Lobster thermidor baked potatoes
Another run-out for Mark Hix's wonderfully decadent recipe for a lobster-stuffed baked potato from his book Hix on Baking. Such a great idea . . .
Mark writes: "This is a great way to stretch out a lobster and makes for a fantastic, luxurious baked potato. Extravagant you may think, but not really. The baked potato is making a bit of a comeback – I’m sure they'll soon be dished up in all the smart restaurants..."
4 baking potatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50ml white wine
1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp English mustard
100ml fish stock (or a third of a good-quality stock cube dissolved in 100ML hot water)
300ml double cream
30g Parmesan, grated
80g mature Cheddar, grated
1 small egg yolk
1 x 500–600g cooked lobster
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Wash the potatoes, transfer to the oven and bake them for about 1–1 1/2 hours, until soft. Leave them to cool a little, then cut off about a quarter of the top of each potato and scoop the flesh out into a bowl. Mash as chunky or as smooth as you wish, then mix with the butter and season to taste.
Return the potato skins to the oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up before setting aside with the flesh.
Meantime, simmer the white wine with the shallots until the liquid has almost evaporated. Add the mustard and fish stock and reduce again similarly. Add the cream, reserving a tablespoon, bring back to the boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half or more and is quite thick. Add the Parmesan and 60g of the grated cheddar and whisk until smooth.
Season and leave to cool. (You can add a little more mustard at this stage to taste if you want the sauce more tangy).
In a small bowl, whip the remaining tablespoon of double cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold into the cooled sauce with the egg yolk.
Turn up the oven to 230°/gas mark 8. Halve the body of the lobster lengthways and remove the meat from the shell. Cut the tail meat into four or five pieces. Crack the claws and leg joints and remove all of the meat. Remove the claws from each lobster, then crack and remove all of the meat including the smaller joints.
Mix half of the sauce with the mashed potato and spoon into the crisp potato shells, leaving about a centimetre from the top of each. Arrange the lobster on top of the potato, scatter over the remaining cheese and spoon over the rest of the sauce. Return to the oven or place under a hot grill until nicely browned. Serve with a few dressed salad leaves.
What to drink: I'd suggest a good white burgundy with this like a Meursault or a similarly rich style of chardonnay from elsewhere. Or a full-bodied champagne. You could drink an aged red Bordeaux too. An excuse to crack open a good bottle, anyway!
This recipe comes from Hix on Baking by Mark Hix, published by Quadrille Publishing RRP £20. Photography © Jason Lowe
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