It Could Happen to You"
This savory pot pie contains lobster, champagne, and truffles -- food fit for a new millionaire -- but you don't have to be rich to enjoy it for yourself!
You will need:
- 2 live, 1&/2 lb. Lobsters
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 head garlic, sliced crosswise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup cognac
- 1 cup good champagne
- 2 cups clam juice
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1 bulb fennel, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- as much freshly shaved truffle as you can afford
- 1 package frozen puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teeny-tiny chance in a million
1. Bring a large, lightly salted pot of water to a boil. Place the lobsters in the water headfirst and cook, covered, for 8-10 minutes. Dunk the lobsters in cold water to stop the cooking process. Reserve 3 cups of the cooking liquid.
2. When cool enough to handle, place each lobster on its back and cut in half, lengthwise, from head to tail. Remove tail meat; twist off claws, then crack and remove claw meat. Chop meat into large bite-sized pieces and refrigerate. Rinse the shells under running water and chop.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan, on a medium-high heat, until shimmering. Add the chopped lobster shells, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf; saute 5 minutes.
4. Add the cognac and ignite, shaking the pan to burn off the alcohol. Add champagne and reduce until syrupy, then add the clam juice and the reserved lobster cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400*F. Cream together the tomato paste, flour, and softened butter and set aside.
5. Strain the simmered mixture into a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce until about 2 cups remain. Add the cream and whisk in the flour-butter-tomato paste mixture until smooth. Return to a boil, whisking often. When the mixture thickens, reduce heat to low and keep warm until use.
6. Saute the shallots and fennel in olive oil until fragrant. Add chopped reserved lobster meat, truffle shavings, chopped tarragon, and warm lobster-cream sauce; season to taste with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
7. Ladle the lobster mixture into 4-10 oz. ovenproof ramekins and seal the top of each with a piece of puff pastry. Cut a few vents for steam to escape and brush the pastry top with egg wash; bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling bubbles around the edges.
8. Fun dinner game idea: Hold your very own after-dinner lottery, with one lucky winner taking home not only all the leftovers, but all your dirty dishes as well!