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I was inspired to buy this book due to the BUZZ expressed during the July 2012 COTM nomination thread. I bought a copy used for a good price, and plan on cooking out of it as a companion thread to our revisit of FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT. I hope many of you will join me.

For those of you who already own this book, please share with us your favorites. New owners of the book, please explore along with me and post your results.

As a reminder, the usual Chowhound rule about not posting exact recipes for copyright reasons applies.

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  1. my copy of the book will be arriving any day now-looking forward to making some of the recipes

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpr54_1

      I made lobster quesadilla last night, though not from a recipe out of this book. I think my first recipe out of this book will be the recipe recommended by JoanN in her EYB notes for Baked Stuffed Lobster.

      1. re: jpr54_1

        my copy of book never arrived.
        i reordered book from different amazon dealer-hopefully with better results

      2. I must say, I haven't read this book, but I'm really not a fan of strong flavours with lobster (like thermadore). I prefer lobster simple, cooked in a pot and served with melted butter.

        Same with crab, I think it's too delicate.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Soop

          The book is chuck full of simple lobster recipes that bring out the wonderful briny flavor of lobsters many of us love, Soop. The book celebrates lobster in its many forms for those times when another rendition is desired. White seems to be able to keep the integrity of the lobster in a recipe while incorporating other seasonings such as in his justly famous Pan Roasted Lobster:

          Lobster Roll:

          And many more. No less an authority than The Maine Lobster Council uses White's methods and timings for their lobster advise page:

          1. re: Gio

            I don't have the book and hypocritically, won't kill a lobster but will order it when eating out.
            JW's Pan-Roasted Lobster is one of the best things I have ever eaten. Oh, that buttery sauce! I don't want to know how much butter there is per serving. It's a real treat that I don't dare have more than once in 5 years.

            1. re: greygarious

              Hi Grey... My father loved lobster and brought them home regularly so I "grew up" with them. My brother was the same so I guess we each inherited that gene. I was a little intimidated after I got married and had to carry on the tradition without Dad but I quickly got over that and since then have never had any qualms about cooking them. I do sympathize with those folks who for whatever reason can't bring themselves to cook them, though.

              I'm not sure I'll make the baked stuffed recipe. It's the one dish I Always order in a restaurant...

        2. Agree that the the pan roast recipes are divine. I've also made the papardelle w/ lobster, mushrooms, and cream several times and a couple of versions of the lobster risotto. The lobster chowder (NE style) is excellent as is the lobster and corn chowder.

          In addition to his own recipes, White includes a section of other chefs' recipes that has a slew of good-looking ones. I've tried two of those: Nina Simonds's lovely version of Lobster Cantonese and the Braised Lobster w/Charred Parsely (from the folks at Al Forno)--delicious, messy simplicity itself.

          (I even once made the NE-style hot dog buns for my mother, who always missed top-split rolls, but I wouldn't bother if I could find them ready-made.

          The front part of the book is a succinct lobster education, and, as someone who lives far away from lobster traps and shacks, I can say that everything I know about cooking lobsters, I learned from this book.

          1. Lobster at Home. One of my favorite cookbooks of all time.

            In addition to being a good cook, Jasper White is a bit of a geek and has put together some of the best tables for boiling lobsters of all sizes. This contribution alone is worth the price of the book.

            My wife and I live in Southern New England (Sou'west shore of Long Island Sound) and routinely buy "jumbo" lobsters (in excess of two and-a-half pounds). We boil 'em according to Jasper's charts and religiously adhere to the salinity he recommends. It's taken all the guesswork out of preparation and the results are outstanding.

            Other Jasper White offerings we routinely enjoy:

            • Classic lobster bisque. This dish is a keeper and should be enjoyed whenever you are in a festive mood or merely wish to rail against the harsh winds of winter. it will put a smile on your face. It takes time and a bit of effort but the end result is well worth it.

            • Lobster Newburg. Ah, lobster newburg and toast points. Add Champagne (the real stuff) and you have the perfect brunch. Leftovers never tasted so good.

            • Lobster Thermidor. When you absolutely, positively have to impress the hell out of guests, this is the dish that will do it. Origins of this dish are found in Escoffier's Guide Culinaire. Spare no expense, White says. "Start with caviar and Champagne. Move up to a consommé made with game birds and truffles while you drink chilled dry sherry. Serve the lobster thermidor with a beautiful mix of salad greens tossed lightly with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Drink a big, creamy white burgundy such as a Chassagne-Montrachat or Meursault with the lobster. For dessert fresh fruit." Well said.

            • Lobster rolls. Iconic. Jasper White wades into the fray with a few recipes. He reminds that the rolls share the billing.

            Lots of good stuff in his book. We've been cooking from it for years and have hardly scratched the surface.

            1. Lobster Club Sandwiches (page 138)

              First, you make the Tarragon Mayonnaise (page 129) which is a component of the Traditional Lobster Salad (page 128) and then you use both to make a club sandwich: top a piece of white toast with Lobster Salad, spread Tarragon Mayonnaise on another piece of white toast and put it on top of the salad mayo up, add pieces of iceberg lettuce, bacon, and tomato and top with another piece of mayo slathered toast.

              This was every bit as phenomenally good as it sounds. I used Pepperidge Farm thin sliced white bread for the toast, but the pieces of bread were really too small to cut into quarters as he directs; I should have just cut the sandwiches in halves. Didn’t have any effect on the taste, just made for a sloppy presentation.

              The Traditional Lobster Salad uses chopped cucumber and scallions instead of onion or celery. White says you can use either bottled mayo or use his recipe for tarragon mayo. I did the latter, and it’s a terrific mayo for cold shellfish. This is the lobster salad recipe, by the way, that he uses for his World-Famous Maine Lobster Roll. I don’t think I liked the cucumber as much as the fennel that is one of Rick Moonen’s recommendations for the Lobster Roll in Fish Without a Doubt, but I did like the tarragon mayo and suspect I wouldn’t like the two together.

              2 Replies
                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  Joan, that looks absolutely gorgeous!

              1. First, many thanks to Joan N and D Kennedy et al for bringing up this book in the COTM threads. What a gem, and one I would never have found otherwise. Unlike many others on this board I rarely read a cookbook straight through, but this one I pretty much inhaled in a gulp. Just wonderful.

                When I was reading it, though, I kinda had to keep the cover pages hidden, because for years now Mr. QN has had an oddly negative opinion of JW. So, when he asked what I was reading, I just showed him a few recipes that I knew would appeal to him, and sure enough he was hooked, and completely taken aback when he saw who wrote them!

                He's now lobbying for adding a copy to the cookbook collection, since I'm using a library copy at the moment, and it will probably happen because, after all how much lobster can we eat before the book has to be returned? Still, we've made a good start with two wonderful meals (will post about those separately), and more to come soon.

                1. Pan Roasted Lobster w/ Chervil (parsley & tarragon) and Chives pg 46.

                  This may be the most delicious, scrumptious, decadent, savory, you name the superlative, dish I have ever had. Just wonderful, and when you come down to it not even all that difficult to make.

                  Originally I was going to make it with the tails from three female culls, and reserve the bodies for one of his stocks. But on further consideration I decided to use the the all of the two smaller lobsters, and save the third larger one for something else, and to make the recipe exactly as written. i am very glad I did, exact cooking time is important to this dish, and to maintain that similarly sized pieces are needed to make it work properly. Also the body meat cooked this way was fantastic, even better than the tail meat.

                  My lobsters were very fresh, bought at the pier that morning, and I totally splurged and used good European butter, I couldn't find chervil, so used his recommended substitute of tarragon and parsley. maybe it would be better w/ chervil, but honestly I don't know how anything could taste better than this dish. We had it with simply braised Belgian endive, which btw, was an excellent compliment.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: qianning

                    Isn't it an unbelievable dish? Rubee has posted a few times about this particular treatment of lobster a few times, and she too has raved.
                    If only we could get even halfway-decently priced lobster here!

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Yep, its an incredible dish. I hadn't seen Rubee's reviews, will have to look them up. At the moment lobster here is crazy cheap (per pound less than good hot dogs or mediocre hamburger), which is really tough on the fishing communities, but quite the treat for us.

                      1. re: qianning

                        Pan-Roasted Lobster with Chervil & Chives [Parsley & Tarragon] (page 46)

                        This is my first disappointment from this book. Don’t get me wrong. I ate every last walking leg. But I had problems with the preparation, was disappointed in the extreme that my version looked nothing whatsoever like the photo in the book (although it did look very much like qianning’s photo above), and wasn’t thrilled with his recommended substitute of parsley and tarragon for chervil (which is practically impossible to find in these parts).

                        The recipe calls for two live lobsters, 1-3/4 pounds each, to be quartered and sautéed in two tablespoon of oil in a screamingly hot 12-inch skillet. I was only making one 1-3/4 pound lobster and it barely fit in an 11-inch cast iron skillet. (Curious, qianning, how you managed two. You said you used “smaller” lobsters. How small were they?) The lobster is put into the pan shell side down, and he tells you to manipulate the pieces with tongs to make sure the shells get red all over. That’s not easy to do when the pieces of lobster curl up as soon as they hit the pan or the knuckles or walking legs stick up at odd angles.

                        Once the shells are red, which he says should take no more than two minutes (half my pieces hadn’t turned fully red by that time), you turn the pieces of lobster over, add any tomalley and roe (I had both, but missed the instruction to break them up into small pieces before add them to the pan so mine just firmed up in clumps), and place the pan either under the broiler or in a preheated 500 to 550F oven. I used the oven method since I can’t get food far enough away from my broiler. If using the oven, cook for about three minutes. The shells should be slightly browned, “even a bit charred in places.” Mine weren’t.

                        You then add shallots to the pan, add bourbon and ignite (mine never ignited), and wine, and reduce the liquid until the pan is almost dry. Remove the lobster to warm plates, add copious amounts of butter into the pan along with the herbs, swirl or stir to create a creamy sauce, and spoon the sauce over the lobster. My sauce looked creamy in the pan, but by the time it was poured over the lobster it was just a melted herb butter, nothing at all like what’s shown in the photo.

                        So. I don’t know how I’d ever make this for company (unless I removed the meat from the claws and knuckles before cooking as he says he does in his restaurant) since I don’t have a large enough skillet for even two lobsters. As noted above, I wasn’t really crazy about the parsley/tarragon substitute. And it was even messier to eat than a whole lobster usually is because basically everything was covered with butter rather than just using the butter as a dipping sauce. Finally, I know it shouldn’t make a difference, and I’m not even one of those who cares all that much about having photos in a cookbook, but the photo of this dish is just a total setup. I don’t believe it for a second. I can’t imagine what I’d have to do to get this dish to look like that.

                        I know this is Jasper White’s signature dish. I know other people have said it’s one of the best things they’ve ever eaten. What can I say? Just didn’t work for me. And you have no idea how disappointed I am by that. I’m tempted to try it again, but feel some handholding is required. Qianning? Nomadchowwoman? Any thoughts?

                        1. re: JoanN

                          I have had it at Summer Shack several times. The meat has never been removed from claws or tail. The bug is just separated into large segments - halved body, tail, claw/front leg piece pulled off the body.

                          It does look like the picture you included. I agree that it makes more sense to serve the sauce in a bowl, since I use a lot of bread so as to swab the yummy sauce off the shells.

                          1. re: greygarious

                            Interesting, grey. He says specifically in the book that he removes the meat from the claws and knuckles (although not from the tail) to make for easier eating in the restaurant, but that he doesn't bother at home. Guess he's stopped bothering in the restaurant, as well. The only reason I would consider it is that it was the claws and the attached knuckles I had so much trouble sautéeing in the oil. And it would give me enough room in the pan, I think, to then cook the bodies and tails of two lobsters.

                            Good idea to perhaps just paint the meat lightly with the sauce and serve the rest separately. I don't mind messy when in comes to lobster, but this was greasy messy instead of just fun messy.

                          2. re: JoanN

                            Well, Joan, all I can say is yours looks very good to me! I do not think mine looked any better (if that good). I don't have the book with me right now, but I'm going to take a look at that photo.

                            I've made this only twice (and had it once in one of White's restaurants). I have never ever been able to find chervil so when making it, I've had to substitute--and I've not used tarragon as I so often find it overpowering that I'd be afraid to risk that on precious lobster.

                            As to the sauce, mine came out more as an emulsion; it's been a while, though, so I don't remember how long it held. But I would have been disappointed, too, if I ended up simply with melted herb butter after all the effort. It was messy though, every time, but I did love it.

                            I hope qianning will weigh in because I know she has much better skills than I--and maybe she can pinpoint the problem.

                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                              Happy to hear that yours looked similar to mine. Do take a look at the photo in the book when you get a chance. I'll be curious to hear what you think.

                              What have you substituted for the tarragon? I actually like tarragon, but thought in this instance even a small amount was too intense.

                              About the emulsion, perhaps my pan was just too hot. It was one of my heavier cast iron skillets and they do retain heat.

                            2. re: JoanN

                              Well my goodness.

                              First, poor you, nothing worse than being disappointed in a lobster dish. So sorry to hear this one didn't work out for you this time.

                              Second, I've made this about three or four times since last year but I still haven't bought the book, my library owns it, so I just take it out when the urge strikes.

                              Third, even without the book in front of me a few things come to mind. These are just hunches, so take them with the proverbial grain of salt.

                              It seems to me you might not have had enough heat--my shells have always charred, almost burnt--and my bourbon has always ignited. Of any dish I've ever cooked this one is the hottest and the fastest moving; it is scarily high heat, and bing bang boom as far as pace is concerned.

                              The pan I use is anodized aluminum 12" diameter, with straight fairly high, 3", sides, so not exactly classic saute shape, but it works well for this dish. The high sides help keep the pieces in the pan, as well as hold heat (although your cast iron should hold heat even better, so who knows).
                              To make this dish I have always used high fat content European (Parma, usually) butter. I'm not usually all that picky about my butter, even for baking, but in this case I don't think I'd make it with anything else. My sauce has emulsified and stayed emulsified, not sure if its due to the butter or other factors.

                              Also my preferred lobster in general is a female cull, so that's what I've used, weight about 1 1/4~1 1/2 lbs/lobster (but only one claw per lobster!). Two of these fits into my pan, more would not. Although JW says not to, I've made the dish with both hard shell and soft shell lobsters, with good results. Because the lobsters are female, they have roe. Looking at your photo I can't tell if the lobster was female, mentioning this because my hunch is that the roe and tomalley are what help suspend the emulsion.

                              Chervil is available around here maybe once a year, and never at a time when I want it. But I have my own tarragon plant because tarragon/butter/seafood is a flavor combination that I happen to love....one man's meat....

                              As for serving this to company, haven't done it yet; maybe for someone who I knew loves seafood and who I knew likes & can cope with high grapple factor eating. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth it, for them or us.

                              Finally, no idea if the above is useful, but it sure did get long winded. Forgive me.

                              1. re: qianning

                                Please don't apologize for being long winded. Your information is tremendously helpful and just what I was hoping for.

                                Hard for me to believe I didn't have enough heat since I preheated the cast-iron skillet for nearly five minutes over the highest possible heat. I just had real trouble getting all parts of the shell in contact with the oil.

                                I often use high-fat butters for baking but didn't for this. Will make note for next time. Yes, my lobster had roe. But as I mentioned, I forgot to break it up before adding it to the pan so it just lumped up on me. Next time I may try adding it after removing the lobster from the pan to see if that, in addition to the higher-fat butter, helps hold the emulsion.

                                Just an aside: I used to work not far from a lobster wholesaler who was happy to sell to retail customers and they always had culls and that was what I would buy. But it's been years since I've seen culls for sale in Manhattan. I wonder what they do with them?

                                Thanks, qianning. I'm over my funk and ready to give it another try.

                          3. Grilled Lobster w/ Garlic Oil, pg. 42

                            This was an unexpected addition to my meal planning, since I'd bought three lobsters for pan roasting, and only used two. The next night we cooked and ate the grilled version, which was very good, but not quite as over the top wonderful as the pan roasted.

                            Since I hadn't planned ahead and JW's recipe for garlic oil requires 2 days prep and yields a liter of the stuff, I made a simple ersatz version (1/4c. olive oil with three garlic cloves added, brought just to a low simmer, removed from heat, rested then strained). I worked just fine. For my cover while grilling, I used a shallow roasting pan, it worked well, and just covered both halves of the lobster, but I think by covering the tail it gets a bit too smoky, next time I'd figure out a way to just cover the body and claws. Although i must say that smoky lobster flavor would make an excellent ingredient in a lobster salad or stew, and if I get around to it, I may try that sometime this summer.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: qianning

                              Gorgeous photos. I am lamenting my lunch of choice and wishing it were grilled seafood. Lucky you with your lobster prices and accessibility! I am insanely jealous. In the nicest way possible, of course.

                            2. Lobster Fra Diavolo (page 176)

                              Inspired by CindyJ’s report on this dish from Fish Without a Doubt ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001... ), I decided to try Jasper White’s version which is really very similar to Moonen’s.

                              First you make the spicy tomato sauce (White’s version includes 2 cups of lobster stock, which I happened to have in the freezer; Moonen’s doesn’t have stock) and simmer it for about 45 minutes until it’s reduced by half and very thick (Moonen doesn’t reduce the sauce; he just cooks it for 10 minutes).

                              You sauté the dispatched lobster pieces in oil until the shells are bright red, add some white wine, then add the tomato sauce and simmer until the lobster is done, about ten minutes total.

                              White says he finds serving the dish with pasta too messy and serves it with toasted slices of baguette instead. I was making this for my grandson and knew he would like the pasta, so I removed the lobster pieces from the pan, tossed the cooked linguine in the finished tomato sauce and removed it to a heated serving bowl, then topped the linguine with the lobster pieces and spooned over the remaining sauce.

                              We both adored this. We ate every last drop and then, even though I’d served it with pasta, sliced up some pieces of baguette to wipe up remaining dribbles of sauce. Not a difficult recipe at all, especially if you make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.

                              One last note about the difference between the two recipes: Moonen says to use only the claws, knuckles, and tails for for this dish; White doesn’t say not to use the bodies with walking legs attached, so I did. I kind of like chewing and sucking on that part of the lobster to get all the meat out from the body. But it is really messy; my grandson didn’t bother. And I think if I were to make this for company, I wouldn’t bother either. It would be a much more impressive presentation with the the claws and tails only.

                              My photo doesn’t make this look particularly appetizing. In this instance, the photo lies.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: JoanN

                                Lucky grandson!
                                And thanks for the comparison--did you prefer one over the other?

                                ETA: ok, never mind; I just read your comment on the other thread.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  I love the idea of adding lobster stock. I've got White's book but for whatever reason, didn't think of comparing recipes. I'm pretty sure I've got lobster stock made from last summer's lobsters still in the freezer. I wonder if it's still usable.

                                2. With live lobsters still selling for $5.99/lb, two of us shared three 1.5 soft-shelled critters last night. Page 32 of the book gave us all the direction we needed. We set the propane burner up on the deck, got out the graniteware steaming pot, and steamed them for 14 minutes as directed. Out of the pot and onto the plate! YUM!

                                  1. My approach is to steam the lobster to keep all that good stuff in the lobster instead of leaking it into the boiling water. Instead of butter I like a Kikkoman soy based dipping sauce. The base is olive oil and Kikkoman soy. To which I add depending on how I feel and what I have available.

                                    Minced garlic'
                                    ginger juice (from fresh grated ginger)
                                    Lemon or lime juice
                                    Red wine vinegar
                                    Finely minced jalapeno (little goes a long way)

                                    An all Asian approach would be Kikkoman, sesame oil, ginger juice, minced garlic for dipping lobster chunks. It helps to have some bread or toast on hand for eating the tomally with

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: zzDan

                                      Not sure what you mean by keeping in all the "good stuff," but lobsters release liquid when cooked whether they are steamed or boiled. What steaming does is to keep the water from entering the lobster potentially diluting the flavor of the meat.

                                      But as White notes in the book, there are other advantages to steaming over boiling including the fact that it is less messy and more forgiving in the timing.

                                      Just fyi, White's Asian dipping sauce consists of minced ginger, thinly sliced scallions, rice vinegar, soy sauce, a tiny bit of sugar, and some sesame oil. Sounds good, but I haven't tried it.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        I have to think that steaming means less juices leaked out. Though I admit the steaming water does get some lobster essences in it. Along coastal Maine they run the same lobster boil pot all season. They claim this this keeps the lobster essences in the lobster. Does Mr White say anything about this?

                                        My mistake on Asian dipping sauce. I omitted a sour component and rice wine vinegar would be the best. Eating it with drawn butter all the time is too greasy for me so I like veg oil based something for dipping on the side. Also lobster is better with mussels or steamers on the side to break up the rich lobster meat

                                        1. re: zzDan

                                          “They claim this keeps the lobster essences in the lobster.”

                                          No, White doesn’t say anything about that. Nor does James Peterson in “Fish and Shellfish.” I do know, from years spent near the coast of New Hampshire and from not quite as many years studying marine biology, that the white stuff that you find in the pot after lobsters are boiled or steamed is coagulated hemolymph, sort of the blood of the lobster. If the water in which the lobster is boiled is flavored by the lobster, I guess that the flavor of the lobster meat would be less diluted than if it was boiled in just plain salted water. But I simply can’t imagine cooking lobster in a pot increasing full of that coagulated protein. Just sounds really yucky to me.

                                    2. [Shrimp] Cantonese, p.226

                                      Actually, I think this dish is usually called Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. Alas, we have no bargain lobster here as our grocers have decided not to pass on the savings on low lobster prices to us; in fact, they're more expensive than ever. Still, this dish is excellent with shrimp, which is plentiful and cheap.

                                      Anway, this isn't a JW recipe, but I give him credit for including this excellent version (Nina Simonds's) in his book. I made the quick Chinese chicken broth she includes a note on: 1/2 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c water, 1/3 c rice wine, and 3 smashed slices of ginger are brought to boil. Then the heat is lowered and the broth is simmered for about 10 minutes until you end up with one cup (minus the ginger), which is mixed with 1 1/2 soy sauce. 2 T rice wine, 1 T sugar, 1tsp. dark sesame oil, and fresh ground pepper to make the sauce.

                                      Then 1/2 lb ground pork is mixed w/1 T ea of soy sauce and rice wine and 1 tsp dark sesame oil;

                                      2 T. water and 2 1/2 tsp cornstarch are stirred into a slurry.

                                      The dish then goes together quickly: 2 T. oil (I used grapeseed) is heated in a wok or lg. skillet. When hot, a mix of salted, fermented black beans (2 T, rinsed, drained, chopped), minced garlic (1 1/2 T), and minced scallion (white part from two), is added to the pan and stirred for about 10 seconds. In goes the pork mixture and it's stirred and cooked until no longer raw. Then the seafood (in my case, 1 1/4 lbs. shelled and deveined lg. shrimp) is added and stir-fried about a minute. The sauce is added and brought to a boil; the pan is covered and the mixture cooks another 4 minutes or so. (If you're using lobster, tomalley and roe would be added here.) At this point, the seafood is transferred to a warm dish with a slotted spoon, and the cornstarch slurry is stirred in; the sauce cooks until thick. [At this point, I borrowed from another Lobster Cantonese recipe I've used and stirred a beaten egg (not in Simonds's recipe) into the mixture. The sauce is spooned over the seafood and minced scallion greens (from the two) are sprinkled over.
                                      This was served with jasmine rice and stir-fried asparagus and shitakes.

                                      Not lobster, but very, very good. Three of us ate every morsel.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                        This sounds terrific, Nomad. Thanks for reporting on it. I've made his Pan Roasted Lobster which I just love. This Cantonese dish will be perfect for our next lobster dinner.

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          I am waiting for a special on lobster so that I can make the pan-roasted lobster again; it is soooo delicious.

                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                          I'll bet that was scrumptious. Really love you're beaten egg addition. I make a Singapore chili crab (or Lobster) dish that adds an egg to thicken the sauce at the end, and we love it, but I would never have thought to add it here. What a great idea.

                                          1. re: qianning

                                            It is the last step in the recipe I used to use for Lobster Cantonese before discovering this (better) one. But it was definitely in the LC that my mother always ordered when we went to my parents' favorite Chinese restaurant, and I will always think the dish needs those little clouds of egg white in it. (Actually this recipe + the egg at the end seems exactly like that dish of my child/teenagehood.)

                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                              Eggs are definitely an ingredient in many Lobster Cantonese recipes from Irene Kuo to Ken Hom and beyond.

                                              Here's the Kuo recipe...

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  I know... I want some NOW! But I'll have to wait for this coming Saturday... (more time to buy,cook & savor)

                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                            Lobster Cantonese, Pg. .226

                                            We cooked this last night and it was absolutely delicious. Had all the necessary ingredients. Followed the recipe exactly. Used 3 hard shell lobsters amounting to a little less than 3 1/2 lbs. Made the broth, threw the tomally and roe after the lobster so it cooked in the sauce, omitted the scrambled egg - it's not in this recipe anyway. We were such gluttons we gobbled up every last bit of it. Served with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried greens from Jamie Oliver's "Naked Chef".

                                            That sauce is so evocative of the lobster sauce of old, and the recipe is easy to make although I thought the directions were a little clumsy, for lack of a better word. Even so it's something I'll make again.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              I made this a couple of nights ago, this time using lobster (frozen tails from a BOGO offer at one of our markets). It was delicious but I have to agree with you, Gio: there's something clumsy about the recipe (namely the instruction to add, cook, and then remove the lobster before finishing the recipe).

                                              Mainly I'd warn people trying the recipe for the first time to be careful about how long you cook the lobster. Following the instructions, I definitely overcooked mine this time. I think that rather than putting the lobster in with the pork, cooking it, and then fishing it out and then adding the cornstarch slurry, next time I'll add the cornstarch to the pork and let it thicken and then add the uncooked lobster right at the end.

                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                Good to read your report. Nomad! Having just gone up thread to look at the Irene Kuo Cantonese recipe I want to make that one and compare the two. Hmmm... and today is shopping day.

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  A propos of not much, I was just noticing yesterday that there's a very appealing looking recipe for lobster Singapore style in "Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge." Must add that to the list of saucy lobster recipes to try.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    That lobster dish was a component of our NYEve dinner 2010. Remember The Case of the Six Pound Lobster? Any way it was quite tasty, if I recall correctly.


                                                    I've been returning to both GW's books lately...

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      I certainly do remember the 6-pound lobster. How could I forget that?!? Just forgot you had made this dish with it. Wouldn't have guessed "subtle" from reading the recipe. Will have to remember that when I get around to trying it.

                                          3. I have a few questions about JW's recipe for Risotto with Lobster on p. 102. Actually, it's a general question about lobster risotto. The recipe calls for 1 cup of Arborio rice and 2 cups of lobster broth. That's all the liquid in the recipe. No wine, no water. So my questions are: (1) is 2 cups of broth likely to be enough to cook a cup of rice? (2) Is using lobster broth as the only liquid going to make the risotto too intensely flavored? (3) I'm wondering why the first liquid added to the rice isn't wine. I'm thinking that a half-cup or so of white wine never hurt anything. (4) Do you think saffron would enhance the recipe? (5) The first variation of the recipe calls for the addition of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. So what about the "rule" about not mixing cheese with seafood?

                                            15 Replies
                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              (1) That’s less liquid proportionally than in many risottos, but in The Way to Cook Julia uses 2-1/4 cups of liquid for a cup of rice, so it’s not that far off. (2) He says in the intro to the recipe that it’s intended to feature the lobster broth without competing flavors, so I think the intensity of the lobster flavor is exactly what he’s going for. (3) There’s a lot of wine in his recipe for lobster broth so if you’re using that recipe there’s probably no need to add even more wine. (4) See #2. I just don’t think that’s the flavor profile he was going for. And (5) is just such a lot of hooey. What about Coquilles St. Jacques? Seafood quiche? Sure SOME seafood dishes might be too delicate to pair with SOME cheeses, but to insist it’s a hard and fast rule is just foolish. In Chile, for instance, the majority of seafood dishes are served with cheese. That’s the way they like it. And so, usually, do I.

                                              I’ve only made three dishes from the book so far. All have been superb. I trust him. I wouldn’t mess with one of his recipes until I’d tried it as written. But, as they say, that’s just me.

                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                Thanks, Joan! I had a couple of containers of lobster broth in my freezer and I don't remember which recipe I used to make it, so I think I'll add a little wine at the beginning. I'm really inclined to agree with you about seafood and cheese; I just thought I'd put the query out there.

                                                Live lobsters are $4.99/lb this week. Priced like that, I have a feeling we'll be eating lobster the entire weekend.

                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                  Everyone keeps talking about all the great deals on lobster, but not here in NYC. Even in Chinatown, at least the last time I looked, the prices hadn't gone down any. But I don't feel I can complain about $9.95/lb at Fairway when so much other meat and fish is nearly double that or more.

                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                    I just spoke to a friend who just came back from a month in Cutler, Maine, which is so down east, it's almost in Canada, and she said the lobstermen are really suffering. They're only getting $1.50 a pound for the lobsters. At $9.95 at Fairway, that's some mark-up.

                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      Yes, there's evidently been quite a glut this summer and I've heard the lobstermen are really hurting. Don't know why prices seem to have gone down everywhere else but here. And at Citarella they're charging $10.95 for anything under 1-1/2 lbs and $11.95 for anything over. Even paid $8.95 in Chinatown a couple of weeks ago.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        I can drive a couple of miles to a market in the next town to buy lobsters at 3.99/lb. Yet in the town where I live one fishmonger is selling lobsters at the following prices:
                                                        Chicken: Approx. 1 – 1 1/3 lbs.: $ 14.95 per unit.
                                                        Approx. 1.25 lbs.: $ 17.95 per unit.
                                                        Approx. 1.5 lbs.: $ 19.95 per unit.
                                                        Approx. 2 lbs.: $ 25.95 per unit.
                                                        Approx. 2.5 lbs.: $ 30.95 per unit.
                                                        Approx. 3 lbs.: $ 36.95 per unit.

                                                        Those Maine lobster fisherpeople are not getting their fair share of anything...

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Oh my goodness, Gio. That's simply shocking. And so very, very unfair.

                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            Anxiously awaiting and dreading the first day of school (next week) so I can get back into the kitchen. I have been painfully lazy all summer, barely able to scratch a meal together. Hope to be diving into my books soon!

                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                            That is borderline criminal Gio. This is a true example of how much better the lobsterman would do if they had the ability to bring their bugs down to the urban areas.

                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                              I know. Sad isn't it? Especially since people must be buying those costly cuties because the prices have been posted for some time. When you think of all the farmers' markets in the greater Boston area, and elsewhere,... someone ought to organize a committee to see if they can bring the bugs to the people themselves.

                                                              G is at MB as I type so we can make the Lobster Cantonese tonight.

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Funny, just got back from MB a few minutes ago. We are going to try the al forno recipe tonight.

                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                              $5.98 a pound here in lower Fairfield County.

                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                That seems to be the average cost around here, Steve. Our market chain appears to be the cheapest reported so far...

                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  ShopRite in Delaware and PA has them for $4.99/lb this week.

                                                          3. re: roxlet

                                                            I've read that so many of the lobstermen aren't even setting their traps these days.

                                                  2. Spicy Braised Lobster w/ Charred Parsley, pg 208

                                                    "Don't worry--the parsley won't burn" writes Jasper White. Leave it to me, I managed to burn this parsley concoction not once, but twice in the same night.

                                                    Round 1. Add olive oil to pan, per recipe heat on high, add chopped parsley, garlic and chili flakes to oil. Sizzle until the parsley darkens, so far so OK. Turn down heat, add lobsters. Well in the seconds (maybe 10?) between turning down the heat and grabbing the lobsters from the colander in the sink, my parsley and garlic turned. Granted it is a fine line between caramelized|charred|burnt, but this was definitely on the burnt side of the line. I put the lobsters back in the fridge and started again.

                                                    Round 2. Starting with a now newly cleaned pan, fresh batches of parsley, garlic and chili flakes, and having placed my lobsters only 2 seconds from the stove, I tried again, this time using medium high heat. Everything seemed to go well up to and including adding the lobster to the pan, covered and cooked for 12 minutes. Uncovered the pan, and the lobsters looked fine, but the sauce was decidedly dark brown. Let's say it straddled the charred|burnt divide. The depth of concentrated lobster flavor was fantastic, but the underlying almost burnt garlic/parsley flavor detracted from that. I wanted to love it, but didn't quite.

                                                    We ate every bit of the lobsters, and according to Mr. QN "these are good but not good enough to make again". He's probably right, but I'd kinda like to try this one more time, to see if I could either figure out a way to control the heat well enough to stay on the caramelized|charred divide; or, heresy or not, maybe add a couple of TBS or either wine of lobster/fish stock just before adding the lobster, to give them a little time to release their juices and keep the parsley, and especially the garlic from burning.

                                                    1. Risotto with Lobster, Asparagus & Parmigiano-Reggiano -- Page 104.

                                                      I prepared this dish over the weekend. I had a couple of containers of a really flavorful lobster broth in my freezer, just waiting to be used in a dish like this.

                                                      The preparation was fairly simple. The lobster is steamed ahead, the meat is removed from the shells and cut into chunks about 1/2" to 3/4". The asparagus are cut on the diagonal into 1" pieces. Then they're boiled briefly, shocked with cold water and drained. The risotto is cooked just like any other risotto, with the broth used as the primary liquid. Although the recipe didn't call for it, I added 1/2 cup of white wine as the first liquid to go into the rice.

                                                      When the risotto is al dente, the asparagus is stirred in and is reheated. Then the lobster is stirred in, and finally the Parmigiano is added along with a tablespoon of butter.

                                                      This dish was absolutely delicious. I served it as a main course along with a salad. But truth be told, it's not my favorite way to eat lobster. The lobster was almost lost in the intensely flavored risotto. JW even says in his intro to the recipe, "Lobster broth produces such exquisitely flavored rice that even lobster meat as a garnish is optional." I'm inclined to agree.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                        That sounds wonderful, Cindy. There are 2 large bodies in my freezer at the moment. I've been too darn lazy to make the broth but I've promised myself I'll do it this week to free up the freezer spare. The 3 bodies with walking legs left from the Cantonese will be used tonight to make my pseudo-lobster spicy red sauce for our weekly Macaroni Monday but the risotto is calling my name...

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Funny, Gio. I have three carcasses in the freezer taking up too much space as well. I've been saying "Tomorrow, tomorrow," until I've begun to sound like Annie.

                                                        2. re: CindyJ

                                                          Beautiful dish, CindyJ. I've made the lobster risotto a few times--but I don't recall mine looking that good. BTW, my husband agrees with you. He says, "why waste lobster on risotto? The risotto is good on its own. Lobster is always better on its own."

                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                            Thanks, nomadchowwoman! I'm sure that deep color was due to the lobster broth. Roasting the lobster shells prior to simmering made for a richer, darker, more flavorful broth.

                                                            Sometimes I think that the very best way to enjoy lobster is to simply steam it. Out of the pot, onto the plate, a little drawn butter on the side... can it really ever get better than that?

                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                              I always used to think that. But the Baked Lobster Stuffed with Crabmeat from this book made me reconsider. Damned tough call, though.

                                                          2. re: CindyJ

                                                            Risotto with Lobster & Parmigiano-Reggiano (page 102)

                                                            I bought a 2-1/2 pounder in C-town for an awfully-good-for-NYC price, ate part of it just steamed the first night and saved 4 ounces to make this risotto. I used his Savory Lobster Broth which he says (see discussion above) can be frozen for up to 4 weeks. Mine was just fine at about 2 months.

                                                            This was unbelievably delicious and I was happy to have had the lobster meat as a "garnish." It may not have been necessary, but it made me happy to both see it and eat it.

                                                            My rice, though, with all liquid absorbed, was more al dente than it should have been. I thought at first it might have been TJ's arborio which I'd used once before with less than stellar results. But reviewing this thread, I think CindyJ was right that there's just not enough liquid in the dish. Perhaps I should have followed her lead and added an additional 1/2 cup of wine. I'm noting that in the book.

                                                            Still, a great, great dish. And so easy if the broth is on hand. I'll be keeping this in mind for a to-impress first course.

                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              There you go again! Getting me all excited by a dish I haven't cooked yet. His lobster broth is wonderful isn't it? Thanks for the report and the advice!

                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                Yes, it is. His Savory Lobster Broth is considerably more complicated and time consuming than the stock I used to make, but this one is it for me from now on. Kinda like drinking a vintage premier cru after having subsisted on two-buck Chuck.

                                                          3. Savory Lobster Broth (page 54)

                                                            Well, “tomorrow” (see above: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8566... ) was yesterday. And by then there were five carcasses taking up too much room in the fridge. I’ve made lobster stock fairly often, but I’d never used White’s recipe because it seemed too complicated, expensive (whole bottle of wine? Saffron?), and time consuming. This thread convinced me that now was the time.

                                                            If you follow his instructions to the letter, and I did, there’s a lot of hovering: “stir every 3 or 4 minutes,” “begin periodic tastings at intervals of 10 minutes” and a lot of hoisting of heavy pots and pans. “Strain the broth” takes only three words to say, but when you have a 15½ quart stainless steel stock pot more than half full of liquid, shells, and vegetables . . . well, let’s just say my kitchen floor needed a good scrubbing anyway.

                                                            The result? Extraordinary. I thought my lobster stocks were just fine before, but this is really in a whole new category. Not sure yet what I’ll use it for; would love to try the Lobster Thermidor that everyone raves about, but that’s such an occasion dish. My only concern is that he says the broth “can be frozen for up to 4 weeks.” That’s not very much time for 5 quarts of broth when most recipes call for only a cup or even less. I hope that vacuum freezing will extend that--considerably.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                              I've often wondered about recommended guidelines for freezing stocks. When stock is frozen, what can happen to it to cause it to go bad in such a short time? I don't think I'd ever be motivated to make stock if I intended to toss it after 4 weeks in the freezer.

                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                I've never made this stock (but, wow, does it sound good, but I've made lots of other stocks and various seafood stocks. I made gumbo a few weeks ago with (seafood) stock that had bene in the freezer 11 months. The stock looked, smelled, and tasted fine (and the gtumbo was delicious IIDSSM). I think if you have a good, consistent freezer, you can store your stock for more than 4 weeks. I think recipes are very conservative in those recommendations. I'd bet that stock will still me in optimum condition in three months and probably longer.

                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                  I agree that most stocks can hold much longer than the recommended limit, but i don't know if that is true for seafood stock. Any fishmongers in the wings that can weigh in?

                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                    I've certainly used lobster stock made from other recipes that had been frozen for 9 or 10 months and it was good enough for me. I'm guessing he's talking about how long the broth will remain at its absolute peak of flavor. My response, other than sufficient surprise to think it worth mentioning here, was "Thank you. So warned." It's just not gonna happen that I can use up that much broth that quickly and I'm not throwing it out unless it stinks to high heaven when I thaw it--probably sometime next year.

                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                  Made this yesterday, a nice leisurely Sunday afternoon recipe. Definitely the new gold standard. So far have used some of it for an improvised lobster stew. Looking forward to using some more later in the week for a seafood paella.

                                                                3. Baked Stuffed Lobster (with Crabmeat)--page 162

                                                                  This is my second time making this recipe and I know I reported on it somewhere, but since that was before this thread was begun, and since I made some minor changes from the first time, I’ll report on it again here.

                                                                  The recipe calls for a stuffing of four ounces of either shrimp, scallops, lobster meat, or crab meat. I used jumbo lump crab from Costco. A finely diced yellow onion is sautéed in eight tablespoons of butter (I used about five) for 5 minutes, chopped tarragon and parsley are added, and the crab meat is added after the butter mixture has cooled slightly. The crab mixture is bound with three ounces of crushed Ritz crackers, oyster or common crackers, or dried crumbled cornbread (I used one-and-a-half ounces of crushed Ritz crackers and thought it was plenty). The stuffing is piled onto a lightly seasoned split lobster, the tail is brushed with melted butter, and the lobster is roasted in a 425F oven. I was cooking a two-pound lobster and the recommended cooking time, which was just perfect, is 24 minutes.

                                                                  The stuffing is enough for two large lobsters, but I made, and used, the full amount for the one. Yes, overkill. But hey! It was New Year’s Eve.

                                                                  Last year I used the full amount of butter to sauté the onion but used a bit more than half that this year and thought it was plenty. Last year I used the full amount of oyster crackers thinking the Ritz crackers might be a bit cloying. I should have known better since he says in the intro that “Ritz crackers work best,” and they do. Although I thought half the amount called for was plenty.

                                                                  This is an unbelievably delicious, totally over the top, self-indulgent, gluttonous dish--and so rich I barely touched the melted butter. The crab meat stuffing is so simple and so spectacular, it hardly needs the lobster and would, I am sure, be marvelous stuffed into just about anything--mushrooms, scallop shells, pastry tartlets. I must remind myself, though, that a two-pound lobster with the full amount of stuffing really is too much for one. (Never thought I’d ever be writing THAT sentence!) Making a note for next year that a one-and-a-half pounder with half the stuffing recipe would sate and still be New Year’s Eve indulgent.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. A variation on the cover dish: Baked unstuffed Lobster. I used to buy into the myth that lobsters live in water, and therefore must die in water. And this was Too Much Trouble, huge cauldrons of boiling water, disassembling hot lobsters by hand, the cleanup after, forget it!. Now, all is simple. Obtain good lobsters, split and pull the gunk out, brush a little butter and toss in a hot oven for the correct length of time---perfection!

                                                                    1. About 4 posts in I decided this was a (yet another) 'must have' and ordered it. Can't wait to try this one out. I was just thinking the other day that I need to learn how to cook lobster.

                                                                      1. I was also inspired to buy this book from the CH thread. I've grown up cooking and eating lobsters for the past 50 years but really got a lot of good info from this book as well as the recipes. An excellent addition to my way too huge cookbook collection!

                                                                        Just made the lobster casserole with potato and leeks for our Valentine's dinner. It was excellent and fairly easy since I had frozen lobster stock and DH purchased the lobster already cooked and picked.

                                                                        1. I'm considering broiled lobster with whiskey butter for mid-week.
                                                                          I'm thinking Makers Mark with its light vanilla flavors and heavy alcohol might work well.
                                                                          Anyone have experience with this dish?

                                                                          1. Steaming is the way to go to keep the most juices in the lobster. Great to have mussels or steamed clams on the side too. Serve with butter cut with lemon and that has generous salt and ground black pepper. Olive oil is good instead of butter. Have had it this way many times at home. 50/50 olive oil and butter or all olive oil