Leeks with Lobster Coral Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

One of the great things about crustaceans is their ability to perfume other foods in a way that extends the flavor of the crustaceans without additional expense. A good example of this is the Chicken with Crayfish. This is an even simpler dish, in which the flavors of the lobster are extended in its sauce. The sauce perfumes the leeks as much as the lobster itself.


leeks 2 2
chicken stock, fish stock, or court-bouillon 2 cups 500 ml
cognac 1 tsp 5 ml
white wine vinegar 1 tsp 5 ml
beurre blanc, reduced cream, or modern or traditional béchamel ½ cup 125 ml
lobsters, both female or one of each sex 2 2


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Cut the greens off the leeks and cut the white sections in half lengthwise. Rinse out any sand or grit contained in the leeks. Arrange the leeks in a baking dish, pour over 1 cup (250 milliliters) of chicken stock or other liquid, and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the leeks are soft. If they start to brown, add a little water. Remove from the oven and keep warm. Reduce the oven temperature to 200°F (95°C).
  2. Add the Cognac and vinegar to a bowl that will catch the lobster juices, and set a strainer over the bowl. Kill the lobsters, discard the grain sac (see photo), and extract the coral and tomalley as described on Preparing Live Lobsters. Work the coral and tomalley through the strainer.
  3. Put the lobster parts in a straight-sided sauté pan with the remaining 1 cup (250 milliliters) of chicken stock or other liquid. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat until the lobster turns red, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Strain and reduce any leftover liquid to about 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters). Stir into the beurre blanc.
  4. Whisk the hot beurre blanc into the coral and transfer the mixture to a saucepan with sloping sides. Whisk over low heat until the sauce turns bright orange. Don’t let it boil.
  5. Gently warm the lobster tails, and claws if desired, covered with foil, in the oven. When warm, arrange the tails (split in half lengthwise), leeks, and lobster sauce in heated soup plates.