconds per side.
2. Dry on paper towels.
3. Crumble the dry prosciutto into small bits.

Make the salad:

1. In a large bowl, combine the frisee, watercress, asparagus, peas, and apples. Toss to distribute evenly. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. On each plate, place two slices of pickled Asian pear and one grilled Asian pear wedge. Place a dollop of wasabi on the edge of the plate and top with a small amount of caviar.
3. Place one biscuit on each plate.
4. Top with the salad mixture. Place one claw and one half-tail on top of the salad.
5. Drizzle each plate with the Red Oil and top with a sprinkling of dried, crumbled prosciutto.

For the Buttermilk, Cheddar, Bacon Biscuits:

1. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk to combine.
2. Add the butter and mix to combine. Using two knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingers, cut in the cold butter until sandy in texture.
3. Fold in the cheese and bacon. Stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to combine.
4. Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Knead in the dough until it comes together.
5. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface. Lightly dust the dough and a rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick.
6. Cut biscuits with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place dough on a parchment paper-lined baking tray.
7. Cool biscuits in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
8. Using a pastry brush, brush the biscuits with the beaten egg and sprinkle with cheddar.
9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden and puffy.