As with clams, so with lobsters. Steaming lobsters in hot stones and seaweed was okay for Indians, but not for civilized colonists. Lobster was not a class dish until it was parboiled and stewed with butter, wine, and spices and poured into the emptied shell to make what
There were two major concerns for our cook-book ladies with lobsters: the freshness of them and the killing of them. With a fresh lobster,
After the painful parboil, the lobster meat should be cut into pieces and stewed with wine, butter, elderberry vinegar, and maybe an orange or lemon slice, according to the seventeenth-century
Boil lobsters in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes (they will finish cooking in the sauce). Split shells in half and remove the tail meat and all the coral and tomalley (the orange roe and green liver). Discard the stomach sac from the shell, rinse the shells, and save. Split the claws and remove their meat. Cut meat into chunks.
Melt butter with seasonings in a saucepan, add all the lobster, and simmer very gently for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix egg yolks with the cream and brandy. Pour mixture slowly into the simmering lobster and stir until sauce barely begins to thicken (remember that high heat will curdle egg yolks). Spoon mixture into the emptied shells and serve.
© 1986 Betty Fussell. All rights reserved.