A rich silky risotto dish filled with the flavors of a classic Lobster Thermidor perfect for a special date night in with your loved one.
Our tradition for Christmas Eve is to make Julia Child’s classic Lobster Thermidor, braised cucumbers and rice for dinner while we watch Love Actually. It’s a delicious way to celebrate the season.
Well, another favorite splurge dish of ours to make is risotto. It’s a comforting Italian food that is all in the method in which it is prepared. By slowly cooking the rice, gradually adding liquid in small amounts at a time while stirring gently, almost constantly, you release the starches of the rice over time creating a thick creamy sauce-like consistency to the rice.
So when we were thinking about what to make for Valentine’s Day date night in, we were waffling between getting a nice filet or some lobster and whipping up a risotto. Lobster actually ended up being a cheaper option. I know I’m shocked too! But it was on sale 2 tails for $9.99…so lobster risotto was decided. And with our love of Julia’s lobster thermidor, we thought hey why not make it into a risotto dish with similar flavors – stewed mushrooms, mustard cream sauce, parmesan cheese, brandy. That doesn’t sound too bad, amiright? The flavors pair naturally with risotto as traditional risotto is made my sauteing onion in butter or olive oil, then coating the rice in the fat and de-glazing with white wine. It is often finished with more butter or cheese, not too far fetched from the butter and cream laden recipes of French cooking found in Julia Child’s cookbook.
This risotto starts with browned butter and shallot, then has brandy added to de-glaze the pan. Stewed mushrooms and a mushroom mustard cream sauce folded in at the end topped with brandied lobster. So divine!
- 1 pound (about 2 medium) frozen lobster tails, thawed
- 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
- 8 oz white button mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 5 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 3/4 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- pinch cayenne
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lobster tails and boil for 8 to 10 minutes until the shells curl and the lobster meat turns white. Drain, transfer to a cutting board, and cool for 15 minutes. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut through the top shell lengthwise. Remove the meat and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Keep hot over low heat.
In a medium saute pan, combine mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of butter, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and stew over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Drain juices into container and add heavy cream, mustard and cayenne. Set both aside.
In that same saute pan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat and once foam dissipates add lobster. Cook until pink - about 2-3 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup brandy and boil for 1-2 minutes shaking the skillet. (This step should be done just before serving).
In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to foam and then turns brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the remaining 1/2 cup brandy and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of stock and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of stock to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Fold in mushrooms. Stir in mushroom cream mixture and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Top each serving with fresh parsley and lobster.