Rock the Lobster: An Old Favorite
One of the most classic dishes that I had to make as a Chef is a dish called Lobster Thermidor. This dish is extremely time consuming to make. However, to me its worth the effort. Traditionally we use Maine lobsters but since we don’t have them here in the Philippines, we can use the spiny lobsters instead. Flavor profile is slightly different, Maine lobsters are softer and sweeter while the spiny lobsters are firm and not as sweet, but it will do the trick.
There’s a lot of classic French cooking techniques involved in this dish so its something to boost your culinary skills with. The only downside is it will only take you five minutes to eat this dish (haha!). So, I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did when I started cooking, accept the challenge, give it a try and make it for someone special. Tell me how your loved one liked the special treat you made for them, hit me up and follow me on Facebook (Chef Bruce Lim) and Instagram (@chef_bruce_lim). Enjoy!
|Serves 2||Prep Time 30 minutes||Baking Time 10 minutes|
- 600g to 800g spiny lobster (live)
- 100g white wine
- 50g carrots
- 50g celery
- 50g onions
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
- 1 pc bay leaf
- 800g water
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 500g fresh button mushrooms
- 50g unsalted butter
- 10g lemon juice or white wine
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 150g fish stock
- 30g all-purpose flour
- 30g butter
- 5g Dijon mustard
- 250g cooking cream
- 100g ementhal cheese
- Put the lobsters to sleep by placing them upside down inside the refrigerator.
- Prepare a medium to large pot and make sure that it can fit the lobsters and water. Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf together to make a bouquet garni. Add that to the pot with the celery, onions, and carrots. Add water and peppercorns then bring it to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling and the lobster is asleep, skewer the lobster from the tail to the head. Make sure to follow the vein of the lobster to avoid hitting the meat inside. This will keep the lobster straight while cooking. Place the lobster into the stock and boil it for 5 minutes to partially cook it.
- While the lobster is boiling, get cold water in a bowl and add salt to it, make it as salty as sea water then add ice. After 5 minutes of boiling the lobster take it out of the stock and submerge it straight into the ice water bath. Leave it to cool for about 3 minutes. Remove the lobster from the ice bath and chill it until ready to use.
- In a medium sauté pan, add butter and melt it until it gets frothy. After it gets frothy, wait for about 1 minute to a minute and a half until the butter begins to brown. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté it until all the water starts to reduce out of it. Once the water is reduced, add lemon juice and cook it out until the lemon juice evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and set it aside.
- To make the sauce, remove the head of the lobster and scrape out all the head butter (aligue). Place it into a pan with unsalted butter. Add the flour and cook it out for 5 minutes until you make a roux. Add Dijon mustard. Since the roux is hot, make sure the fish stock is cold. Whisk it with the roux then bring it to a boil. Make sure it boils from the center to make sure the starch is cooked.
- Once the mixture is nice and thick, remove it from the heat and cover it with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the mixture to avoid it from developing a skin on the surface.
- Make a liaison by mixing double cream and egg yolks. Once mixed, add the emmental cheese and set it aside.
- To bring everything together, cut the lobster lengthwise from the head to tail then crack it open but do not break it through the other side. Lift the tail meat up without breaking the shell. Once the meat is out, cut it into medallions. Add about 100 grams of the mushroom mixture on the bottom of the shell then lay the lobster meat on top of the mushrooms. Pour over the sauce on top of the medallions then add the liaison on top of the sauce.
- Place lobster tail on a baking sheet/pan then brush the shell and head with oil. Bake it in a 180˚C oven for 6 minutes.
- After baking, remove the head from the pan, put the tail back inside the oven and raise the temperature to 200˚C then bake it again until the top is golden brown. Once golden brown, remove it from the oven and serve it hot with some buttered vegetables.
NOTE: If lobsters aren’t available, large prawns can also be a good substitute.