From the Galley: Lobster à L’United States
Inspired by the rising popularity of the fine cuisine offered on board, the United States Lines created the cookbook, The Captain’s Table, in 1966. The book included some of the most famous recipes ever served on the SS United States and the SS America and was offered to passengers so they could try their hand at preparing their favorite SS United States dishes at home.
Today we’re featuring a recipe that is perhaps was one of the finest offerings served: Lobster à L’United States.
Ingredients (serves 4):
Two 1-1/2 pound live lobsters, steamed
1 Carrot, finely chopped
1 whole leak, well-washed and finely chopped
1 Celery stalk, finely chopped
2 Shallots, finely chopped
2 Tbs clarified butter
3 Tbs flour
1 Tbs tomato paste
4 Cups chicken stock
1/2 Cup heavy cream, warmed
*Truffles – substitute with 1/2 tbs truffle oil
1/4 Cup sherry
Preparation: Pre-heat your oven to 450° F. Crack the claws and cut the tails of the lobsters into thick slices. Reserve the rest of the lobsters for later. In a flame-proof casserole dish, sauté the carrot, leek, celery, and shallots in the clarified butter for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the lobster pieces and add lemon zest, paprika, cayenne and salt to taste.
Cover the casserole and bake the mixture for 8-10 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and put it over high heat to reduce the remaining liquid. Pour the warm brandy over the lobster and ignite the spirit. When the flames die, dust the lobster with flour and stir in the tomato paste. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and cook the mixture, covered, over very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in heated heavy cream. Remove the casserole from the heat and sprinkle with truffle oil and herbe. Stir in sherry and serve (suggested pairing: saffron rissoto (rice) or croutons).
Although this recipe is designed for home preparation, it tasted even better aboard the SS United States. The ocean’s breeze is a sauce you cannot duplicate ashore!