Friday, November 30, 2012

Champagne and Butter Poached Lobster

I served this at a tasting party in small portions, but it would also be great as a main dish.

Yield: 4 entree servings, or approx 12 tasting portions


4 cups water
1 1/2 cups champagne vinegar
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
2-3 lobster tails (*see note below)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups champagne
1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbs green onions, sliced
1 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest

*Note about lobster - the original recipe calls for live ones, but that's a bit cringeworthy for me (yes, I'm a hypocrite & wimp when it comes to killing the things I eat).

I have a local fish market that offers lobster tails with claw meat, and also lobster stock and shells.  If you can't get that, a regular store-bought lobster tail with shell would suffice, but I would suggest using three of them, rather than two, to make up for the difference in claw meat.

Heat oil in a pot and add onion, garlic and carrot. Cook until softened. Add water, vinegar, lobster shells, herbs and spices and bring to a boil (could substitute lobster stock for this step). Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Next, remove lobster shells and add champagne. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. Strain and transfer remaining liquid to a skillet.

Heat liquid in a skillet over medium heat. Slice lobster into medium sized medallions and reserve. Add butter, allow to melt, then add sliced lobster.  Mix in tarragon, lemon juice and green onions; then poach until lobster is opaque, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. 

Finally, transfer lobster to a serving plate(s) and garnish with lemon zest. Serve with some of the champagne butter sauce. Yum!

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