A true French classic, while this recipe is labor-intensive it’s easy enough for anyone to do and is sure to be a back pocket recipe for many years to come. Making use of tender lobster, wine, brandy and egg, this rich and hearty but oddly light recipe is sure to win you and your guests’ hearts over.
4 whole lobster tails
1 cup olive oil
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup lobster stock
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cup dry white wine
½ cup brandy or cognac
1 ¼ cup lobster stock
2 shallot, finely minced
2 tablespoons tarragon, fresh, chopped, plus additional for garnish
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
½ cup gruyere cheese, finely shredded
Kosher salt to taste
Paprika for garnish
Preparing the lobster
- Gather all your ingredients, this is key as this recipe has multiple steps and will make this recipe very easy to produce if you gather all the ingredients ahead of time. Preheat the oven to
400 degrees F.
- With a sharp knife, split each lobster tail in half lengthwise starting at the front of the tail and working towards the back.
- Brush the lobster with olive oil and bake meat side up on a baking dish for 12 minutes. Remove the lobster
from the oven and let it cool.
- Preparing the bechamel: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat followed by the onion and garlic. Cool until soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir using a rubber spatula, cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add the stock and whisk well to combine until no lumps remain. Let the mixture come to a simmer then slowly add the cream, whisking constantly. As the mixture simmers, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat and set aside
Preparing the Lobster Thermidor
- Using a fork, remove the lobster meat from the tail shells (SAVE THE SHELLS) for the dish.
- Cut the lobster meat into chunks about the size of your fingertip.
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the wine, brandy, stock, shallot and tarragon. Reduce it down until it is thick in consistency (can coat a spoon) about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the bechamel sauce to the reduction, stir well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cream and egg yolk. Slowly add ½ cup into the cream and yolk mixture, stirring constantly so as to not scramble the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture into the bechamel sauce while whisking and gently bring to a low simmer. Add the mustard and season with salt.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes (do not boil). While cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the lobster meat to the sauce and mix well.
- Fill the empty lobster shells with the lobster thermidor mixture, then place onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, sprinkle evenly with gruyere cheese and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with additional tarragon and paprika.