Lobster Thermidor

About

Geoffrey Smeddle’s Lobster Thermidor recipe offers a twist on the Parisian classic, bringing it home to Britain with the use of Anster cheese – a handmade, traditional and local cheese made on the North West coast of Scotland carrying a delicate and rich flavour, similar to that of Wenslydale or a mild English Cheddar. This recipe was developed as part of Geoffrey’s collaboration with the Sunday Herald.

Type: Starter

Serves: 8

Ingredients

LOBSTER

  • 4 lobsters, each weighing 400g
  • salt
  • sugar

THERMIDOR

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 fennel, finely diced
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 150ml of white wine
  • 150ml of brandy
  • 500ml of lobster stock, can use good quality bisque
  • 250ml of double cream
  • 100g of Anster cheese, plus extra for lobster
  • 1 tbsp of tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 5 dashes of Tabasco

Method

Step 1.

To cook the lobster, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add enough salt to taste like sea water and half the amount of sugar

Requires

  • salt
  • sugar
Step 2.

Drop the lobsters into the water for 3 minutes, remove and plunge directly into heavily iced water. Leave the lobsters to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the water

Requires

  • 4 lobsters
Step 3.

Break down the lobster by removing the claws and dissecting the body. Remove the tail meat, entrails and sinew. Rinse the head and tail and use scissors to trim the tail and head to smooth edges, repeat for all lobsters

Step 4.

Break down the lobster by removing the claws and dissecting the body. Remove the tail meat, entrails and sinew. Rinse the head and tail and use scissors to trim the tail and head to smooth edges, repeat for all lobsters

Step 5.

Use the back of a large chefs knife and kitchen scissors to crack and remove the meat from both the claws and the knuckles. Place the knuckle and claw into the head cavity. The preparation of the lobster can be done in advance and refrigerated until required

Step 6.

Start the thermidor by heating a small amount of butter in a large saucepan. Sweat the onion and fennel on a ow to medium heat until oft with no colour. Add tomato puree and cook for a further 4-5 mintues

Requires

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • 1 knob of butter
Step 7.

Next, add the mustard and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring to incorporate all the other ingredients i the pan. Add the brandy and reduce by half. Pour in the wine and bring to boil

Requires

  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 150ml of brandy
  • 150ml of white wine
Step 8.

Lastly, add lobster stock and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid slightly thickens. Add the cream and allow to come to the boil while stirring in the grated cheese. Add 5 dashes of tabaso or more to taste, remove from heat, stir in tarragon and leave to cool

Requires

  • 500ml of lobster stock
  • 250ml of double cream
  • 100g of Anster cheese
  • 1 tbsp of tarragon
  • 5 dashes of Tabasco
Step 9.

For the final stages of the dish, place the prepared lobsters (in shell) in a shallow pan, meat side up. Add enough water to just cover the base of the pan and place over a ow to medium heat. As soon as the water to begins to steam, remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 4 minutes

Step 10.

Lift out lobster out of the pan and pour out any excess juice. Sprinkle over small amount of the grated cheese and heat the thermidor sauce, stirring constantly until boiling. Taste the sauce and season to taste

Step 11.

Transfer the lobster to a warm plate and pour over the hot thermidore sauce. Serve with chips and fresh fennel and chervil friands

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