Risotto of Lobster with Green Peas

posted: 06/30/10
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Risotto of Lobster with Green Peas

Take Home Chef, Episode 35: Heather V.'s Menu



  • Two 2 1/2 -pound/1.13 kg live lobsters
  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup/65 ml Pernod
  • 1/2 cup/110 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup/85 ml tomato puree
  • 8 cups/1.89 L fish stock or vegetable stock


  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups/390 g Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
  • 3/4 cup/170 ml champagne
  • 1 cup/140 g small green peas
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick)/115 g butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup/40 g Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup/55 g mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons/about 5 g finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh chervil, for garnish



  1. Freeze the lobsters for 30 minutes so they become sleepy. Meanwhile, bring a very large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Working with one chilled lobster at a time, add the lobsters to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Using tongs, remove the lobsters from the water and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.
  2. Working over a large bowl to catch any lobster juices, cut off the tail and claws. Crack the tail and claws and extract the meat from the tail and claws using sharp scissors or poultry shears to cut through the shells. The meat will still be semi raw, but sufficiently loosened enough for you to pull it out of the shells.
  3. Keep the claw meat whole, if possible. Cut half of the tail meat into bite size pieces. Cut the remaining tail meat into slices. Set the meat aside. Break up the lobster shells a bit and chop with a large knife so they will fit into a pot. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the lobster shells.
  4. Stir in the carrot, leek and onion, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they are tender and nicely caramelized. Stir in the Pernod and cook for 2 minutes, or until it evaporates. Stir in the wine and cook for 3 minutes, or until it evaporates. Add the tomato and tomato puree.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are mushy and the juices thicken. Add the accumulated lobster juices from the bowl and the fish stock or vegetable stock and bring just to a simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Set aside and allow the stock to cool slightly. Strain the stock into a medium saucepan. You should have about 5 cups of stock. Cover and keep the stock warm.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and saut? for 2 minutes, or until tender but do not brown. Add the rice and saut? for 30 seconds. Stir in the champagne and cook for 3 minutes, or until it is absorbed.
  2. Add 3/4 cup/175 ml of the lobster stock and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 3/4 cup/175 ml at a time, until all of the stock has been absorbed. This should take about 22 minutes.
  3. Add the peas and bite-size lobster pieces, and continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until the lobster meat is cooked through and the peas are tender. The rice should be cooked to the point of being al dente (the center of each grain of rice should be slightly firm to the tooth). Remove the stems of thyme. The leaves of the thyme should have fallen off the stems and into the risotto.
  4. Remove the risotto from the heat, and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, mascarpone and 6 tablespoons/85 g of butter until the butter has melted. Stir in the parsley and season the risotto to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons/25 g of butter in a small saut? pan over medium heat.
  5. Add the claw meat and slices of lobster meat and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute, or until the lobster meat is cooked through. Squeeze the lemon juice over the lobster. Divide the risotto among four warm serving bowls. Garnish with the claw meat and slices of lobster meat, and a sprig of chervil and serve.
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