Butter Poached Lobster with Creamy Meyer Lemon Risotto

Over Christmas break, I was inspired to make something new and different.  After eating some of the Charlie Palmer lobster risotto, I thought how hard can it be to make?

We picked up some lobster tails at Costco and I decided not to copy Charlie Palmer's risotto. Instead, I went in my own direction. Don't be intimidated by the lobster or the fact that this is risotto. Yes, risotto can be "difficult" but just keep tasting until it's done.

By the way,  doesn't it look great?

For the stock:
tail shells from 6 lobsters
1 roma tomato
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
cool water to cover, about 3 quarts

For the risotto:
1 shallot, finely minced
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 Tablespoon salted butter
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine, I used sauvignon blanc
3 1/2 cups lobster stock
juice and zest from 1 Meyer lemon
1/4 cup half & half
1 sprig tarragon
1 handful chopped parsley

For the butter-poached lobster:
meat from 6 cleaned lobster tails
1 cup salted butter
1/4 cup minced parsley

1. Remove the shells from the lobsters. I used shears to cut down the middle of the top, then removed the raw meat.  Clean the tail meat to remove the vein. Set aside the meat.

2. Start the stock by adding all stock ingredients to a small pot, about 4-6 Qt. size. Bring up to a gentle boil and cook about 30 minutes. Skim off any scum that floats to the top. Remove and discard the shells and vegetables with a strainer. Keep the stock warm.

3. Start the risotto by sauteeing the shallot in the olive oil and butter. When translucent, add the rice and cook a minute or so.  Stir in the wine. Cook until it has been almost totally absorbed.

4. Add the tarragon, lemon juice and zest, then add some lobster stock, about a cup. Cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has been mostly absorbed.

5. Continue adding lobster stock and cooking it down, about 1/2 cup at a time, until the risotto is smooth and the rice is cooked enough, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the parsley and half & half. Keep warm while you finish the poached lobster.

6. Meanwhile, drop the lobster meat into the stock pot, let it boil gently about 3 minutes.  Transfer the partially-cooked lobsters to a small pan with hot melted butter. The butter should  be at a low simmer, not boiling. Let them slowly cook until done in the butter, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the parsley to the butter and coat the tails. Slice cooked tails in half lengthwise just before serving.

7. To serve, place a mound of risotto on the plate, top with two pieces of lobster. Drizzle the poaching butter all over and garnish with more chopped parsley and steamed asparagus.


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