Canal House Cooking
"At Christmas, sometimes you are shopping up to the last minute. Give yourself a gift and order your lobster ahead. When you do, ask your fishmarket to steam and crack the lobsters for you just before you pick them up and if they have good fish stock, pick that up, too."
–Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer
4 to 6 servings
- Two 1 1/2-pound lobsters
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 2 to 3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup good fish stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Chopped chives for garnish
Plunge the tip of a large sharp knife into the heads of the lobsters just behind the eyes. (This is the hardest part of the whole recipe.) Drop the lobsters into a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the pot and set them aside until they are cool enough to handle.
Remove the meat from the lobster, reserving the shells and any juices. Cut the lobster into large bite-size pieces, leaving the claw meat whole.
Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, celery, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Add the large pieces of lobster shells along with any juices and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes. Add potatoes, wine, and fish stock, cover, and gently simmer until the vegetables are just soft, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the tarragon and lobster shells.
Add cream and lobster meat and cook until the lobster is just heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Ladle into bowls; garnish with chives.