Monthly Archive for March, 2010

Lobster Thermidor New England Style

These is some debate over the origins as well as the ingredients of Lobster Thermidor, a classic French dish. Some historians believe Lobster Thermidor was first introduced in 1894 by Marie’s, a popular Paris restaurant. The Lobster Thermidor recipe was created for the premiere of ‘Thermidor’, a play by Victorien Sardou. The play takes it name for one of the months of the Fresh republican calendar, known as the month of heat (July 19th- August 17th). Another story credits the dish to Chef Tony Girod at Café de Paris, also in Paris. Others believe it was named by Napoleon when he tasted it in the month of Thermidor.  Here is our New England version of  this luxurious lobster dish.

Lobster Thermidor Recipe Ingredients
2 cups dry white vermouth
2 cups water
1 onion, sliced thin
1 carrot, sliced thin
1 celery stalk, sliced thin
6 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
3 live lobsters (2 pounds each)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1.Simmer vermouth, water, vegatables, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, pepercorns and tarragon in a large kettle for 15 minutes. Bring to a rolling boil and add live lobsters. Cover and steam for about 16 minutes, or until lobsters are cooked and bright red.
2.While lobsters are cooking, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add lemon juice, salt and mushrooms, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove mushrooms from sauce with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3.When lobsters are cooked, remove them from the kettle. Pour butter sauce from mushrooms into kettle and stir well. Boil down mixture rapidly, until liquid in kettle has reduced to about tho cups. Remove kettle from heat and reserve liquid for use as a base for thermidor mixture.
4.Prepare lobsters. Split each into halves, separating body from tail section. Remove sand sacs in the head, and intestinal tubes. Remove lobster meat and dice into chunks. Cut away soft underside of body. Keep the shell halves intact.
5.Wash shells thoroughly and fill with thermidor mixture.
6. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place lobster shells in roasting pan and heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lobster is bubbling and top of sauce is nicely browned.

Thermidor Mixture
4 teaspoons of butter
4 teaspoons flour
Diced lobster meat
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups reserved lobster stock
Salt
Cayenne
Paprika
2 tablespoons dry sherry or Cognac
Reserved Mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup shredded white bread

1. Melt 4 teaspoons butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and blend.
2. Add diced lobster meat. Slowly stir in cream and stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Season to taste with salt, cayenne and paprika.
3. Remove mixture from heat and add sherry or Cognac and reserved mushrooms.
4. Melt the 3 tablespoons butter and add shredded bread. Cook gently in a saucepan until butter has been absorbed by bread. Fill lobster halves with thermidor mixture. Sprinkle buttered bread on top of each lobster half, and bake as directed.

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