Geoffrey Smeddle's Lobster Thermidor recipe offers a twist on the Parisian classic, bringing it home to Britain with the use of Anster cheese - a handmade, traditional and local cheese made on the North West coast of Scotland carrying a delicate and rich flavour, similar to that of Wenslydale or a mild English Cheddar. This recipe was developed as part of Geoffrey's collaboration with the Sunday Herald.
Geoffrey Smeddle, proprietor and chef of The Peat Inn in Fife, started his career working for Herbert Berger at The Café Royal and for Christopher Galvin in London. He then sealed his reputation as one of Scotland’s top chefs by opening Terence Conran's Etain, in Glasgow.
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To cook the lobster, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add enough salt to taste like sea water and half the amount of sugar
Drop the lobsters into the water for 3 minutes, remove and plunge directly into heavily iced water. Leave the lobsters to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the water
Break down the lobster by removing the claws and dissecting the body. Remove the tail meat, entrails and sinew. Rinse the head and tail and use scissors to trim the tail and head to smooth edges, repeat for all lobsters
Once you've prepared all the lobster and the shells, use the left body and claw meat to place in the right side shells and vice versa. This is for presentation purposes
Use the back of a large chefs knife and kitchen scissors to crack and remove the meat from both the claws and the knuckles. Place the knuckle and claw into the head cavity. The preparation of the lobster can be done in advance and refrigerated until required
Start the thermidor by heating a small amount of butter in a large saucepan. Sweat the onion and fennel on a ow to medium heat until oft with no colour. Add tomato puree and cook for a further 4-5 mintues
1 large onion
1 tbsp of tomato purée
1 knob of butter
Next, add the mustard and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring to incorporate all the other ingredients i the pan. Add the brandy and reduce by half. Pour in the wine and bring to boil
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
150ml of brandy
150ml of white wine
Lastly, add lobster stock and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid slightly thickens. Add the cream and allow to come to the boil while stirring in the grated cheese. Add 5 dashes of tabaso or more to taste, remove from heat, stir in tarragon and leave to cool
500ml of lobster stock
250ml of double cream
100g of Anster cheese
1 tbsp of tarragon
5 dashes of Tabasco
For the final stages of the dish, place the prepared lobsters (in shell) in a shallow pan, meat side up. Add enough water to just cover the base of the pan and place over a ow to medium heat. As soon as the water to begins to steam, remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 4 minutes
Lift out lobster out of the pan and pour out any excess juice. Sprinkle over small amount of the grated cheese and heat the thermidor sauce, stirring constantly until boiling. Taste the sauce and season to taste
Transfer the lobster to a warm plate and pour over the hot thermidore sauce. Serve with chips and fresh fennel and chervil friands
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