Friday, February 21, 2014

Rosie Makes Lobster Stock And Lobster Thermidor.


Mr. Hawthorne came home from the Teeter on Valentine's day
with three cooked lobsters for $6.99/pound.
Lobster is like crab meat.
It really doesn't need anything but melted butter and lemon juice
and that's how we ate the first lobster.
However, I wanted to try something different
with the other two lobsters.
I'm going with Lobster Thermidor.

First, a little Lobster Thermidor history.
Lobster Thermidor was introduced on January 24, 1894,
at the well-known French restaurant, Maire,
in Boulevard Saint-Denis in Paris,
in honor of the first night of the play "Thermidor,"
by Victorien Sardou.
The subject of the play was the French Revolution,
still a politically sensitive issue 100 years later.
The play, by the way, was banned after only three performances.

Thermidor refers to the month of that name
in the short-lived French Revolutionary calendar.
The play's name was a reference to the political machinations
called the "Thermidorian Reaction,"
which occurred on 9 Thermidor, year II
of the Revolutionary Calendar
(July 27, 1794 in the Gregorian calendar
which was reestablished by Napoleon on January 1, 1806).
The Thermidorian Reaction resulted
 in the fall of Maximillien Robespierre
and his execution by guillotine the next day
and the end of the Reign of Terror.

Now that you know the history,
let's make Lobster Thermidor.
Mr. Hawthorne was kind enough
to remove the meat from the shells.
Typically, Lobster Thermidor
is served in the lobster shell;
however, I have plans for the shells.
I'm making lobster stock.

I have the shells of two lobsters,
1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, and 1 onion.

Coarse-chop the vegetables.

Crush the shells with a mallet.

Add a couple of tablespoons of oil in your pan
and throw in the shells.
Stir and crush with a wooden spoon.
Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat until slightly browned.

Add in vegetables.
Sauté for a couple of minutes.

Keep crushing the shells.
I added in a few bay leaves.

1/2 cup Chardonnay went up.
Scrape up any goody bits.

Add in a small bottle of clam juice.

And a splash of sherry.

Add enough water to cover.

Add in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

Add in a tablespoon of peppercorns.
Cook at a bare simmer for about 50-60 minutes.
Strain through cheesecloth-lined chinois or sieve.

For the Lobster Thermidor:
Meat from two lobsters
2 TB unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups lobster stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 TB lemon juice
freshly grated nutmeg
2 TB chopped fresh parsley
lemon juice
more unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter over medium heat.

Add in the shallots and stir until tender - about a minute.

Add in the lobster stock.

Add in the white wine.

And the cream.

Mark the level.
Cook over low heat until ...

... reduced by half.

Why not add some shrimp in?

Cleaned and chopped shrimp
going into sauce.

Coarse-chop the lobster.

Heat through and give it a splash of sherry.

I ladled this into scallop shells
and squeezed lemon juice over top.

A little grated Parmesan cheese.

I put a pat of butter on each serving
and gave it a dusting of grated nutmeg.

Give it a 1/2 a capful of sherry.

Run under the broiler until cheese is bubbly.
And serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

This is rather decadent, if I do say so myself.