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September 16, 2008

Martha Greenlaw’s Famous Lobster Casserole

Linda is having her "Annual Pig Roast and In The Can Game" party, so that means many invited guests from near and far. Also lots of cooking before and after the event.

One of the things being served the night before is my lobster casserole. Fortunately, Linda will catch, steam, and pick the lobster, leaving me to put it all together. We are a team!

Martha’s Famous Lobster Casserole
4 Tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups light cream
3 Tablespoons Madeira or medium-dry sherry
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon minced yellow onion
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon celery seed
Dash of cayenne pepper
5 to 6 cups cooked lobster meat, cut into bite-sized chunks
1½ cups fresh bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, melted

Serves 6 to 8.

1. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
2. In a large saucepan
or deep skillet, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium
heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream, bring to a simmer,
and cook, whisking, until the sauce is smooth and thick, 3 to 4
minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the sherry and egg yolk. Whisk
a little of the hot sauce in to temper the egg yolk, then whisk the egg
mixtures into the hot sauce. Add the onion, parsley, salt, pepper,
celery seed, and cayenne, and stir in the lobster meat. Transfer to the
prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs and Parmesan
cheese, and drizzle with the melted butter. (The casserole can be
prepared up to 8 hours ahead to this point and refrigerated.)
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
If cold, bake the casserole, loosely covered with foil for the first 15
minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the crumbs are lightly browned,
a total of about 35 minutes. If freshly prepared, bake, uncovered, for
20 to 25 minutes.

Note: You get about 1 cup of meat from a 1¼ pound lobster – a little less if it’s a soft-shell.

Martha Greenlaw is a cookbook author, MF&L columnist, and Isle au Haut resident.


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