Lobster Thermidor, with some Champagne…

Lobster is a great dish, most of the time it is served cold with Mayonaise but a nice way to offer it, is with a Thermidor Sauce. I usually serve it with Champagne.

To cook the lobster, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add enough salt to taste like sea water.
Drop the lobsters into the water for 3 minutes, remove and plunge directly into heavily iced water. Leave the lobsters to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the water.
Break down the lobster by removing the claws and dissecting the body. Remove the tail meat, entrails and sinew. Rinse the head and tail and use scissors to trim the tail and head to smooth edges, repeat for all lobsters .
Once you’ve prepared all the lobster and the shells, use the left body and claw meat to place in the right side shells and vice versa. This is for presentation purposes.
Use the back of a large chefs knife and kitchen scissors to crack and remove the meat from both the claws and the knuckles. Place the knuckle and claw into the head cavity. The preparation of the lobster can be done in advance and refrigerated until required .
Start the thermidor by heating a small amount of butter in a large saucepan. Sweat the onion and fennel on a low to medium heat until oft with no colour. Add tomato puree and cook for a further 4-5 mintues.
Next, add the mustard and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring to incorporate all the other ingredients in the pan. Add the brandy and reduce by half. Pour in the wine and bring to boil.
Lastly, add lobster stock and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid slightly thickens. Add the cream and allow to come to the boil while stirring in the grated cheese. Add 5 dashes of tabaso or more to taste, remove from heat, stir in tarragon and leave to cool.
For the final stages of the dish, place the prepared lobsters (in shell) in a shallow pan, meat side up. Add enough water to just cover the base of the pan and place over a low to medium heat. As soon as the water to begins to steam, remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 4 minutes.
Lift out lobster out of the pan and pour out any excess juice. Sprinkle over small amount of the grated cheese and heat the thermidor sauce, stirring constantly until boiling. Taste the sauce and season to taste.
Transfer the lobster to a warm plate and pour over the hot thermidore sauce. Serve with potato purée and fresh fennel
friands .
This one was served with Asparagus and roasted potatoes, in San Francisco.

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