Friday 19 December 2014

Lobster Thermidor

An exclusive from Niloufer's Kitchen

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Lobster  Thermidor

Another revelation of the past, it has been a tradition for us since our arrival to Canada  to indulge on every father’s day in this amazing masterpiece.
Use small lobsters, the tail will give you the most meat. Most stores steam the fresh lobsters and sell it to you.
You can add scallop and meaty white fish and fresh crab to make this into a seafood bake.
Find crab shells to serve it in. Grill it to make it au gratin it looks great and you can have portions shared to each one.
You can buy au gratin dishes, or even try and save the lobster shells, tough if you are removing the meat yourself. Count on one small lobster per person as a main course.

Interesting trivia. "Thermidor" is the name of the 11th month of the French Republican calendar. Stemming from the words thermal meaning heat (it hardly relates to lobsters or the weather!) But like with other fame there is always a good story attached.

In the 1890's A play was named Thermidor, relating to the history of that moment in time performing at the Comedy Theater in Paris. To honour the opening night Marie's, a restaurant of great repute and located next door to the theater,  created this culinary masterpiece. It continues to be prepared for just special occasions since - thanks to the work involved!

Lobster Thermidor served in a tail au gratin.

4 Lobsters

Remove lobster, cut it into chunky pieces and season with salt and peppercorns, and squeeze fresh lemon or lime over it.

In a large pot make the bechamel sauce.

Melt 4 tbsp salted butter 
add 4 tbsp plain flour
Make a roux, and add
2 cups whole milk
Keep stirring with a whisk to keep it smooth and bring it to a boil till thickens.
Add to this
Seasoning; salt and mixed peppercorns freshly cracked.
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 large sauteed onion; very finely chopped
2 soft boiled eggs; diced and seasoned a dash of cream
A dash of chili sauce like Tabasco
1 tsp made mustard
Add the chunks of lobster meat
When ready to serve pour into 4 gratin dishes, sprinkle a mix of  grated cheese, bread crumbs  and butter on top  and grill under a broiler till bubbly and golden. Serve warm.
Add a few tablespoons of cream to make it richer.
If using mustard powder instead of made mustard use just 1/2 tsp and not the whole.
Use a favourite strong cheddar if you cannot find Gruyere. 
Add 2 tbsps of dry sherry or rum to your bechamel if you enjoy liquor in your food; originally cognac was added to this French dish! 

To read about an ancient cuisine you can purchase my cookbooks called The World of Parsi Cooking; Food Across Borders and The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.  

For more recipes click 

Niloufer's Kitchen : French Bistro

Readers Comments
4th September 2017
Manini Lalbhai Badlani I tried your recipe with prawns since we can't get lobsters here. It turned out awesome. Thank you

8 hrs

Photo credit Sheriar Hirjikaka

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