We paired our lobster Newburg canapés with lobster thermidor tartlets. And we paired them both with a little wine of course! It was Valentine’s Day after all. 😉
You can buy premade tartlet shells or make your own with store-bought phyllo dough. I made my own, but only because my local stores didn’t have the shells. I think there was a run on them for Valentine’s Day! 😉 The filling for this appetizer can be made ahead and reheated in a warm pan. I love recipes I can make ahead. Then I can focus on the celebration instead of being back in the kitchen. This recipe also works really well with shrimp. This month, my Valentine tasted three batches with shrimp while I was testing the recipe before we enjoyed the lobster version on the big day, (but I don’t think he minded. 😉 )
Lobster Thermidor Tartlets
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 small raw lobster tails, split in half lengthwise
About 4 ounces white mushrooms, finely diced
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon brandy
1 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
White pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Mini phyllo tartlet shells
Parmesan and/or Gruyère cheese
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the lobster tails, including the shells, and cook until the shells are red. They do not need to be completely cooked through at this point.
Pull out the lobster and set aside on a plate to cool.
In the same pan, add the mushrooms and shallot, and cook until they soften and brown slightly.
Remove the mushrooms and shallot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Wipe out the pan to make sure you don’t have any bits of shallot or mushroom left that may burn. Over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Let the bubbles subside. Sprinkle the flour in the pan, and whisk to make a roux. Cook until the roux turns golden. While continuing to whisk, add the sherry, brandy, and milk, and cook until the mixture is thickened. Add the paprika, mustard, and pepper, and whisk to combine.
Strain the mixture for any lumps. Return the sauce to the pan off the heat.
Take the lobster meat out of the shells and cut into a small dice.
Add the lobster meat, mushrooms, and shallots back to the pan with the sauce. Mix until everything is well coated. Over low heat, cook until the lobster meat is just cooked through. Season with salt if needed, (but remember there will be salty cheese added as a final edition, so be careful not to over salt.)
Spoon the mixture into the tartlet shells. Grate a little cheese over the top of each tartlet. With a kitchen torch, melt the cheese. Add a little more grated cheese on top for a pretty presentation.