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Monday, August 26, 2019

New Life for Leftovers!

Lobster creme brulee.  Sounds fabulous, eh?  We did a trial run and liked it so I made a double batch for the family brunch.  Four of my five brothers and two spouses were going to be at our home prior to my nephew's wedding.  I wanted to make a really special meal.  

The reaction from the family was underwhelming.  Everyone expected it to be warm.  And, it was supposed to be served cold.  Three ramekins came back with exactly one bite taken out of them.  And, I had three ramekins totally left over.  That's a bunch of lobster to toss.  

Now, to figure out what to do with the leftovers.  Once choice was to rinse away the creme brulee and make something totally different..  Quesadillas, lobster rolls, pasta.  All of those were in the running.  I came up with the idea of lobster roll pasta.  Sounded great but I couldn't find a recipe that worked.  

The pasta pot got filled with water and put on the stove.  At least we were going to have lobster and pasta.  Exactly what was yet to be determined.  I got out the container of the leftovers and dipped my spoon in.  It really had a lot of potential.  I'd tasted a bit of Dijon mustard stirred in.  Connie'd tasted a bit of sherry.  And, of course, lobster rolls have butter.  But, BROWN butter is MUCH better.  Time to experiment.  In went a couple of teaspoons of Dijon.  Better already.  Then a couple of tablespoons of dry sherry.  Ok.  We're on to something because that was the best yet.  About that time the butter I'd tossed into the saucepan reached a lovely shade of brown.  And, oh my, did it every smell fabulous!  Into the butter went the leftovers.  Stir, stir, stir, taste.  We have a winner!

Because I had about half of the creme brulees left over, I'm going to give you the recipe for half of what I made...


1 large or 2 small freshly cooked lobsters (we used 6 very small cold water lobster tails)
2 t finely chopped tarragon
8 egg yolks
2 T lemon juice
1 c heavy cream
1 c whole milk
2 T panko - omit if you're making pasta sauce
3 T finely grated Gruyere 

Add in if you're making pasta sauce:
2 t Dijon mustard
3T dry sherry
4 T butter, browned


To make the creme brulees, shell and chop the lobster.  Put it in the bottoms of six ramekins.  Sprinkle with the tarragon.  Put the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring it almost to a boil.  Crack the eggs into a bowl with the lemon juice (and salt and pepper if you'd like.)  Lightly mix with a fork.  When the cream mixture is warm, temper the eggs by adding about a tablespoon of cream to them.  Then, continue adding until the egg yolks are warm.  Pour all of that into the balance of the cream mixture.  Divide the custard between the ramekins and bake in a water bath at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  

If you're going to make the pasta sauce, hold the lobster aside and make the custard sauce.  Add in the mustard and sherry.  Brown the butter in a small saucepan and pour it in along with the grated Gruyere.  Stir in the lobster and serve over pasta.  

recipe adapted from Creme Brulee by Sara Lewis