Dishes cooked à l'américaine are prepared with a luscious tomato-wine sauce. Though this recipe—from premier seafood chef Eric Ripert—requires some involved steps, they're more than worth the effort. Garnish with tarragon leaves, if desired.
Cooking Light OCTOBER 2009
1. To prepare the lobsters, plunge a heavy chef's knife through each head just above the eyes, making sure the knife goes all the way through the head. Pull the knife in a downward motion between the eyes. Twist off claws where they join the bodies; set claws aside. Twist off tails from the bodies. Reserve bodies. Place tails on a cutting board; press to flatten. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove the vein that runs down the center of each tail. Cover and refrigerate tails.
2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add claws to boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Remove claws from pan, and cool. Separate knuckles from claws. Remove meat from knuckles and claws.
3. To prepare sauce, heat canola oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lobster bodies to pan; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add peppercorns and tomato paste; reduce heat to medium, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in brandy and vermouth; cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Add 2 cups Shrimp Stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Add cream, basil, and tarragon; simmer for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl. Discard solids. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground white pepper. Keep warm.
4. Preheat oven to 350°.
5. To prepare beurre monté, bring 2 tablespoons water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk until butter melts.
6. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt over tails. Brush 3 tablespoons beurre monté over tails. Arrange tails in a baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until done. Add claw and knuckle meat to remaining beurre monté; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.
7. Remove tail meat from shells; place one piece of tail meat in each of 4 shallow bowls. Divide knuckle and claw meat evenly among servings, and discard remaining beurre monté. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over each serving.
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