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LOBSTER A L'AMERICAINE (Homard a l'americaine)

1 lobster, about 2 lbs
4 tablespoons oil
1 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped shallots
1 crushed clove garlic
4 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup concentrated fish stock
4 tablespoons brandy
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch chopped chervil
1/4 lb butter
chopped parsley

For this dish is is essential to use live lobster. Cut the spinal
cord by inserting a knife where the tail and body met. Cut off the
claws and tip of tail. Break shell of claws. Split carcass lengthwise.
Cut head in two and remove gritty substance. Cut tail into 5 or 6
slices. Remove all creamy parts (coral) and reserve.

Heat oil in pan, add pieces of lobster and cook quickly on both
sides until shell turns red. Season with salt and freshly ground
pepper. Remove from pan, and keep hot. Put onion into the same pan,
cook slowly until very tender, but not brown, stirring frequently.
When the onion is almost cooked, add the shallots and garlic. Stir
to mix thoroughly. Drain off the oil. Moisten with white wine and
fish stock. Add 2 tablespoons brandy. Peel tomatoes and squeeze
out seeds, chop coarsely, and put in pan. Add tarragon and cayenne
pepper. Lay the pieces of lobster on this foundation of herbs and
vegetables, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Drain the pieces of lobster, arrange on a dish and keep hot. Remove
tarragon from the pan juices. Reduce the juices by half, add coral
pounded and mixed with 4 tablespoons butter, chervil and a little
freshly chopped tarragon.Remove pan from fire and whisking constantly,
incorporate the remainder of the butter and brandy. Pour this sauce
over the lobster and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with Rice
Pilaf. Serves two.


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