Monday, January 24, 2011

Recipe Of The Day / National Lobster Thermidor Day

Today is National Lobster Thermidor Day. Ok so for most of the free world what the hell does that exactly mean? Let us give you a bit of a history lesson real fast, then we can get into just how delicious this dish is.

First off, Lobster Thermidor is a French dish consisting of a creamy mixture of cooked lobster meat, egg yolks, and cognac or brandy, stuffed into a lobster shell, and optionally served with an oven-browned cheese crust, typically Gruyère. The sauce must contain mustard (typically powdered mustard).

Lobster Thermidor was created in 1894 by Marie's, a Paris restaurant near the theatre Comédie Française, to honour the opening of the play Thermidor by Victorien Sardou. The play took its name from a summer month in the French Republican Calendar, during which the Thermidorian Reaction occurred, overthrowing Robespierre and ending the Reign of Terror

Due to expensive and extensive preparation involved, Lobster Thermidor is usually considered a recipe primarily for special occasions.
A related lobster recipe is Lobster Newberg.

1 whole lobster, (about 2 to 2 ½ lbs)
2 lemons, halved
1 onion, quartered
1 bouquet garni
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 TBS minced shallots
¼ cup white wine
2 cups milk
1 TBS finely chopped fresh tarragon
½ cup plus 1 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces bacon
1 cup julienned onions
½ lb haricot vert, blanched
Salt and pepper
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a pot of salted water containing the lemons, quartered onion and bouquet garni to a boil.
Add the lobster to the boiling water and cook for 8 to 12 minutes.
Remove the lobster from the water and place in a bowl of ice water.
This will stop the cooking process of the lobster.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter.
Stir in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes for a blond roux.
Add the shallots and cook for 30 seconds.
Stir in the wine and milk. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
This sauce will be thicker than a normal Béchamel because it will be used as a filling. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Remove the sauce from the stove and stir in the mustard and tarragon.
Remove the lobster from the water and split the lobster in half.
Remove the tail meat from the shells and with the back of a knife, gently crack the claws. Dice the tail meat and fold in the Béchamel sauce. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese and re-season if necessary.
Divide the mixture and spoon into the two lobster tail shells.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the lobster.
Place the filled lobster on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
In a hot sauté pan, add the bacon and render until crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the beans and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the garlic.
Remove the beans from the heat.
To assemble, divide the bean mixture between two plates.
Lay the lobster halves on top of the beans.
Garnish with parsley.

1 comment:

  1. truly a delightful feast. coouldnt and wouldnt change a thing.