I used a nice light sauce on this iconic special occasion dish--lobster thermidor--rather than the thick, cheesy sauce popular in the '80s. Lobster is sweet and rich tasting on its own, so the lighter sauce makes so much sense. And what's even better, you can prep these ahead of time and just pop them in the oven when your guests arrive!

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
2
Yield:
2 servings
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Ingredients

2
Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cut bottom shell of lobster tails using kitchen shears along each side where it meets the top shell; do not remove the shell at this point.

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  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place lobster tails cut side down in the butter. Cook, covered, about 3 minutes. Turn lobster tails over (they are curved so will lean to 1 side); cover and cook 1 minute. Lean them to the other side; cover and cook 1 minute more.

  • Remove from heat. Transfer lobster tails to a bowl. Remove any shell pieces from the skillet.

  • Place 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet over medium heat; add shallots and pinch of salt. Cook and stir until pan starts to deglaze and shallots soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook stir until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add flour; stir until mushrooms are coated and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in cognac; use a kitchen torch to flame cognac to burn off alcohol. This will take just a few seconds. Add milk; cook and stir until pan is completely deglazed and milk begins to thicken and turn bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in creme fraiche. Let cool.

  • Remove lobster meat from the shell, leaving top shell intact. Remove any bits of bottom shell from the meat.

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking pan with crinkled up foil. Make 4 channel-like indentations in the foil to hold and stabilize the lobster tails as they bake.

  • Slice lobster meat down the middle and check for and remove any dark veins. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer meat to a mixing bowl. Add cooled sauce, tarragon, pinch of salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir gently until well blended.

  • Divide mixture among the lobster tail shells; place in prepared foil-lined pan. Sprinkle each lobster tail with about 1/2 teaspoon bread crumbs and 1/2 teaspoon grated cheese. Drizzle melted butter on the stuffed shells.

  • Bake in preheated oven until nicely browned and heated through, about 10 minutes. If you like, you can turn on the broiler and broil 1 minute until tops are golden and crispy.

Chef's Note:

This recipe makes 2 main dish or 4 appetizer-size portions.

Nutrition Facts

590 calories; protein 41.4g; carbohydrates 13.8g; fat 35.3g; cholesterol 220.2mg; sodium 1007.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (54)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/22/2018
Thank You Chef John Armand Mitzewich for this, and all the delicious recipes You have shared with us. With Your clear and easy to follow instructions, You have helped so many of us to experience true Culinary Success and Excellence. You are very much appreciated, and I gratefully commend You for all You do. Thank You Chef John. Read More
(12)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
05/17/2020
I had been saving this recipe for a while, waiting for a special occasion. I finally made it for my wife on mother's day. It was ok, and some work. Honestly, the consensus in the family was that we would have preferred having a simple, old-fashioned steamed lobster with butter and old bay. No disrespect to Chef John, who I think is amazing, but this one just didn't suit our tastes. Read More
(1)
70 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 53
  • 4 star values: 8
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
07/22/2018
Thank You Chef John Armand Mitzewich for this, and all the delicious recipes You have shared with us. With Your clear and easy to follow instructions, You have helped so many of us to experience true Culinary Success and Excellence. You are very much appreciated, and I gratefully commend You for all You do. Thank You Chef John. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
01/17/2018
This recipe was fabulous. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
10/17/2018
Oh. My. God. I never liked Lobster Thermidor because of the horrible heavy sauce. Chef John fixed it. Thank you so very much for this recipe. My 23rd wedding anniversary was memorable, in part because of this. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/29/2017
Excellent. Made exactly as directed but scaled everything by 50%. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2019
one unbelievable recipe! There are no words for the flavor. made this with a side dish of penne al la vodka with shrimp. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2018
This is a great recipe for Father’s Day" Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/16/2018
My husband loved it! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2018
I followed Chef John guidelines....pretty much to the T, us foodies....OMG it was so good, everyone loved the them. I paired it with Pappardelle pasta , light alfredo cream sauce that I added from left over therimdor sauce perfect! Yum! Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
08/26/2018
Chef John you did it again. Great recipe. Easy prep. Impressive presentation. Tasted great. Lots of compliments. I docked it one star because I was so tempted to eat the tails after the first step of cooking them in butter. Glad I didn't but the temptation was strong. The time estimate of about an hour for prep and cook was about right for me. I can recommend this recipe and will make it again. Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
05/17/2020
I had been saving this recipe for a while, waiting for a special occasion. I finally made it for my wife on mother's day. It was ok, and some work. Honestly, the consensus in the family was that we would have preferred having a simple, old-fashioned steamed lobster with butter and old bay. No disrespect to Chef John, who I think is amazing, but this one just didn't suit our tastes. Read More
(1)
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