Lobster à l'américaine
- 4 live lobsters, about 625 g (1 1/4 lb) each
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) carrot, cut into 5 mm (1/4 in.) dice
- 2 large French shallots, thinly sliced
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) cognac or brandy
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- 250 ml (1 cup) clam juice
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and crushed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch of Cayenne pepper
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh tarragon, chopped
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh chervil, chopped
- Place the tip of a large, sharp, heavy knife on the cross at the base of the lobster's head and with a firm, strong thrust, split the head between the eyes to kill it.
- Twist off the claws and crack them open with the back of a knife.
- Twist off the tail and cut it into 3 chunks.
- Cut the head in half and remove the small gravel pouch.
- With a teaspoon, remove the creamy part and set aside.
- Repeat the previous steps for each lobster.
- In a large pot, heat the oil and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of butter over high heat.
- Sear the lobster pieces for 3 to 4 minutes or until bright red.
- Remove and set aside.
- In the same fat, soften the carrot and shallots for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Place the lobster pieces back in the pot and flambé with cognac.
- Remove the lobster.
- Add the white wine and reduce to one-third.
- Add the clam juice, garlic and tomatoes.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Combine 60 ml (1/4 cup) of softened butter with the creamy part of the lobster and add to the pot to thicken the sauce.
- Stir well and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce in a blender and purée.
- Place the sauce back in the pot and add the lobster pieces.
- Season with salt, black pepper and Cayenne pepper.
- Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lobster pieces and place on serving plates.
- Discard the heads, keeping only the claws and chunks of tail.
- Just before serving, off the heat, add the remaining butter cut into small pieces, stirring constantly.
- Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
- Top the lobster with sauce.
- Serve with rice.