Lobster Thermidor

This recipe for Lobster Thermidor comes from  Gourmets  Basic French
Cookbook, edited by Louis Diat, and serves 4.

    Split 3 live lobsters, 1 3/4 to 2 pounds each, or 4 live lobsters
1 to 1 1/2 pounds each.  Season them with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Put 1/4
inch salad oil in a large pan, arrange the lobsters in the pan, and
bake them in a hot oven (400 deg. F.) for 20 minutes, basting from time to 
time with the oil.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon
chopped shallot and 1/2 cup dry white wine, and cook until it is reduced
to 1/4 its original volume.  Add 2 cups Mornay sauce (recipe follows),
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and 1 teaspoon English mustard and cook,
stirring, until the sauce is smooth. Correct the seasoning with salt and
add more mustard if desired.  Remove the lobster meat from the shells and
dice it.  Wash and dry the shells.  Arrange the shells on a heatproof
platter and put a little sauce in each.  Distribute the lobster meat
among the shells.  Add 1 tablespoon whipped cream to the remaining sauce
and spread this over the lobster meat.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan
or dry Swiss cheese and brown the topping under the broiler or in a very
hot oven (450 deg. F.).


    Prepare Bechamel Sauce:
      Melt 2 tablespoons butter and in it cook 1 tablespoon finely 
chopped onion, until the onion is soft but not at all brown.  Add 4
tablespoons flour, mix well, and cook, stirring constantly, until it
just starts to turn golden.  Add gradually, 3 cups scalded milk, and cook,
stirring vigorously with a wire whip, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Season the sauce with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 peppercorns, a sprig of parsley,
and, if desired, a tiny pinch of grated nutmeg. Cook the sauce slowly,
stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes, or until it is reduced to 2/3
the original quantity.  Strain the bechamel through a fine sieve.  Makes 
about 2 cups.

    Prepare Mornay Sauce:
       Mix 3 slightly beaten egg yolks with a little cream, combine with
2 cups hot bechamel sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce just 
reaches the boiling point. Add 2 tablespoons each of butter and grated 
Parmesan or Swiss cheese. 

    ..There is no indigestion worse than that which comes
            from having to eat your own words.

    Roger Campbell       State Univ. of New York at Buffalo
           Bitnet:  CAMPBELL@UBVM.BITNET
         Internet:  campbell@acsu.cc.buffalo.edu