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Authentic New England Seafood Recipes From The Venus de Milo Restaurant in Swansea Massachusetts

Lobster Americaine

Preparation Time: Approx. 90 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
3 each 1¾ lbs. lobster culls
½ cup lobster stock
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced shallots
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 oz brandy
½ cup Port wine
1 cup canned Italian tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Beurre Manie (recipe below)
2 cups rice pilaf (recipe below)

Method: Lobster Stock
Prepare the lobsters as you would for broiling. Remove the tails from the body and cut though the shell dividing the tails into 2 pieces. Place the tails in the refrigerator until they are needed. Steam the body and claws in 4 cups of water in a covered stockpot or saucepan. Remove the claws when they are cooked (after about 12 minutes once the water has begun boiling) and reserve for a later use. Continue to steam the body until the broth has reduced by half. Only ½ a cup of stock is needed for this entrée. Use the extra stock and lobster claws in another recipe such as lobster bisque. 

Method: Lobster Americaine
Have ready 2 heavy skillets. Cast iron sauté pans are perfect. In the first fry pan melt the butter and then sauté the carrots, celery, onions, and shallots until the carrots just begin to tender.
In the second pan add the olive oil and allow the oil to reach temperature. Sauté the lobster tails for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the flesh starts to firm. Turn the lobster tails often.
Remove the lobster tails from the second pan and add them to the vegetable mixture in the first pan. Turn the heat up to high then add the brandy and cook until the alcohol burns off. Add the Italian tomatoes, the Port wine, the tarragon, and salt and pepper if needed. Bring to a strong simmer and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Thicken with Buerre Manie.
To serve, make a mound of rice pilaf in the center of 2 dinner plates. Arrange the lobster tails around the mound of rice and ladle the sauce over the rice and lobster tails. Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs. 

Buerre Manie
Buerre Manie is a kneaded butter flour mixture that is used as a thickening agent. Generally in a restaurant setting, a kneaded butter is used to repair a loose sauce or to thicken a sauce quickly, as in an emergency. Kneaded butter is actually not very stable and should only be added at the end of the cooking process. Never boil a sauce that is bound with a buerre manie and take care to add the buerre manie at the very end, and to simmer only until the desired consistency is reached and the floury taste dissipates. Buerre manie is made by gently rubbing together with the fingertips, equal parts of flour and soft butter. Pastry flour is preferable but all-purpose will do. The lower levels of gluten in pastry flour allow for a more accurate estimate of the thickening abilities of a particular measure. All-purpose flour can give varying results as far as thickening ability goes.

Rice Pilaf
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a 5-quart or larger saucepan. Sauté 3 tablespoons of chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic until transparent. Add 4½ cups of cold water, 6 chicken bouillon cubes, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in 2 cups of converted rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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