I wasn’t originally going to post this recipe because it seems butter poached lobster is a thing that people feel passionately about, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to subject myself to scorn and/or mockery. If you Google “butter poached lobster” you will come up with all sorts of references to Thomas Keller‘s preparation. I’m sure it’s positively transcendent, but I have yet to attempt his method. I tend not to do fussy, and since I haven’t ever tasted the master’s version, I have no point of reference, and we like my version just fine thankyouverymuch. That being said, I’ll honor Cheryl’s request and post what I did here.
I use purchased lobster tail and claw meat (steamed just enough so that it could be removed from the shells, but not cooked through) from the fishmonger. I bring a tablespoon or so of water to a boil in a saucepan, then whisk in a half pound of butter, cut into cubes, a little at a time until I have a nice amalgamated sauce. Then I put the lobster into its buttery bath to poach away gently for about half an hour over very low heat. Easy peasy.
The risotto comes together in the time the lobster is cooking. I melt a tablespoon or two of butter into an equal amount of olive oil, then add one diced shallot and one chopped and seeded Meyer lemon, with its juice. Season with salt and and saute the shallot and lemon until softened. To that I add a cup and a half of carnaroli rice and cook it until it is just beginning to turn translucent. Then it’s time for the liquids: I add a cup of white wine (except that this time, we were drinking Cava, so I used Cava), then two cups of chicken stock, then as much water as the rice needs to become creamy and al dente – add each liquid a cup at a time, stir well and often, and let each almost cook away before adding more. I know this is imprecise, but you just have to watch and taste, and you’ll know when it’s the right texture.
Since I was going to serve this risotto with the lobster, I added about 1/4 cup of heavy cream at the end (off the heat), rather than the traditional butter and cheese.
We were out of fresh herbs (the horror), so I wasn’t able to put anything fresh and green and pretty on the finished plate, but I would have liked to garnish this with chopped chives or tarragon or parsley.