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Don’t Throw Those Shells Away. Make Lobster Butter.

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Dry the lobster shells before steeping in butter.

When you’ve finished enjoying your lobster, don’t throw the shells away when you’re cleaning up. Use them to season with this butter.

“Use as a sauce for shellfish, as a spread for canapés, or for finishing béchamel or velouté  sauces served with fish,” write the authors of the “Joy of Cooking.”

I could also see it topping a just-grilled steak. Or just spread it on bread and enjoy.

Lobster Butter

Uncooked or cooked shells from 1 pound shrimp or crayfish or 1 (1 1/2-pound to 2-pound) lobster, well rinsed and drained
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce (1 shot) pernod, ouzo or raki (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Add a splash of Pernod if you like.

Dry the shells in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes. Break up the shells as finely as possible with a wooden mallet or rolling pin.

Melt the butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the shells and simmer gently for 10 minutes; do not let the butter boil. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve line with several layers of cheesecloth into a bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Refrigerate and skim off the butter when mixture is solidified. Discard the liquid.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

From “Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker

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