The Classics Revisited:
From Lobster Thermidor to Crab Louie
Fine dining around the turn of the 20th century was a thing of opulence, fancy dress and even fancier food. It was a time for creativity in food. The classically trained French chefs developed some of the most innovative and iconic food for the time. Dishes that were instant hits and long standing classics-so much so that even name dropping these recipes today conjure up images of white linen table cloth, crystal goblets and silver flatware.
This dish was created by the great French Master Chef, Auguste Escoffier, who is credited with inventing much of what we consider classical French cuisine today. Around 1880, Chef Escoffier created this dish to honor the launch of a play by the same name, Thermidor.
- 4 Cameron’s Seafood Whole Steamed Lobsters
- 5 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
- 1 cup mini portobello mushrooms chopped
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups seafood broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup sherry or brandy
- 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- lemon wedges
- chopped fresh parsley
- Split lobster in half from head to tail and remove the claws. Remove the meat from the tails and claws and cut into bite sized pieces. Clean the body shell and reserve. Keep meat refrigerated until ready to finish the sauce.
- In a large sauce pan heat butter over medium heat. Once melted stir in mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from pan. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes, do not brown the flour. Whisk in seafood broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly (just enough to coat the back of a spoon). Set sauce aside on another burner set at a very low temperature.
- In a large bowl whisk together heavy cream, dry mustard, egg yolks and cayenne until smooth. Ladle base sauce in a thin stream into egg sauce mixture while whisking. Once mixture is completely mixed, return to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes or until thick. Stir in mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large saute pan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in lobster meat and saute for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat source and pour in sherry. Return to the heat source (be careful, the mixture may flambe). Continue to simmer for 5-6 minutes or until the liquor has mostly evaporated.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place lobster shells on a baking sheet and fill each with sautéed lobster meat. Spoon sauce over the meat and top with shredded cheese.
- Bake lobsters for 12-15 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has browned slightly. Serve hot with lemon wedges and top with chopped parsley.
The King of Salads! This early 1900’s recipe made it’s debut in the fine dining establishments of San Fransisco. The naming of Crab Louie still remains a mystery…was it named after King Louis of France…? Is it named after a famed San Fran chef named Louis…? Or a restauranteur named Louis Davenport? Who knows? Either way, this legendary salad is still on area fine dining restaurants today.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 head of romaine lettuce leaves removed and stems trimmed
- 1 bunch of asparagus trimmed and blanched
- 1 cup cucumber sliced
- 1/2 cup red radishes sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes split
- 4 eggs hard boiled and quartered
- 1 lb. Cameron’s Seafood Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
- lemon wedges
- In a medium bowl whisk together salad dressing ingredients together until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and top with asparagus, cucumber, radishes, cherry tomatoes and egg. Finish salad with crab meat and serve with the salad dressing on the side and with a couple of lemon wedges.
Buy Seafood Online
All of the seafood listed in these recipes are available at our online store. As we say, ‘from shore to door, 3 days fresher than the grocery store’-all of our seafood is delivered right to your door when you schedule it, guaranteed! That’s convenience you need, especially for fancy meal prepping and planning.
About the author
Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.