Here in New England lobster is ridiculously inexpensive right now. Like cheaper than ground beef. Kind of crazy, right? And if I have to choose between beef, chicken or lobster, I’m always going to choose lobster. I’d be nuts not to. Might as well get it while the gettin’ is good.
Usually I’m a lobster purist. Steamed or boiled with a little tub of drawn butter. That’s usually enough to make me happy. Lobster is usually quite expensive. When I’m paying $10.00+ per pound, I want to keep it pretty simple and just enjoy the succulent sweet meat. But when lobster is as inexpensive as it is now, I don’t mind changing things up a bit.
Typically lobster is served with boiled potatoes here in New England. I never cared much for plain old boiled potatoes. If I’m going to have potatoes, I want them to be rich and satisfying. I mean, if you are indulging in lobster you might as well toss caution to the wind. This is not the time to conserve calories.
So instead of boiling potatoes to go with my lobsters, I decided to top the lobsters with a decadent cheesy potato topping. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning…
First you need to get your hands on some lobsters. Here’s my son Michael helping me out with getting them ready for the pot. Some people insist that you have to take the rubber bands off before you cook the lobsters. I say to heck with that. I don’t notice a difference in flavor when I boil lobsters with the bands on. And I really like my fingers. So we leave them on.
Lobster is quite easy to cook. These guys are about a pound and a half. So I boiled them for eleven minutes. Here’s a great website where you can get the cooking times for various sizes.
After I cooked the lobsters, I got started on the topping. While the finished dish looks quite impressive, all it is is fancy mashed potatoes on top. Potatoes mixed with cream, sauteed shallots, grated cheese and butter. Yeah, I told you it was a bit decadent.
I used fontina cheese for this recipe, but what I really wanted to use was gruyere. But the store was out of it. Who runs out of gruyere? My store, apparently. Not that it matters either way. It still came out amazing.
Assembly is very simple. Split the lobster in half. My kids won’t eat anything funky looking inside the lobster. That means anything red or green. That stuff had to go. If you enjoy the tamale or roe, then feel free to leave it in. Otherwise, just grab a spoon and scoop it out.
And then of course the potatoes are spooned on top. See? Simple stuff. Anyone can make this and look like Julia Child. It’s hard for a split lobster filled with bubbly cheesy potatoes NOT to look spectacular.
In total I paid $20 to make this entire meal. I can only imagine how much four of these bad boys would cost in a restaurant. Granted, I live here in New England where lobster is currently at rock bottom pricing. But if you are living in let’s say Texas, this same dish would cost you over $100.
And in that case, I’d say just go to the fancy schmancy French restaurant. But you East Coasters? Yeah, you better get thee to the lobster pound stat.
- 4 1¼ to 1½ pound lobsters, cooked
- 3 Tbsp plus 2 Tbsp butter, divided
- ½ cup shallots, finely diced
- 3½ cups mashed potatoes
- 1 cup light cream
- 8 oz gruyere or fontina cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a saute pan, heat 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Cook shallots until golden. Set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine potatoes, remaning two Tbsp butter, light cream, cheese and sauteed shallots. Heat until cheese is melted and combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Take each lobster and split them lengthwise. Scoop out tamale and roe if you like. Spoon the potato mixture equally over each split lobster.
- Place lobsters on a cookie sheet and broil until the potatoes are golden brown and bubbly.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.