This version is easier to eat than the traditional recipe, because the lobster is taken out of the shell. Most of the hard work can be done earlier the same day.
– 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar.
– 4 live lobsters, including at least 1 female.
– ¼ cup olive oil.
– 1 onion, finely chopped.
– 1 carrot, finely chopped.
– 4 tomatoes, chopped.
– ½ cup dry white wine.
– 3 sprigs thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme.
– 3 sprigs tarragon, coarsely chopped (optional).
– 1 cup heavy cream.
– 4 or 6 sprigs chervil (optional).
Step 1:Have a small bowl ready containing the vinegar, with a fine-mesh strainer resting over the bowl. Cut up the lobsters. Pull the tomalley and roe out of the heads and tails and work them through the strainer into the bowl (the vinegar prevents congealing). Cover the bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Step 2:In a skillet, sauté the lobster pieces in the oil, with the lid on the pan, over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until they turn orange. Set the lobster aside on a plate and add the onion and carrot to the sauté pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring regularly, for about 12 minutes, or until the onion and carrot are softened but not browned. Add the tomatoes, wine, thyme, and tarragon to the pan, cover, and simmer gently while yougrind up the shells.
Step 3:Remove the lobster meat from the shells and set the meat aside. Discard the claw shells, which are too hard for the food processor, and put the tail shells in the processor. Grind for about 1 minute, or until coarsely ground.
Step 4:Add the ground shells to the tomato mixture and simmer covered for 5 minutes, or until the shells release their flavor. Pour in the cream, bring back to a simmer, and strain through a coarse-mesh strainer, and then through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Push down on the contents of the strainer with the back of a ladle or wooden spoon to release as much liquid from the shell mixture as possible.
Step 5:Cut the lobster meat in pieces so that everyone gets the same amount. You can cut the tail in half lengthwise or into medallions, and if you are serving first courses, you can cut the claw meat in half horizontally. Put the lobster, in portions, on a sheet pan, and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until just before serving.
Step 6:Thirty minutes before serving, put the lobster in the oven and turn on the oven to its lowest setting. Warm the soup plates.
Step 7:Remove the strained roe from the refrigerator. Bring the sauce to a simmer and slowly pour it into the roe while whisking constantly. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until the sauce turns bright orange. Don’t let it boil or it will curdle. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 8:Arrange the lobster in the warmed soup plates and pour the hot sauce over the top. Decorate each serving with a chervil sprig.