November 7, 2023

Lobster Thermidor

Recipe: Eric Ripert

“This dish is a timeless classic. Even though it’s already quite rich, I like it slightly spicier than normal, so I try to use the spiciest mustard I can find, or cayenne pepper. As with any other type of seafood, always take care not to overcook the lobster, as it will become chewy and flavorless.” – Eric Ripert


  • 4 live Maine lobsters (1 3/4 lbs. each)
  • Fine sea salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp spicy dry mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Paprika


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Preheat the broiler to high (500°F). Bring a large pot of water to a
  2. Place a lobster belly down on a cutting board, then place the tip of a sharp knife in the center of the head with the blade pointing toward the front of the head. Press down, splitting the head in two; this will kill the lobster quickly.
  3. Remove the rubber bands from the lobster’s claws with the tip of your knife. Turn the lobster over and remove the front knuckles and claws by twisting them off the base of the Set aside.
  4. Return the lobster to the cutting board, belly side facing up. Starting from where the head meets the tail, cut 90 percent of the way through the body, leaving the outer shell intact, and continuing through the tail. Turn the lobster 180 degrees and continue cutting through the head. Repeat with the remaining lobsters.
  5. When the water reaches a boil, season it with sea salt, then add the claws, lower the heat, and cook at a simmer for 5 Remove and let cool.
  6. Holding each lobster in your hands, open it like a book to expose the flesh and tomalley, the green substance found near the Gently clean the inside of the head section into a bowl.

Excerpted from Seafood Simple by Eric Ripert. © 2023 by Eric Ripert. Photographs by Nigel Parry. Published by Appetite, by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved