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Lobsters don’t get fresher than the ones served by Aidan MacManus at The King Sitric in Howth, which are caught in Balscadden Bay just outside the restaurant.
Aidan’s cooking method is given here, together with some of the variations offered along with one of the most popular dishes, Dublin Lawyer – as it’s rich and full of whiskey, it doesn’t take too much imagination to guess how it got its name!
900g/2lb live lobster
6 tbsp cream
4 tbsp Irish whiskey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plunge the lobster into boiling water for approximately 11/2 minutes. This will kill the lobster quickly and loosen the flesh from the shell. Allow to cool, then prepare as indicated (OR described) above/below/in panel.
Rinse the shells for re-use, and keep warm. You will notice that the meat is very rare (barely cooked); cut it into small pieces. Melt the butter in a frying pan and then stir in the cream. Simmer until reduced by half and season to taste, then tip in the lobster pieces and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the whiskey into a separate small pan and set it alight to quickly flambé, then pour over the lobster and cream mixture. Stir gently until just combined then, using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and place into the warmed shells. Pour any remaining sauce on top and serve immediately.
• Grilled Lobster with Beurre Blanc: Pile all of the lobster meat back into the shell and season to taste, then brush with 50g/2oz of melted butter. Cook under a medium grill for about 5 minutes and offer beurre blanc on the side.
• Grilled Lobster with Lemon and Parsley Butter: Pile all of the lobster meat back into the shell. In a small pan warm 50g/2oz of butter, one crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Season to taste and brush all over the lobster meat, reserving the remainder. Grill under medium heat for about 5 minutes.
• Classic Lobster Thermidor: Sauté a chopped shallot in a knob of butter and then add a glug of wine and allow to bubble down completely. Stir in 6 tablespoons of cream and simmer until reduced by half, then stir in 1/2 a teaspoon of prepared English mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice. Finish cooking the lobster as described above; sprinkle with grated Parmesan and flash under a hot grill.