Thursday, June 30, 2011

Butter Poached Lobster Tail

Today, I discovered the magic of poaching in butter.

More specifically, I discovered the use of beurre monté. I'd always read about it in my French Laundry cookbook but I'd never actually tried to make it before. It was so easy to do, I'm kicking myself for not making use of it earlier.

Our neighborhood Vons occasionally get these lobster tails from Canada. So maybe these aren't the highest quality of lobsters (I didn't even know Canada had lobsters?), but they were damn delicious even just boiled or steamed. Poached in butter? The end. The meat became 10x sweeter, the texture 10x more snappy, and the flavor 10x stronger. I'm wondering why I'm writing this blog post right now and not running back to the grocery store for more lobsters instead.


Butter Poached Lobster Tail with Corn Two Ways
polenta, basil creamed corn, buttered peas, pattypan squash
serves 2

for the vegetables:
2 ears of corn
1/4 cup of shelled english peas
1 pattypan squash

I just sautéed the peas and pattypan squash separately in some butter. For the corn, I cut the kernels off of two ears of corn. Then, I ran the back of my knife up and down the cob to get the kernel meat left behind. This also produced some milky white liquid. I added the liquid and kernel meat into a pan first with some butter. Once that was bubbling, I added in the rest of the kernels. Cook until tender. Then I chiffonaded some basil and folded it into the corn.
for the polenta:
1/3 cup polenta
1 cup water
2/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoon butter

Combine the polenta, 1/3 cup of water and 2/3 cup of milk into a pot, whisk together, and bring to a boil. Cook until the polenta is tender, stirring constantly. I like to gradually add water during the process--up to another 2/3 cup of water. When the polenta is cooked, stir in the butter. Keep warm until ready to serve.

for the lobster tails:
2 4oz lobster tails
1 stick of butter
4 tablespoon of water

First I put the lobster tails in an airtight container and covered them with boiling water and a squeeze of lemon. I left them in there for 2 minutes before taking them out and using kitchen shears to cut through the underbelly of the lobster tail and the top part of the shell. This makes the shells much easier to remove. Make sure to shell them while they are still hard, otherwise the meat will stick to the shells. Set the lobster tail meats aside.

For the beurre monté, cut one stick of butter into small pieces. Start with 4 tablespoons of water in the bottom of a small pot. Once the water comes to a boil, slowly add in small pieces of butter, whisking constantly after each piece to ensure emulsification. I was only cooking two lobster tails and my pot was relatively small so this amount of beurre monté was sufficient for me. If making more, just continue adding more butter--there's no need for more water. Set aside but keep warm.

When ready to assemble, place lobster into a pot with enough beurre monté so that the tails are just covered. Heat the lobster through in the butter for about 5 minutes.



  1. Who needs to go out when you can make such beautiful and delicious food at home! Job well done!

  2. Looks good!

    Btw - some of the best lobsters in the world are from Nova Scotia (Canada)!

  3. @Gastronomer: haha thanks! There aren't too many places in Fresno to go out and eat so I cook more :)

    @Darin: lol now I feel silly. Had no idea Novq Scotia was part of Canada.

  4. the first time i made beurre monte, i was impatient (as usual) and thought more heat = melt butter faster = make beurre monte faster.

    of course, the whole emulsion collapsed. glad to see you're not like me :)

  5. beautiful presentation. i'm sure it tasted amazing as well!

  6. This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Your plating is so simple and beautiful. Bravo!!

    I heard you can hypnotize or put the lobster to sleep before cooking it? That way the tail doesn't move so much when cooking. Chilling/icing before cooking, by placing the lobster on ice or in a freezer (but not freezing it).

    If I may, here are a few more recipes too

  8. Question, fresh lobster tails? Because I have a couple sitting in the deep freezer when they were on sale and I really want to try this.