Lobster Thermidor Recipe. Lobster Thermidor is a classic French lobster dish consisting of cooked lobster meat with a mixture of white bechamel sauce, cognac or brandy, tarragon, mustard and any other ingredients that stuffed into a splitted lobster shell and then topped with cheese and broiled until the cheese is melted and charred. Typically cheese for lobster thermidor topping was gruyère or emmenthal, but you can also be using any easy-melt cheese like mozarella or young parmesan.
Basic lobster thermidor sauce is a white bechamel sauce, which is composed of a lightly sauteed roux and poured with milk and heavy cream. Chopped button mushrooms also added within the sauce to give an extra bites. Making a smooth and light bechamel sauce it’s the key of delicious lobster thermidor, because too heavy bechamel sauce can overpowering the natural sweetness of the lbster meat. Once you melted the butter in the heavy bottom sauce pan, swirl it to coat the pan and then lower the heat into medium low. After that put the flour into the pan and stir it vigorously, it will first turn creamy looking, then start to look a little grainy. Once the roux is gariny, this means that the flour granules have absorbed the butter, stop the cooking right here and take the pan off the heat before it starts to turn brown.
The best lobster thermidor recipe need a smooth bechamel sauce, the trick is never overcooked or undercook the roux (mixture of butter and flour) for the bechamel sauce. Undercook roux made a floury smells bechamel, while overcooked roux made a burn hint to the bechamel sauce. After you turn off the heat, pour the milk slowly and stir the mixture until smooth and no remaining roux lump on it. Then you turn on the heat again and bring it to boil and simmer it until the bechamel sauce is done. You can mix the diced lobster meat at this point and season it properly.
Authentic lobster thermidor got mustard and also tarragon leaves on the sauce. Those two ingredients was a must ingredients within the lobster thermidor sauce. I was so lucky to get fresh tarragon in Jakarta, i purchased it from Ranch Market Supermarket. Tarragon bring a hint of sweet anise-like flavour while the mustard give a pleasant spicy and lightly bitter aftertaste, both were blended into a very great combination. Mustard is a very potent spice, if you freshly grounded the seed, i think you need a pinch of it or you’ll gonna overpowering the entire dish. If you found a recipe with 1 tbsp of mustard powder for only 1 pound lobster, i guess it’s a little bit crazy.
Lobster thermidor recipe using the it’s lobster shells for a serving plate. You can split it down into two separated shells or butterflied it like mine. The lobster shells is crack open with sharp knive in the belly or in the back and let the opposide (which is the back or the belly) still remaining attached. Make sure you keep the tail and head portions of the shell intact while removing the meat, as the large half shells make an impressive presentation when stuffed. Butterflied lobster shell is better than splitted down lobster shell for a presentation purpose, beside it made a bigger space for the lobster thermidor mixture.
Making lobster thermidor is quite an effort. First you need brush and clean the lobster under running water to get rid any dirt and debris from the lobster shells. After that you poached the lobster in a herbs infused boiling water that called bouquet garni, which is a small cheesecloth bag filled with herbs and seasonings that is used to flavor poaching liquids and broths. You need to poached the lobster for about 2-3 minutes depend on the size of your lobster, you not want to cooked through the lobster meat, this steps is needed to made the lobster meat is easily extracted from the shells. To prevent the remaining heat continue cook the lobster meat, i suggest you to plunged the lobster into a bowl of ice cold water. After that you butterflied the shell by cracking it from the back (or the belly). After you extracted the lobster tail meat carefully and diced it into bite size, mix it with the bechamel sauce and mushrooms mixture and then stuffed it again to the lobster shells. Topped with cheese and then broiled until the cheese is melted. Lobster thermidor usually served alone with lemon wedges as a appetizer or alongside salad and toasted bread as a main course
Lobster Thermidor Recipe:
- 1 medium size lobsters ( 1-11/2 pounds live spinny lobster)
- 1/2 cup button mushrooms, diced
- 1 lemon, juiced (i’m using kaffir lime)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 shallots, miced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter(i’m using 1 tbsp butter+ 1 tbsp margarine)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cognac or brandy (i’m using dry white wine)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup finely grated gruyere cheese (i’m using mozarella cheese)
- 1/4 tbsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/2 bsp finely chopped parsley
- cilantro or flat leaf parsley for garnish
How to Make Lobster Thermidor Recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Bring a pot of salted water containing bouquet garni to a boil. Add the lobsters and poaced it until the shell turning red for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- Once the lobsters are cool enough to handle, cut the back in half lengthwise with a heavy sharp knife, pull apart the shell to open it and carefully extract the tail meat. Dice the tail meat and claw meat and set aside.
- Melt the butter and margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Add the diced button mushrooms and stir gentry until the mushrooms soften. Turn off the heat
- Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly to incorporate. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the cream, stirring constantly, until all is incorporated. Add the cognac (dry white wine) and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute. (The mixture will be very thick.) Add the salt and pepper and stir well.
- Remove from the heat, add the mustard, tarragon, and parsley. Fold in the lobster meat. Put the mixture in the lobster shells.
- Sprinkle the top with grated mozarella cheese.
- Broil until the top is golden brown for about 10-25 minutes. Served it immediately and garnish with flat leaf parsley
Bouquet Garni Recipe:
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small sprig fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 4 sage
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Place the bay leaf, thyme, parsley sprigs, sage, and peppercorns in the center of a 6-inch square piece of cheesecloth or a large paper coffee filter. Draw up the sides to form a pouch and tie with kitchen twine.