Only Thomas Keller could get away with such a complex recipe and make it look easy. His creation is delicious, to say the least, but we think it best to just make a reservation for this one.

French Laundry's Macaroni and Cheese
 
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Lobster:
  • 3 lobsters (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each)
  • distilled vinegar; as needed
  • water
  • Lobster Broth:
  • 1/4 Cup oil
  • 3 lobster bodies (3/4 pounds total); cut in quarters
  • 1 1/2 Cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup chopped carrots
  • 1 bunch tarragon
  • 2 Cups whipping cream
  • water
  • Coral Oil:
  • 3 Tablespoons lobster coral (roe); reserved from shell
  • 1/2 Cup oil; heated
  • Assembly:
  • 1/2 Cup orzo
  • 2 Tablespoons mascarpone
  • coarse salt; to taste
  • 1 1/2 Cups butter
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon minced chives
  • 6 Parmesan Crisps; see * Note
Instructions
  1. * Note: See the "Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps with Goat Cheese Mousse" recipe.
  2. Lobster: Place lobsters in tight-fitting heat-proof container such as stockpot. To determine how much steeping water you will need, add cold water just to cover, then drain it off, measure it and place in large pot.
  3. Bring water to boil and add 1/2 Cup white distilled vinegar for every 8 quarts of water. Pour boiling liquid over lobsters and steep 2 minutes if using 1 1/2-pound lobsters, 3 minutes for 2-pound lobsters. Remove lobsters from hot water, but do not discard water.
  4. One at a time, using towel or rubber gloves to hold hot lobster, grasp tail and twist and pull to detach from body. Twist and pull off claws and return them to hot water for 5 more minutes. Reserve bodies.
  5. Hold tail flat and twist tail fan to one side. Pull off and discard. Gently use your fingers to push through tail end pulling meat out through large opening at other end. Save shell for broth.
  6. Lay tail meat on back and cut lengthwise in half through middle. Remove vein running through top of meat. Lay meat on paper towel-lined plate or platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Repeat with each tail.
  7. After 5 minutes, remove claws from hot water. Twist off each knuckle to remove from claw. Hold claw in your hand and pull down to loosen lower pincer. Push to either side to crack and pull it straight off. Ideally, cartilage from inside claw should be attached to pincer and claw meat should remain intact. You may not always succeed in keeping claw meat in 1 piece, but with practice, your success rate will increase. If claw breaks apart, just arrange pieces nicely.
  8. Still holding claw, crack top of shell with heel of knife about 3/4 inch from joint where knuckle was attached. You want to go through shell but not damage meat. Wiggle your knife to loosen and crack shell. If shell does not pop off, turn claw over and repeat procedure. Shake claw to remove meat (if it doesn't fall out, cut off very tip of shell and blow through hole to release meat).
  9. Cut off top joint of each knuckle, the one that was attached to lobster body. Use scissors to cut away shell along smooth outside edge of knuckle. Use your fingers to pry open shell and remove meat. Add knuckle and claw meat to the tail meat. Reserve shell for broth.
  10. Pull back and discard top shell of each lobster, including heads and antennae, and reserve for broth. Remove dark green coral (tomalley and roe).
  11. Lobster Broth: Heat oil in large, deep, straight-sided braising pan. Add lobster shells and sear over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes per side, until they turn red. (If your pot is not big enough to accomplish this easily, do it in 2 batches.) Add tomatoes, carrots and tarragon, cover shells and vegetables with water, and bring to boil. Skim off any impurities that rise to top. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat 1 hour.
  12. Strain stock through large fine strainer, smashing lobster bodies with wooden spoon to extract all liquid, and then strain again through fine strainer into clean saucepan. Return strained stock to stove and simmer until reduced to 1 Cup, about 2 hours.
  13. Add heavy cream, return to simmer and cook, skimming occasionally, until broth is reduced to 2 Cups, about 30 to 40 minutes. Strain through fine strainer into container, discarding any solids remaining in strainer. Cover and refrigerate broth several hours to chill, or up to 3 days. (Makes 2 Cups; 6 to 8 servings of broth)
  14. Coral Oil: Place lobster coral in blender and blend until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. with machine running on low speed, drizzle in hot oil. Increase to high speed and continue to blend about 15 to 20 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides occasionally. Oil will continue to heat in blender from friction and will take on red-orange color (coral will remain dark).
  15. The longer machine is run, the darker the color will be, but be careful not to damage blender by overheating it. Strain oil by pouring through cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh strainer into container. Cover oil and store in refrigerator. (Makes 1/4 to 1/3 Cup)
  16. Assembly: Bring lobster broth to simmer over medium heat in saucepan and reduce to sauce consistency, about 1 Cup, about 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside in pan.
  17. Cook orzo in boiling lightly-salted water 8 to 10 minutes. Drain cooked pasta in strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake strainer to remove excess water and add pasta to lobster broth.
  18. If lobster pieces have been refrigerated, bring to room temperature. Heat orzo and lobster broth to simmer. Add mascarpone and season with salt to taste. Let simmer 1 minute, then remove pan from heat and keep warm. Mixture should be thickness of risotto.
  19. Heat butter and water over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is very warm, then whisk together to combine. Add lobster pieces; lobster should be almost covered. Heat gently to warm lobster. Stir chives into orzo.
  20. Pipe circle of coral oil in center of each serving dish. Place about 1/3 cup orzo in center of oil, allowing it to spread oil out into larger circle. Arrange piece of lobster tail and claw in center of orzo and top each serving with Parmesan Crisp.
Notes
This recipe yields 6 servings.

Each serving: 902 calories; 696 mg sodium; 292 mg cholesterol; 84 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 28 grams protein; 0.68 gram fiber.

Description: "Butter-Poached Maine Lobster with Creamy Lobster Broth and Mascarpone-Enriched Orzo"

NOTES: Recipe from "The French Laundry Cookbook" (Artisan) by Thomas Keller, chef and owner of The French Laundry, 6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA

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