Crack open the champagne… prepare for a mind-blowing experience. Truffle butter lobster combines chardonnay, vermouth, shallots, heavy cream, ginger, mushrooms, and, of course, black truffle butter, available at gourmet stores and markets, or online from D’Artagnan.
This recipe, from the cookbook, Fish, calls for traditional linguine, though you can make this dish gluten-free by using brown rice or gluten free pasta. (I’m a fan of Jovial brown rice pasta from Tuscany, the closest to the real thing, and organic to boot.)
While this dish isn’t one of our five-minute wonders, a little work pays off in a staggering way; it’s the perfect special dish for New Year’s Eve or any celebratory evening. (You want romance? This is it, baby.)
Recipe taken from Fish: 54 Seafood Feasts by Cree LaFavour, published by Chronicle Books, 2013.
This recipe, from the cookbook, Fish, calls for traditional linguine, though you can make this dish gluten-free by using brown rice or gluten free pasta. (I'm a fan of Jovial brown rice pasta from Tuscany, the closest to the real thing, and organic to boot.)
- 2 1 1/2 lb maine lobsters live
- 2 cups dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc or unoaked chardonnay
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 carrots peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 thumb-length piece of fresh ginger peeled
- 3 ribs celery with leaves halved lengthwise
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 1 lb mushrooms such as maitake, cremini, chenterelle, or a mix (do not use portobellos or shitakes)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tbsp black truffle butter
- 1 lb dried or fresh linguine cooked al dente in unsalted water
- 1/4 cup fresh chervil chopped
- white pepper
- Set up a steamer basket in a large stockpot over high heat and fill the stockpot just up to the steamer basket with the wine, vermouth, bay leaves, and water. Set the lobsters in the pot, cover, and steam for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the shells of the lobsters are dappled a deep orange color. Remove the lobsters with tongs and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, crack the shells and pick out the lobster meat, keeping the pieces as large as possible and reserving the shells.
- Return the cracked shells to the stockpot, mashing them with a wooden pestle or spoon, or using a cracker to break apart the large pieces of shell. Add the carrots, onion, parsley, thyme, ginger, and celery. Cover the shells and vegetables with water—just—and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and skim off any scum that rises to the top. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Strain the stock and return the liquid to the pot. Set over medium heat and reduce for another 30 minutes, or until there’s about 2 cups of liquid. Set aside.
- To finish the sauce, set a large sauté pan over medium heat with the butter, shallot, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the shallot softens and the mushrooms begin to wilt and give up their fragrance. Do not add any salt. Next, add the stock and 1½ cups cream and reduce by half. Taste the sauce—if it’s too salty, add a little more cream. To finish the sauce, add the truffle butter and the reserved lobster meat. Cook just until the butter melts and the lobster is just warm.
- Toss the pasta with 1 cup of the liquid from the sauce. Portion the pasta into bowls, and then distribute the lobster meat and mushrooms from the bottom of the pan. Finish each portion with a sprinkling of chervil and the faintest bit of white pepper.
Never buy precooked lobsters at the grocery store—they likely died and were then cooked. Grim but true. You can pick out a lively lobster and ask the store to cook it for you, however. Just make sure the lobster you picked out live is the lobster you leave with. Ask for it lightly cooked, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Substitute shrimp if you prefer; make the reduction with the shells and heads, if you have them.
(NOTE from Faith and Chris: To lighten the cream, use more lobster broth and ¼ cup cream.)
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