Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lobster Eggs Benedict

Lobster Eggs Benedict is probably the most complicated thing I'd ever want to make for breakfast. Even so, it's not particularly difficult and by cooking the lobster sous vide the potential horror of rubbery, overcooked lobster is effectively eliminated. Here's how to do it:

Step 0 - Get Your Space Ready

Before you do anything else:
  • Pre-heat your oven to the lowest setting, probably about 170 F
  • Start your water bath heating to 130 F 
  • Get out 2 sticks of butter. Cut one into tablespoon size pieces and start the other melting over low heat. 
  • Squeeze a lemon, strain the juice, and set it aside. 
  • Make an ice bath in a bowl large enough to hold all the lobster.

Step 1 - Make the Beurre Monté

Beurre monté first become widely known with the publication of The French Laundry Cookbook in 1999. There's absolutely nothing to this. Just a little hot water and a load of unsalted butter. Don't let it boil and you'll be fine.

Beurre Monté

Recipe by William Colsher
  • 2 Tbs Water
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut the butter into 1 Tbs size pieces.
  2. In your smallest pan bring the water to a bare simmer.
  3. Lots of Whisking in this Recipe
  4. Whisk in the butter, piece by piece. Do not add the next piece until the previous one has been fully emulsified. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  5. Put the beurre monté pan, covered into your pre-heated oven until ready to use.
  6. Note: excess beurre monté may be refrigerated in an airtight container for later use.

Step 2 - Make the Butter Poached Lobster

And this is an adaptation of the recipe in The French laundry Cookbook that made beurre monté famous. By using the sous vide technique this becomes an incredibly forgiving recipe. There's no chance of ending up with rubbery lobster and issues of timing are essentially eliminated. Note the par cooking step 5 - this more or less releases the lobster meat from the shell. The meat will still be mostly raw.

Butter Poached Lobster

  • 1 Large or 2 Small Frozen Lobster Tails (or 1 live lobster)
  • Beurre Monté
Cooking Directions
  1. If using frozen lobster tails, thaw them in the refrigerator over night.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath large enough to hold all the lobster parts. Bring a water bath to 130 F.(You already did the last two right?)
  3. If using a whole lobster kill it and separate the tail and claws from the body.
  4. Run the skewer right under the shell to avoid breaking up the meat
  5. Insert a skewer into each tail to keep it straight while cooking.
  6. Drop the lobster pieces into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer the lobster to the ice bath immediately and allow it to cool completely.
  8. Shuck the lobster pieces, keeping the meat intact.
  9. Re-insert the skewers in the tail meat and trim them as close as possible.
  10. After Sealing
  11. Place all the lobster pieces into a zip lock bag and pour in a few tablespoons of the beurre monté. It should be just enough to surround the lobster pieces when the bag is sealed.
  12. Remove as much air as possible using the displacement method and seal the bag.
  13. Cook sous vide for 15 minutes.
  14. Remove the lobster from the water bath when ready to plate.

Step 3 - Make the Hollandaise

Hollandaise has a reputation of being tricky to make but it's actually quite easy. The crucial part is the double boiler. Don't let it boil!


Recipe by William Colsher
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 230 per serving
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Pinch Cayenne
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted and kept warm
Cooking Directions
  1. Whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in the top of a double boiler or a small pan set over simmering water.
  2. More Whisking
  3. Add the melted butter a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously.
  4. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens.
  5. Set aside, covered in your pre-heated oven.
Step 4 - Make the Poached Eggs and Assemble

While the water is coming to a simmer pop your bread or English muffin in the toaster. If you're using bread, cut the circles. In either case, put the toast on a small oven proof plate and pop it in the oven to stay warm. N.B.: There's no need to put vinegar in the water.

Lobster Eggs Benedict

Recipe by William Colsher
  • 2 Large Eggs at room temperature
  • 2 Thick slices of good bread or 1 English Muffin
  • 2 Butter poached lobster tails
  • Hollandaise
Cooking Directions
  1. Toast the bread or muffin. If using bread cut a 3 inch disk from the center. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Using a ramekin helps keep the egg together
  3. In a large pan of simmering water poach the eggs, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the poached eggs with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Remove the lobster from the water bath and drain.
  6. Cut the tails into bite size pieces. If using whole lobster, leave the claws whole.

  7. Place each piece of toast on a plate and divide the lobster between them.
  8. Be gentle - don't break the yolk
  9. Top the lobster with a poached egg
  10. And Eat!
  11. Pour about 2 Tbs of the Hollandaise over each.
  12. Serve immediately.
A Note on the Toast:

I've made this with both English Muffins and thick slices of a Pullman loaf. In my opinion the Pullman loaf is far superior in flavor and texture to commercial English Muffins. The toasted Pullman bread not only soaks up the yolk and Hollandaise better and can be easily cut with a fork, making the Benedict easier to eat.

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