Lobster Recipes: Lobster Sauce
Lobster a l'americaine
This famous lobster dish originated in the south of France where the use of tomatoes in sauces is prevalent. Originally called lobster Provencal, the version a l'americaine was first prepared at the restaurant of Noel-Peters in the Passage de Prince in Paris. The version that I've adapted uses a method of butter-poaching the lobster meat after it has been steeped in the shell.
Preparation Time: 1 hourServings: 2
Liquid from steeping the lobsters
Lobster bodies and shells
4 ounces butter
4 ounces flour
4 shallots, fine dice
1 small onion, fine diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 ripe medium sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced(link to tomato concassee)
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup cognac or brandy
Freshly cracked pepper
To steep the lobsters:
- Melt butter in saucepan and saute shallots and onion until lightly browned, add garlic.
- Rinse lobster bodies, removing and reserving the pale green tomalley and the orange roe.
- Add lobster bodies and shells, tomatoes and tomato paste to the saucepan and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add flour and stir well to make the roux..
- Add 2 cups of steeping liquid 1/3 at a time, stirring to remove lumps between each addition.
- Add herbs and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Strain through a fine chinois(china cap).
2 1 1/2 to 2 pound lobsters
1/2 cup white vinegar per 8 quarts of water
enough water to completely cover lobsters
To cook the lobsters:
- Place lobsters in a stockpot or other heat-proof container with a lid.
- Bring water and vinegar to a rolling boil and then pour over lobsters and cover.
- Let steep for 2 minutes for 1 1/2 pound lobsters and 3 minutes for 2 pound lobsters.
- Remove from the pot with tongs, twist off claws with knuckles attached and return claws to pot for 5 minutes.
- Twist off the tails from the body and pull off the flippers from the end of the tail. Push the meat out through the large end of the tail.
- Remove the vein from the center of the tail.
- After 5 minutes, remove the claws from the pot and crack open with the back of a knife. Use only enough force to crack the claw and loosen the meat.
- Remove the meat from the knuckles. Save the bodies for stock.
Make sufficient beurre monte to barely cover the lobster meat. Place the lobster meat in a saucepan, cover with beurre monte and cook over low heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through.
This dish is traditionally served with a rice pilaf, but it will go well with other rice dishes as well as pasta. For a dramatic presentation, slice the tail into 5 slices on a bias and arrange on the sauce in the shape of a whole lobster with claws on either side of the tail and knuckle meat between the claws and tail.