Lobster Thermidor

Chef Larry "Lee" White, HEB seafood manager

This is one of Chef Lee's favorite ways to cook lobster. Ten years ago while spending Mothers Day in New Orleans, he and his parents stumbled on a restaurant called "Emeril's Delmonico." He was just starting off in the culinary world and Emeril being of the most decorated chefs at the time, they just had to eat there. Lee told the waiter to bring Emeril's favorite dish and after eating it, it inspired Lee to pursue a deep passion for cooking. So, here is Lee's take on a legendary favorite so everyone can cook for their mother or loved one on Mother's Day, as Lee does for his.

Serves 4


2 lemons, halved

1 medium yellow onion, quartered

1 Bouquet Garni (recipe follows)

Two 2-pound live lobsters (HEB Seafood Department)

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoon minced shallots

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoon cognac, brandy or sherry

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (HEB Cheese Shop or Deli)

1 tablespoon HEB Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish


1.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. 

2.  Bring a pot of salted water containing the lemons, quartered onion, and bouquet garni to a boil.  Add the lobsters and cook until red and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer the lobsters to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 

3.  When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise with a heavy, sharp knife and carefully extract the tail meat.  Remove the large claws from the body and gently crack with the back of a heavy knife to extract the meat.  Gently pull the front legs from the shell and discard.  Dice the tail meat and claw meat and set aside. 

4.  Place the halved lobster shells on a prepared baking sheet, cut sides down, and roast until dry, 5 to 6 minutes.  Let cool on a baking sheet.

5.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the flour and whisk to blend.  Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to make a light roux, about 2 minutes.  Add the cognac or brandy and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds.  Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly to incorporate.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes.  Slowly add the cream, stirring constantly, until all is incorporated.  Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute.  (The mixture will be very thick.)  Add the salt and pepper and stir well.

6.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, the mustard, tarragon, and the 2 teaspoons of parsley.  Fold in the lobster meat.  Divide the mixture among the lobster shells and place stuffed side up on a clean baking sheet.  Sprinkle the top of each lobster half with the remaining cheese and bake until the tops are golden brown, 14 to 15 minutes.

7.  Place 1 lobster half on each of 4 large plates, garnish with additional parley, and serve immediately.  This is a great dish to add a cut of Prime Beef tenderloin to make this a little Surf-n-Turf.

Bouquet Garni

Makes 1 Bouquet

5 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

10 whole peppercorns

3 sprigs fresh parsley


Put all the ingredients in the center of a 6-inch square of cheesecloth.  Bring the corners together and tie securely with kitchen twine.

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