Lobster Thermidor

Description:

Lobster Thermidor

Ingredients:

This is a classic dish that many fine restaurants used to serve. When I worked at Ernie's in San Francisco, this was one of our most-requested dishes. It went out of vogue for a while, but people are starting to talk about it again... rich and decadent, this is a lovely dish to re-discover during the holidays. If you were in New Orleans, you'd find a spicy rendition of this dish, but I'm sticking to what I know - butter, cream, spinach, and lobster. Perfect.

Prepare:

- 2 2-pound spiny lobsters
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 shot dry vermouth or brandy
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- 1 teaspoon diced thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

How to Serve:

In a large pot of boiling water, boil the lobsters whole for about 7 minutes. Remove from water and cool for about 30 minutes. When the lobsters are completely cool, slice them down the middle lengthwise. Be careful as you make the cut; you'll be using the shell as the "dish" later, so slice neatly and cleanly. Remove the meat from the bottom half of the body; cut the meat into large chunks and set aside. Clean the head part; rinse the shells and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the dry vermouth, mustard, grated cheese and thyme, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. When the mixture is fully melted and creamy, add the lobster. Remove from heat.

In a pan of boiling water, blanch the spinach by submerging it into the water for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Chop the spinach into fine ribbons. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the spinach and minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the cream, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Season with salt. After one minute, remove from heat.

Lay the cleaned lobster shells in a baking dish. Divide the spinach between the shells to form a bottom layer. Spoon the lobster cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano. Bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Turn heat to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the top of the cheese is golden brown and crispy around the edges. Remove from oven.

Serve with hot buttered noodles or steamed rice.

Serves 4.

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