NEXT LEVEL Lobster thermidor
BBC Good Food UK|Christmas 2021
SERVES 2 as a main, 4 as a starter PREP 1 hr COOK 30 mins MORE EFFORT
BARNEY DESMAZERY

WHY

For a celebratory starter or main course, lobster thermidor is about as classic as they come. But, many traditional versions are made with a heavy sauce, which often masks the subtle flavours of the lobster instead of complementing it. Here, we’ve given the dish a much-needed makeover while retaining its original charm and sense of occasion. We’ve made it lighter and focused on the flavour of the lobster, but it’s still rich – the tricks we’ve employed boost the shellfish taste and make it feel even more luxurious. We also waste as little of the precious lobster meat as possible.

WHAT TO BUY

2 cooked lobsters (about 500g each), defrosted if frozen, reserve the shell and scraps for the sauce (below) chips or boiled baby potatoes and a green salad, to serve

For the sauce

25g butter

2 banana shallots or 3 small shallots, finely chopped

100ml white wine or vermouth

500ml fish stock

100ml double cream

1 tsp English mustard

½ lemon, juiced handful of parsley leaves, chopped (or use a mix of parsley, chervil, chives and tarragon)

30g finely grated parmesan

HOW TO MAK E IT

1 Snap the claws and smaller legs away from each lobster. Cut the main section in half lengthways using a large chef’s knife, and scoop the contents of the head cavities into a bowl, then remove the dark vein from the tail meat and discard. Remove the tail meat, chop into large chunks and put in another bowl. Lay the empty shells cut-side up on a baking tray and set aside.

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