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MARIO BATALI Lobster Americaine

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2 lobsters (2 pounds each)
2 cups shrimp or fish stock (divided)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion (peeled and finely diced)
1 carrot (peeled and finely diced)
2 ribs celery (finely diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 large overripe tomatoes (small diced)
1/3 cup brandy
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 bunch basil (roughly chopped, to garnish)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to garnish, optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

In a large saucepot, pour 1 inch of water and place a steamer rack in the pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lobster head-first to the pot, cover with the lid, and return water to a full boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle boil until the lobster is bright red, about 14 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
Use the back of a knife to crack open the lobster claws, remove meat. Cut lengthwise down the lobster tail and remove the meat. Cut the tail meat into 1/2-inch slices. Remove lobster meat to a small saucepan with 1/2 cup shrimp stock heated over low heat to keep warm. Discard shells.
For the Sauce:
In a small saucepan, heat remaining shrimp stock over low heat.
To a large saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add brandy and flambe by tilting the pan towards the heat to light on fire (or use a stick lighter). Remove from heat and let fire extinguish. Add stock and wine and return to a simmer. Allow to cook for 8-10 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Add red pepper flakes and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Allow to simmer another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter and stir until sauce is creamy. Spoon sauce into the bottom of four shallow bowls. Divide lobster claw and tail meat evenly between bowls and spoon additional sauce on top. Garnish with chives.
Tip: 1. Buy steamed lobster meat from seafood counter and heat in broth before serving if you don’t want to cook lobster at home.
Tip: 2. Rinse lobster shells and steep in store-bought seafood stock to reinforce the stock.

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