Lobster in Fried Onion Sauce
- Lobsters and sauce base:
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 sprigs cilantro
- 2 (1 1/2-pound) live lobsters
- Fried Onion Sauce:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and sliced thinly, plus 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 4 cardamom pods, bruised
- 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded
- 2 cups reserved lobster stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus sprigs, for garnish
- Reserved lobster meat, above
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
To make the lobster and sauce base: To cook the lobsters, in a large pot, bring the water, wine, orange juice, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the celery, onions, carrots, salt, to taste, peppercorns, thyme, parsley, smashed garlic, bay leaves, cayenne, and cilantro to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the lobsters. Return to a simmer and cook until the lobster shells turn red, about 5 minutes. Remove the lobsters with tongs and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. When cool enough to handle, remove the tail and claw meat from the shells, chop, and set aside; reserve the shells and juices. Add the lobster shells and any juices, and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 1 hour. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot and keep warm.
To make the sauce: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the onion slices and fry, stirring, until dark brown about 9 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
In a separate pan, add the chopped onions to the oil remaining in the pan and fry until they caramelized, about 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, paprika, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the oil begins to separate, 5 to 6 minutes.
In a small saucepan, bring the reserved lobster stock to a boil. Add to the sauce and stir to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to a thick gravy, about 8 minutes. Add the cream, butter, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro leaves, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the lobster meat and simmer until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Transfer to a large decorative platter and serve, garnished with the sliced fried onions, parsley, and cilantro sprigs.
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