For the other half’s birthday, I braved something I’ve been considering for a while: the lobster! I’d been worried about cooking a lobster in case I muck it up and waste an expensive piece of seafood. It turned out to be pretty do-able, although I did my best to confuse matters as much as possible by also making and cooking chips at the same time. It was definitely a good idea to get my fishmonger to cook and clean it though, I would recommend you do this too if possible.
Here’s what I did.
Ingredients – Lobster
- 1 Large prepared, halved and cleaned lobster – I had this cooked and cleaned by my fishmonger for me, which was a great help, but if you want to do it the hard way, use instructions from a book like Rick Stein’s Seafood
- 40g Butter
Ingredients – Thermidor Sauce
- 25g Butter (unsalted)
- 25g Plain flour
- 300ml Milk
- 25ml Dry white wine (I used a dry Chablis)
- 80ml Double cream
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 medium dutch chilli chopped – not too hot
- 75g Gruyere grated
- 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
- Get everything ready beforehand as you’ll need time to think and adjust as you’re cooking; grate the cheese, chop the chilli and parsley etc Also remove the lobster from its shell and cut it into bite sized pieces
- Start with the sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour – mix it in well for a minute before adding the milk gradually, whisking all the time
- Once all the milk has been added, continue whisking as the mixture reaches the boil. When it boils, turn down the temperature and simmer for around 9-10 mins. You should keep stirring from time to time to keep it from sticking etc
- Now add most of the cheese (about two thirds) while the sauce is still at simmering point and mix until it’s melted away into the sauce. Then add the flavours: the chilli, wine and mustard, followed by the cream. Season with salt and pepper
- Let the sauce warm back up to simmering slowly on a low heat and meanwhile you can prepare the lobster for the grill
- Put the grill on hot to warm up. Meanwhile heat up the 40g of butter in a frying pan until bubbling. Add the chopped lobster and warm it for a minute or so. You don’t need or want to completely re-cook it
- Position the two halved and empty lobster shells on a baking sheet and spoon a few spoonfuls of the thermidor sauce in them. Add the pieces of lobster on top and then spoon more of the sauce on top.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and shove under the grill until the cheese browns
Serve with chips (freshly cut if you can be bothered), which are great for scooping up the sauce.