Lobster Thermidor, serve this either as a half for a starter, or with french fries as a main. It is absolutely essential that you buy fresh, live lobster. The price can vary massively depending upon the time of year. They seem to be wildly expensive from december through to march.
1 whole live lobster 750g-1kg
1 Thermidor sauce (recipe at the bottom of this page)
50g ground parmesan
Chopped parsley to garnish.
French fries (the skinny frozen ones work best) if required.
Pre heat the oven to 180c, put the live lobster into the freezer, and put your biggest pan on the stovetop ¾ full of water, and enough salt to make it taste like the sea. Boil. In mediterranean countries, they actually use sea water. If you’re having fries, put your fryer on now. Never use oven chips. Use kitchen tongs to lower the lobster into the water, it should be a rolling boil by now. Put the lid on, and leave for 5 minutes. Remove the lobster from the pan, and transfer to a board to cool slightly. Warm up the thermidor sauce on a low heat. Halve the lobster and remove the sand sack and intestine, loosen the meat inside and smash the claws. Place the lobster, shell side down into a baking tray. Cover generously with the sauce, then the breadcrumbs, followed by the parmesan cheese. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Cook the fries according to manufacturers’ instructions. Transfer the lobster and fries onto a plate, and pour any excess sauce into a ramekin. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
Thermidor sauce recipe
Make a bechamel first, you will need
1 pint whole milk
1 bay leaf
1 white onion, peeled and halved
1 basic roux recipe
Stick everything except the roux in a pan and heat gently, until it starts to simmer. In the meantime, make the basic roux and cook to the blonde stage. Strain the infused milk, and add to the roux. Use the wooden spoon to gently lift any of the mixture from the bottom of the pan. Switch to a whisk, stir and heat gently until thickened to the consistency of custard. Don’t worry if it’s not super smooth, that’s what the sieve is for.
A few extra steps, can progress this sauce into thermidor. Add 200g of grated mature cheddar, a heaped tablespoon of dijon mustard, the juice of half a lemon, a grind of black pepper, and 100ml of double cream.