Homard a l’Americaine

A famous lobster dish, Homard a VAmer-icaine (oh-mahr ah lah-mair-ee-kchn) is said to have originated in France, but it was first served, in its present form, in New York in

1860. It looks most attractive served in a ring of rice, accompanied by a fresh green salad and a well chilled Pouilly Fume.

2×2 lb. cooked lobsters, shells split, claws cracked and grey sac removed

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

6 tomatoes, blanched peeled, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme

8 fl. oz. white wine

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 fl. oz. brandy

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and claws and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shallots are golden.

Add the tomatoes, tarragon, parsley, thyme, wine, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the lobster pieces to the pan.

In a small saucepan, warm the brandy over low heat until it is hot. Remove the pan from the heat and ignite the brandy.

Pour it, flaming, into the frying-pan.

Cook the mixture for a further 5 minutes, to heat the lobster through.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the lobster and its sauce to a warmed serving dish. Serve at once.