Chef John's Lobster Thermidor

Chef John's Lobster Thermidor
  • 4 (4 ounce) lobster tails
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fine dried bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter


  1. Cut bottom shell of lobster tails using kitchen shears along each side where it meets the top shell; do not remove the shell at this point.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place lobster tails cut side down in the butter. Cook, covered, about 3 minutes. Turn lobster tails over (they are curved so will lean to 1 side); cover and cook 1 minute. Lean them to the other side; cover and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Remove from heat. Transfer lobster tails to a bowl. Remove any shell pieces from the skillet.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet over medium heat; add shallots and pinch of salt. Cook and stir until pan starts to deglaze and shallots soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook stir until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add flour; stir until mushrooms are coated and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in cognac; use a kitchen torch to flame cognac to burn off alcohol. This will take just a few seconds. Add milk; cook and stir until pan is completely deglazed and milk begins to thicken and turn bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in creme fraiche. Let cool.
  5. Remove lobster meat from the shell, leaving top shell intact. Remove any bits of bottom shell from the meat.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking pan with crinkled up foil. Make 4 channel-like indentations in the foil to hold and stabilize the lobster tails as they bake.
  7. Slice lobster meat down the middle and check for and remove any dark veins. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer meat to a mixing bowl. Add cooled sauce, tarragon, pinch of salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir gently until well blended.
  8. Divide mixture among the lobster tail shells; place in prepared foil-lined pan. Sprinkle each lobster tail with about 1/2 teaspoon bread crumbs and 1/2 teaspoon grated cheese. Drizzle melted butter on the stuffed shells.
  9. Bake in preheated oven until nicely browned and heated through, about 10 minutes. If you like, you can turn on the broiler and broil 1 minute until tops are golden and crispy.

05/07/2018
Chef John's Lobster Thermidor, recipe PT15M PT1H 5 455 calories

Comment on this content
Avocado and Bacon Grilled Cheese
Avocado and Bacon Grilled Cheese
Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat.Cut avocado quarter..
44
Mini Cheesecakes
Mini Cheesecakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line miniatu..
578
Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce
Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook..
41
No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread with Sorghum Flour
No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread with Sorghum Flour
Dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water in a small bowl...
65
Fuzzy Beach Balls Cocktail
Fuzzy Beach Balls Cocktail
Place cantaloupe balls in a small bowl. Pour in enough grain..
49
Potato Soup or Chowder
Potato Soup or Chowder
Combine potatoes, chicken stock, onion, carrots, celery, flo..
40
Chocolate Chip-Amaretto Pound Cake
Chocolate Chip-Amaretto Pound Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease t..
39
Beer Cheese Pretzel Dip
Beer Cheese Pretzel Dip
In a bowl, mash the cream cheese with the ranch dressing mix..
474
Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Shells
Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).Bring a large ..
56
Lobster Thermidor
Lobster Thermidor
Cut the lobster in half lengthwise, and remove the meat from..
667
Chef John's Lobster Mac and Cheese
Chef John's Lobster Mac and Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter 2 grat..
55
Chef John's Croissants
Chef John's Croissants
Place warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle with..
39
Chef John's Colcannon
Chef John's Colcannon
Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, a..
40
Chef John's Falafel
Chef John's Falafel
Place garbanzo beans into a large container and cover with s..
52
Chef John's Baklava
Chef John's Baklava
Place walnuts, pistachios, and cinnamon in bowl of a food pr..
78
chef john's lasagna
chef john's lasagna
Place sausage and ground beef into a large saucepan over med..
701