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Lobster Thermidor

Posted by Jeanne on September 5, 2009

This dish is a pain in the neck to make.  But it is so, so, so good…

Lobster thermidor

We had roast potatoes for a side – before I really started the lobsters, we prepped those and put them in the oven.  Potatoes and herbs from the garden, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted in olive oil with a little chicken stock.  Simple and easy but tasty.

Onto the lobsters.

Bert & Ernie

We named them Bert and Ernie.  Aren’t they adorable?  (Not really.  Lobsters are ugly.  Thankfully, they are also delicious.)

Parsley, bay, thyme, carrots, onion, peppercorns, white wine, water.  Should have celery but we were out.

Parsley, bay, thyme, carrots, onion, peppercorns, white wine, water. Should have celery but we were out.

The recipe directs you to boil some aromatics in water and white wine for 15 minutes, then boil the lobsters in that same mixture until they are done.  The liquid you end up with after this process becomes the base for the sauce.  It’s a really simple but brilliant idea, and if I ever need to make lobster stock for a sauce I will probably use this method again.

We are not amused.

At this point it is approximately 95 degrees in our kitchen.  I am holding the lid on the pot so they don’t escape – I expected the cooking of lobsters to be a bit more dramatic but it really wasn’t.  They didn’t scream or thrash around or do anything else I would do if dropped in boiling (if delicious smelling) stock.

Bert and Ernie's demise

Fifteen minutes later.  I sort of tried to feel bad for killing them.  Clearly I am a monster because I totally didn’t.

The remaining prep is pretty boring – make the sauce, chop up the lobsters, combine them with mushrooms, assemble the dish.  We don’t have any good tools for cracking lobster claws, so mostly ended up just smashing the shells and picking them apart.  I expect we will be picking small bits of lobster shell from the far reaches of the kitchen for the rest of our lives.

Final assembly

Final assembly.

Final plating

Final plating.  It is kind of a beige dish but it’s really, really good.  Very rich though, especially the sauce…

This was my first foray into cooking from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”  The recipe was really well-written and the techniques described really WORKED.  This is huge – recipes are so often wrong or poorly describe techniques.  Julia Child and Simone Beck really did publish a remarkable book.

That said, I’m never making lobster thermidor again.  I will make other recipes from the book though – I can’t wait to try them, actually.

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2 Responses to “Lobster Thermidor”

  1. Naomi said

    Tots awesome!

  2. Adam said

    Wowza! That looks fantastic. You should post the picture your hubby texted me last night. Cooked lobster prettier.

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