Sunday, 9 January 2011

Ok, people we are three for three.

So, time to pull all that prep together and deliver.  Being a control freak comes into it's own when you have set yourself a challenge like this.  Open the wine, take a deep breath and go for it - you have everything to lose!

First off take two lobster.  These were the cooked, frozen ones from Asda, now defrosted and ready to take centre stage, although they look a tad nervous if you ask me.

Luckily they were in safe hands.  I dug out our copy of the Savoy cook book which had instructions for dismantling lobster.  We took an executive decision that serving the lobster thermidor in the traditional way, in the half-shelf topped with gruyere and grilled was passe.  And too sodding difficult!  The plan was to serve the lobster, coated in the sauce on a bed of rice.  But first they had to be dealt with.
Small alien anyone?
Rip it's head off.
Do you eat this weird looking bit?  Check the book.
£15 of lobster
£15 off lobster - chew slowly.
Cue arty lobster photo.

Ok, that bit done it's on with finishing the sauce.

Make the bechamel using the milk with that was prepped on Friday eve, the one with the grated veg, you remember.
Then sweat 2 shallots in a little butter with some tarragon.
Then add a glass of white wine.
And reduce til you have about a tea-spoon of liquid.  It's basically the start of a beurre blanc, but you probably knew that.
Reducing this really intensifies the flavours, this stuff tastes incredible.
So thats the thermidor prep all finished.  You basically now chop your lobster meat, add 50g of grated gruyere to the bechamel and then add the shallot reduction. Stir the lobster meat into the bechamel and either spoon into the lobster half shelf, top with more gruyere and grill or you cheat and spoon onto a plate of rice.

Now time to prep the scallops with pancetta, pea puree and balsamic jus.

Take a plate of shimmering scallops.
These are pan fried until seared, they smell wonderful as they coook.

I pre-cooked the pancetta so that it was really cripsy.
It melts and shrivels in the pan to this:

And that's it, prep all done, it's time to serve.




Mission accomplished!  Tom loved his birthday dinner and I have had a ball this weekend. 



  1. That looks like a fabulous dinner! And even though I've just eaten mine, I'm starving again!! I want to come to your house for dinner ;0) x

  2. Thankyou! I was really pleased with how it turned out although was a big sweaty wreck by the end of it I really enjoyed all of it and Tom was delighted to finally try lobster - and he ate 2 panna cotta, the boy's a trooper!x

  3. Awww then it was all worth it! Birthday Boy enjoyed himself, so thats the main thing. Looked bloody fantastic. Well done you and Steve x


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