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
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.