Lobsters with Escargot Butter
A wise man once said that lobster is really just an excuse to eat butter, and while we don't entirely agree with this sentiment, we do believe that lobster makes butter better. If you’ve ever had garlicky, butter-drenched snails in France (or in a French restaurant), then you’ll get why this pairing works so beautifully. If you haven’t, make it yourself to see what all the fuss is about.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons cognac
- ½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
- Sea salt to taste
- 4 whole California Spiny Lobsters
- Heavy duty rubber gloves
1 Set the butter in a food processor along with the shallot and garlic, and pulse to combine. Pulse in the cognac, parsley and a nice pinch of salt.
2 Work everything in the food processor until it is smooth and green, adding more salt or garlic to taste. Butter can be made 12 hours ahead, wrapped tightly in a log or stored covered in a bowl, and refrigerated. If grilling set your grill to high heat and if baking set your oven to 400°F.
3 Working one at a time and wearing heavy duty gloves, set a lobster on a flat surface with its belly facing down. Holding the lobster firmly with your non-dominant hand, use the other hand to insert a large knife right between the lobster’s eyes. Use the same knife to cut the lobster in half, cutting right down the center of the shell. Transfer lobster halves to a baking sheet, and repeat with remaining lobsters.
4 If grilling, place your lobster halves on the grill with the flesh side facing down and cook, undisturbed, until grill marks form, about 4 minutes. Flip lobster halves, smothering each one with escargot butter, and cook until the lobster flesh is opaque, pulls easily from the shell, and the butter is melted.
5 If baking, set lobster halves on a baking sheet or two, smothering the flesh side with escargot butter, and cook until the butter is melted, the flesh is opaque, and pulls easily from the shells. If you want to char the flesh slightly, you can finish lobster halves under the broiler at the end.
Squeamish? If you’re not into slicing the live lobster between the eyes, you can parboil it first. Working one or two lobsters at a time, simply immerse in a pot of rapidly boiling water for 3-4 minutes or just until they turn bright red. Leave them to cool slightly before laying the whole lobsters on a flat work surface with their bellies facing down. Slice in half as directed above and finish in the oven or on the grill accordingly.