Monday, February 23, 2009

Cooking the 'French Laundry Cookbook' part 1

For Vday, I had decided to cook the gf a nice meal. I broke out Thomas Keller's 'The French Laundry Cookbook', something we've owned for a couple of years now but have been too intimidated to try to cook from. The dish of the night was Keller's take on Mac & Cheese, Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Cream Lobster Broth and Marscapone-Enriched Orzo.

Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Cream Lobster Broth and Marscapone-Enriched Orzo

I have to say, that I started way too late in the day in order to do this correctly. The Creamy Lobster Broth needs to reduce twice, which left the gf and I very hungry (remedied by a quick gnocchi appetizer!). As it started late into the night, I became impatient and the Broth ended up being more watery than I had expected. Even with the wrong consistency, the broth was very strong and very rich. Its sort of scary how rich and thick its supposed to be. I can see why the portions need to be small, as opposed to my large portions.

I tried Keller's method of cooking lobster, which would have been great if I didn't overcook it in the Beurre Monté. But on the upside, now I have a quite a bit of clarified lobster butter.

I also failed on the parmesan crisp. Burning 2 patches before giving up.

The only hints I can give anyone is to give yourself plenty of time and do as Keller says and strain & skim all the time.


  1. Well Jason, I certainly would not throw this dish of creamy lobsterness out of bed. Having clarified lobster butter is definitely a silver lining, you should use it to fry up some sort of savory pancake(potato and onion, zucchini and onion, I am sure you can think of 10 other delicious combos). Those are some nice looking lobster pieces. Did you cook a whole lobster yourself or buy the meat?


  2. Sara

    I'm definitely not throwing this recipe out of bed, in fact maybe the tone of the post was a bit off, but I loved this dish in all its creamy glory. I'm just disappointed my execution was off.

    As for the lobster, I was raised in New England, so when it comes to lobster it has to be whole. The thing I love about this recipe is that you end up using pretty much the entire lobster!