St. Valentine's Day (Lobster) Massacre is here again!

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Our Valentine's Day tradition continues, as does my quest for techniques and tips to utilize roe and tomalley in more interesting ways than mayo. :)

I have recently read a recipe by Jacques Pepin where he butchers the lobsters, mixes roe and tomalley with flour and white wine. Then, sautés the lobsters parts, flambés and lightly cooks them, makes a stock after the meat is removed but (here's the unusual part to me) adds the wine-flour-roe slurry at the beginning of the stock cooking time with the aromatics. I have not heard of this before and was curious how people thought the addition of flour during the early part of a stock would work? I like the idea of using the roe/tomalley at the outset of a lobster stock.

Thoughts?
 
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4,280
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
Yes, indeed... let's pray for the souls of our dearly departed lobster friends!

I'm very basic when it comes to lobster. Steamed... meat drenched in drawn butter (into which goes the roe), and the tomalley on a spoon. That, to me, is as rare a treat as uni and needs to be savored in as pure a manner as possible.

But I am intrigued with the Pepin method. I can't bring myself to doing that much with a lobster. Pepin's sauce method isn't too odd to me. It must be a rather quick cooked sauce so loss of thickening should be minimal. But there are plenty of preparations where thickener (flour mostly) gets into the mix very early -- think stews, paprikash, etc.

Also intrigued by the Chinese method of wok-frying lobster with black bean sauce... and I'm sure they have other sauces too depending on where they hail from in China.
 
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It sounds similar to when you make gravy for your turkey/roast beef. You usually add the flour right at the beginning when you make it.
 
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Also remember... as Pepin has aged he has also become much more accepting of "shortcuts" to the classic methods. If it works...
 
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I did think of the recipes where flour is added early, but those usually have a "singer" step to sprinkle the flour over the oil-coated meat/vegetables and cook a bit. This seems completely raw. I think it would end up being as stable as any flour thickened sauce.

brianshaw brianshaw LOL "Yes, indeed... let's pray for the souls of our dearly departed lobster friends!"

"I'm very basic when it comes to lobster. Steamed... meat drenched in drawn butter (into which goes the roe), and the tomalley on a spoon. That, to me, is as rare a treat as uni and needs to be savored in as pure a manner as possible."

Yes, but sometimes you have to hide the tomalley from your guests/kids or they wouldn't touch it.
 
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Once when we had a family lobster feed I put the tomalley on a really beautiful Chinese soup spoon for each diner to savor. As soon as they saw it, all of the soup spoons were passed to me. Their loss for being so narrow-minded but my gain entirely. :)
 
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Unless something has changed in the past 10 years, be careful!

"July 28, 2008 -- The FDA today warned consumers to avoid eating tomalley in American lobster (also called Maine lobster) because of a potential contamination of dangerous levels of toxins that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, which can be fatal." Link here.
 
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Hasn’t killed me yet.

And to finish your thought: “But in the same advisory the FDA stated that lobster tomalley "normally does not contain dangerous levels of PSP toxins" and that the current high toxin levels were probably "associated with an ongoing red tide episode in northern New England and eastern Canada".”
 
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