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Lobster stew with a pastry lid

The New York Times | Updated: 2012-02-09 15:59

Lobster stew with a pastry lid

Lobster stew with a pastry lid [Photo/The New York Times]


45 minutes, with prebaked pastry lids

2 lobsters, about 1 1/2 pounds each, or 12 ounces lightly cooked lobster meat

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup finely diced celery

1 cup finely diced leek

Salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup half-and-half

2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

1/4 cup crème fraîche

2 baked 6-inch diameter flaky pastry lids (see accompanying recipe)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon or dill

1 tablespoon chives, cut very small

2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves, from interior stalks.

1. Place the lobsters in a large pot of rapidly boiling water over high heat. Cook for 6 minutes, then remove them and cool in a large bowl of cold water.

2. Take the meat from the claws, tail and knuckles. (Discard the shells or use them for lobster stock.) Then cut the meat into roughly 1/2-inch chunks and set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and leek, season with salt and pepper, stir and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lobster meat, cayenne, thyme and lemon zest and stir together.

4. Pour in the half-and-half and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the potato starch mixture and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Check the seasoning and adjust, then stir in the crème fraîche.

5. Spoon the hot lobster stew into 2 deep bowls. Place a baked pastry lid on each. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, tarragon, chives and celery leaves, and serve immediately.

Yield: 2 generous servings.

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