Lobster Thermidor – Food Wishes – Fancy Lobster Gratin
100 Comments


hello this is chef john from food wishes
comm with lobster thermidor that’s right i’m very excited to show you my take on
this iconic special occasion dish and not only is this gonna look great and
taste amazing it’s also gonna be easy to eat which is
not only something we can say about your typical lobster recipe it’s almost as if
they’ve developed some kind of evolutionary defense mechanism to help
protect them from being consumed but here because we’re using tails and
separating the meat from the shell ahead of time we’re gonna end up with
something extremely user friendly that by the way only looks hard to make as
you’re about to see and first up we’re going to need to prep our tails before
we cook them and what I have here are four approximately four ounce each
lobster tails although this technique will work the same with any size and to
prep these what we need to do is take some scissors and cut through that
lighter softer bottom shell right where it attaches on the side to that thicker
upper shell so we will cut from the big end all the way to the talent right with
those two shells meat on both sides and by doing that once this is cooked we’re
gonna be able to pull out all the meats and that shall we cut and then once our
lobster meat mixture is prepped we’ll go ahead and stuff that right back
into the shell to create what most people think is a pretty impressive
presentation so we’ll go ahead and make our two cuts on the bottom of each tail
at which point we’ll head to the stove to almost cook these all the way but not
quite and we’ll do that in some melted butter over medium-high heat
so we’ll go ahead and place those in cut side down and yes I’m also tossed in any
of those little flippers that came off and what we’ll do is cook this covered
for about five minutes or so until like I said they’re just about all the way
cooked through okay don’t forget this is gonna get
cooked again once our shells are stuffed so we don’t want to overcook them at
this stage so what we’ll do is start those cut side down and then after about
three minutes we’ll go ahead and uncover those and turn them over to the shell
side or at least one side of the shell side because they’re kind of curvy
and then once those returned we’ll recover it cook that for one minute
uncover it turn those to the other side of the shell and then go ahead and give
those one last minute at which point if everything goes according to plan they
should be just about almost cooked through all right let’s say 85 to 90%
okay so to recap about three minutes on the cut side and then a couple minutes
on the shell side and once that set what we want to do is turn off the heat and
remove those lobster tails to a bowl along with any other shell remnants
we’ve added because we’re just about to use this pan to cook our shallots so
once everything’s been removed we’ll put the heat back on the medium and add a
nice chunk of butter along with some minced up shallots and a pinch of salt
and what we’ll do is cook those stirring for about three or four minutes until
they sort of soften up and turn translucent and as these cook the
moisture from those shells should start to deglaze the bottom of the pan of any
of those lobster juices to start to caramelize on and then what we’ll do
after a few minutes once our shallots are looking a little something like this
let’s go ahead and toss in our diced mushrooms if we’re using these are
optional I’ll do I consider them personally mandatory and we’ll go ahead
and cook those stirring for about maybe five or six minutes until they sort of
turn a golden brown and not only are these mushrooms going to help increase
the volume of our stuffing which of course in the business we call filler
but they’re also like flavor sponges and they’re going to absorb all that
caramelized lobster flavor from the pan and since once cooked they have a
similar texture it’s going to seem like you actually have more Lobster than you
do so like I said we’ll go ahead and cook those until they’re sort of golden
and look at something like this at which point we’re going to toss in about a
tablespoon of flour and we’ll go ahead and stir that in until the mushrooms are
coated and then we’ll cook this for an additional two minutes to take the raw
tasting edge off that starch and don’t be surprised as some of that flour
starts to stick to the bottom of the pan totally normal and not a bad thing
because what we’re gonna do after cooking the flour for a couple minutes
is deglaze with a splash of cognac or if times are tough just some brandy and
what we’ll do is pour that in and then ignite it with this lighter to burn off
all the alcohol which it would have done anyway but if
people are watching that’s kind of fun to do people seem to like explosions but
anyway we’re gonna flambe with some cognac and as soon as that liqueur
disappears which is only gonna take a few seconds we will quickly pour in some
cold milk and give everything a stir and then what’s gonna happen is this comes
back up to temperature as a couple things okay any and all goodness left on
the bottom of the pan should be fully dissolved and also once this mixture
gets hot enough to start simmering you’ll notice it should thicken up
nicely and as with all sauces that are thickened with flour once it does start
boiling that’s as thick as it’s gonna get and if it’s too thick you could
always thin out with a little more milk but this will look just about perfect
and then what we’ll do once that’s thickened up and is bubbling is go ahead
and turn off the heat and stir in a couple tablespoons of crème fraiche or
if you prefer some heavy cream with maybe a little squeeze of lemon to mimic
the acidity from the creme fraiche and what we’ll do is just stir that in and
then with the heat off we’ll just let this cool a little bit while we move on
to finish prepping our towels which should be cool enough to handle by now
and what we’ll do is attempt to pull that meat out of the show by sticking
our thumb underneath like this although it’s probably easier if we take that
Center shell off first and be careful do not waste any scraps of meat okay if
there’s any meat attached to the shell pull it off and reserve it and hopefully
about getting your finger under like this most that meats going to come off
in one section and that is pretty much this entire step ok we’re removing meat
from shell and shell for meat and by the way if you have trouble peeling that
meat away from the shell with your finger sometimes you just need to start
it by scraping with a spoon and then it should come off but anyway do what you
got to do and hopefully you’ll end up with a nice pile of meat like this and
of course for our empty now ready to use shells which will go ahead and transfer
onto a sheet pan on top of some crinkled up foil that I formed some channels to
hold the shells in place and then we’ll move back to the cutting board to cut up
our tail meat into some bite-sized pieces
and as we slice these in half you always want to check to see if these need to be
deveined and these really didn’t have too much
although there were a few little pieces I’m gonna remove okay so just like when
you’re cleaning shrimp if you see any pieces of what we call the vein go ahead
and pull that out since that can be a little bit gritty but other than a few
little pieces mine were relatively clean and then once we’ve checked for that
we’ll go ahead and cut this up into like half-inch pieces and once our lobster
meats been cut up we’ll go ahead and add a tool bowl and we’ll go ahead and
transfer in our sauce which is now slightly cooled and appearing much
thicker but don’t worry it’s gonna thin out when it’s hot and then we’ll finish
this up with a pinch of salt and also more than a couple shakes of cayenne and
then last but not least a generous application of freshly chopped tarragon
which I believe to be the ultimate lobster herb and we’ll go ahead and take
a spoon and mix this all together and by the way feel free to customize
this filling to your liking I mean you are after all the Dinah Shore of your
Lobster Thermidor and back in Dinah’s day they would add at things like
mustard and egg yolks and grier cheese right back then this would have been a
much richer dish but in my opinion if this mixture is too rich you’re sort of
hiding that beautiful lobster which is what I want to be the star of the show
so suit yourself and we’ll talk about that on the blog post but I like to stay
with a relatively light approach and then once that’s mixed up we’ll go ahead
and stuff that evenly into our four shells which I highly recommend doing
over the bowl not over the foil since if you drop some it’s really annoying to
pick up off the foil and then once we have that mixture divvied up as evenly
as we can we will finish these off by sprinkling over the following three
things first a tiny bit of dry bread crumb all right just a little touch
maybe half a teaspoon per tail followed by an equally light application of
freshly grated parmesan okay just a little dusting and then last but not
least because this is a French dish after all we will drizzle over a little
bit of melted butter and that’s it once that’s been applied
these are finally ready to roast which we’ll do in the center of a 450 degree
oven for about 10 minutes or so or until nicely browned and our meat is heated
through and if you want and I usually do I’ll finish him for about a minute under
the broiler so as to get some nice color on the surface and when they’re done
they should hopefully look something like this which i think is just
absolutely beautiful and at this point you’ll be happy to know we do not have
to let these rest in fact don’t we’ll go ahead and serve those up immediately
possibly next to a nice salad or one of these prop salads it looks like a real
salad and not only does this look visually impressive and like it was
super hard to make but your guests have to do virtually no work getting this on
a fork and up to their mouth but just being easy to eat wouldn’t really matter
if this wasn’t also intensely delicious in fact this was so delicious I totally
forgot you’re not supposed to push food onto your fork with your finger so
please excuse my atrocious table manners and I switched and tried to do with a
spoon and fork but that didn’t feel right
so I went back to the finger and I know I said i used a relatively light
approach here which i did but this is still relatively rich and decadent and
we have just enough that creamy sauce coating the lobster without overpowering
it and covering it up so I just absolutely loved how this came out but
anyway that’s it might take on Lobster Thermidor when it comes to extravagant
expensive special occasion recipe ideas this one is one of my favorites and just
between you and me because we’re using frozen lobster tails they’re not even
really that expensive to make so for all those reasons and more I really do hope
you give these a try soon so head over to food wishes calm for all the
ingredient amounts of more info as usual and as always enjoy you you

100 thoughts on “Lobster Thermidor – Food Wishes – Fancy Lobster Gratin

  1. I was taught to roll the tail to crack the shell, pull off the little flippers at the end and then push the tail meat out from there in one piece using the tip of my finger(s). Never had to cut a shell so far.

  2. The intonation of your voice sounds very unnatural and it was hard to sit through (4:50 for example) Not trying to get you down, just some friendly constructive criticism 🙂

  3. Your voice omg 🤣🤣🤣🤣 your cadence is hilarious but it is so easy to
    Follow!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 😁😁😁😁 my god this was awesome to watch. Made some super good lobster thank you so much!

  4. Chef, I loved the entire presentation with the exception of the distractive sing-songy vocal delivery style that detracted from the otherwise very good overall production values of the piece. That aside, I can hardly wait to give the recipe a go. Thanks.

  5. I honestly can't finish your videos. Work on how you speak. The constant pattern of your pitch is infuriating.

  6. Chef John you are my families Super Hero. My ten year old tells me I should open up a restaurant because he lives every meal I've prepared from watching your channel.

  7. Cook the lobster fully. Add to the mushrooms whilst mushrooms are still hot. Mix, make Lobster Thermidor Rolls. You're welcome.

  8. Still not as good as Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

  9. Lobster Thermidor aux Crevettes with a Mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, brandy and with a fried egg on top and Spam

  10. Made this for my wife and I this evening. It was an epicurean triumph! The flavor of the lobster shined through the Béchamel perfectly. My only variations were to steam the lobsters for three minutes, then add dry (that's all I had on hand) tarragon to the steaming broth and reduce the broth to just a few tablespoons. I added all the broth reduction to the half & half before adding to the sauce. The tarragon came through clearly. Many thanks for a delicious and delightfully quick recipe.

  11. 45.657% of comments
    That one Sims food

    23.4412% of comments
    Some rhyme about being a good cook

    The rest %
    Everything else

  12. That's a disgrace to take lobster from the sea anything less than 5oz! Are they so impatient to sell them that they can't wait and sell them at 4oz? So sad !

  13. Chef John, Master of Foil! Originator of Lite Metal.Tony Iommi has nothing on you. fwiw, you could fan out the tail fins and give 'em a twist to lock them and give 'em a bit more presentation. But you knew that.

  14. I want to see you cook something you don't like very much. After all the work, I want you to be disappointed and vow to never make it again.

  15. Never been a fan of lobster, but I started playing Sims 4, and I was curious to know what this dish is because it can make you gain weight in the game if you eat it too often. Same with Baked Alaska… I thought it was moose, salmon, or bear, not at all what I expected. Anyway, thanks for explaining!

  16. That sound SO much better than what my mom made for us once back in the late 60's! She wasn't that great of a cook but gave it the ole college try…. To me, it just messed up perfectly good lobster! (All I could taste was the Brandy!) I think, come the first of the month, I'll give your recipe a try!

  17. Cognac and Brandy are the same thing. Cognac is bottled in the Cognac region of France. Like how Tequila and Mezcal are the same thing just that Tequila is bottled in the Tequila region of Mexico.

  18. Awesome, Chef John! I always wanted know know how to make this dish. I really it right now, but it will need to wait. I'll be making this real soon. Thanks, John.

  19. I love making Lobster Thermador. I haven’t used mushrooms but maybe next time. For added richness I gently add lump crab meat. Thanks for the foil trick, that’s one hack I’ll steal! Love your recipes and cooking videos! Thank you for sharing!

  20. My favourite New Year’s Eve celebration dish or…….Lobster Newburgh! We can purchase puff pastry shells in Canada and they are made by Tenderflake in the freezer section. I will also serve chicken a la King in pastry shells. Thank you for your great recipes and teaching your invaluable techniques. Cooking cannot be rushed……..it is a process to achieve excellence.

  21. I love seafood. But when i heard a lobster in a normal size in a Restaurant is about 30-40 years old, i thought, that Dude is older than me. I can't it eat. To respect the animal.

  22. Most woody culinary herbs are members of the mint family…thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, marjoram, etc etc.
    But tarragon is one of those eccentric artemisias…Artemisia dracunculus to be exact, "an exceptionally small dragon artemesia" if you want to wham the brass tack on the head. 🐉🌿

    I about fainted when you said that tarragon is your A-1 choice herb for lobsters. If anyone can think of a better choice of aromatic for giant wood lice of the sea than tiny dragonform herb, you're on

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