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Boiled Lobsters with Tomato Basil Beurre Blanc

four 1 1/4-pound live lobsters
For the beurre blanc
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
leaves plus whole basil leaves for garnish

Into a large kettle of boiling salted water plunge the lobsters,
cover the kettle, and return the water to a boil. Boil the lobsters
for 8 minutes from the time that the water returns to a boil and
transfer them with tongs to a cutting board. Cut off the claws
and the legs, split the underside of the tail shells lengthwise,
and reassemble the lobsters on heated plates.

Make the beurre blanc while the lobsters are boiling: In a small
saucepan boil the wine and the vinegar with the shallot until the
liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons and whisk in the cream
and the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the
butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting the pan from the heat occasionally
to cool the mixture and adding each new piece of butter before the
previous one has melted completely. (The sauce should not get hot
enough to liquefy. It should be the consistency of a thin
hollandaise.) Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Divide the
tomato and the mimced basil among 4 small ramekins and divide the
sauce among the ramekins. Garnish the plates with basil leaves
and serve the lobsters with the sauce for dipping.

Serves 4.


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