Three Ways to make Lobster Sauce for Fish Dishes

Shallow poached fish dishes served with a shellfish flavored sauce; Shellfish flavored sauces may also be served with plain poached fish dishes. The recipes for lobster sauce given below are good examples of modern culinary practice combining good quality with low cost. They are also very versatile sauces and can be used in other fish dishes either glazed or unglazed (in which case a little slightly whipped cream and sabayon should be added), served with prawn and scampi dishes or over quenelles and mousselines, or served as a sauce accompanying fish soufflé.

Method ONE

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 1½ hours.

Ingredients:

— 1½ dl oil
— 150 grams roughly cut vegetables; carrots, onion, celery.
— 1 bay leaf
— 1 sprig of thyme
— 2 cloves crushed garlic
— 2 kg crushed cooked lobster shells
— 1 liter fish stock
— 450 grams squashed tomatoes
— 100 grams tomato puree
— 1 liter thick velouté of fish or veal
— 75 grams butter
— 2 dl cream
— 1 dl brandy
— seasoning

Method:

(1) Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Add the roughly cut vegetables, garlic and herbs and fry until lightly coloured.
(2) Add the crushed lobster shells and lightly cook.
(3) Add the fish stock, tomatoes and tomato purée and allow to boil gently for approximately 1 hour.
(4) Strain the cooking liquid into another saucepan and reduce by about half.
(5) Whisk in the velouté and continue cooking for a further 5-10 minutes. If it is considered that the sauce will be too pale in colour once the cream has been added additional tomato purée may be added.
(6) Pass through a fine strainer and reboil. Remove from the heat and adjust the thickness and test for seasoning.
(7) Complete by shaking or whisking in knobs of butter followed by the cream and brandy. Do not reboil.

Method TWO

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 1½ hours.

Ingredients:

— 1½ dl oil
— 150 grams roughly cut vegetables – carrots, onion, celery
— 1 bay leaf
— 1 sprig of thyme
— 2 cloves crushed garlic
— 2 kg crushed cooked lobster shells
— 1 dl brandy
— ¼ dl white wine
— 1 liter fish stock
— 450 grams squashed tomatoes
— 75 grams tomato puree
— 200 grams butter
— 2 dl cream

Method:

(1) Heat the oil in a pan. Add the vegetables, herbs and crushed garlic and lightly color.
(2) Add the crushed lobster shells and lightly cook. Drain off surplus fat and flambé with the brandy.
(3) Add the white wine, fish stock, fresh tomatoes and tomato purée.
(4) Boil, skim and gently simmer for approximately 1 hour.
(5) Strain off the liquid into a shallow sided saucepan and reduce by about two-thirds.
(6) Finish by thickening with butter – or lobster butter if available. The sauce should not be boiling at this stage and the butter should be added whilst shaking the pan and test for seasoning.

Note:
This sauce may also be completed with cream which will lighten the color considerably, changing it from one that resembles Sauce Americaine — which is a rather rich red in color — to that of a velout based sauce.

Method THREE

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 1½ hours.

Ingredients:

— 1½ dl oil
— 150 grams roughly cut vegetable; carrots, onion, celery
— 1 bay leaf
— 1 sprig of thyme
— 2 cloves crushed garlic
— 2 kg crushed cooked lobster shells
— 150 grams flour
— 75 grams tomato puree
— 450 grams squashed tomatoes
— 1 liters fish stock
— ¾ liter white wine
— 1 dl brandy
— 2 dl cream
— seasoning

Method:

(1) Heat the oil in a pan. Add the vegetables, herbs and crushed garlic and lightly colour.
(2) Add the crushed lobster shells and lightly cook.
(3) Add the flour to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomato purée and fresh tomatoes. Cook for a few moments.
(4) Add the fish stock and white wine to form a sauce. Bring to the boil, simmer gently for approximately 1 hour continuously skimming and removing all traces of fat.
(5) Strain through a coarse strainer under pressure, followed by passing a second time through a finer strainer without undue pressure. This will help to bring out the full flavour of the fleshy parts attached to the shell.
(6) Reboil, test for seasoning and if necessary the colour. Remove from the heat and finish with the brandy and, if desired, some double cream.

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