Lobster with Shallots, Tomatoes, and Cayenne

(Homard a l'Armoricaine)
This is the most famous Breton seafood dish—every chef in Brittany has his or her own favorite version.

Lobster with Shallots, Tomatoes, and Cayenne
This is Brittany's most famous seafood dish—every Breton chef has a favorite version.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 (3-lb.) live lobsters
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 medium shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 12 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. crème fraîche

Instructions

  1. Cook lobsters in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. When cool, split open, remove meat, and cut into pieces. Reserve tomalley, coral, and shells.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, shallots, and garlic, and cook for 15 minutes. Add carrots, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and 1 cup water. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 8 minutes.
  3. Wrap shells in a dish towel and crush with a rolling pin. Add to sauce and reduce by half over low heat. Strain through a fine sieve, and return to heat. Make a paste with tomalley, coral, and butter, and stir into sauce. Add lobster, season with cayenne pepper, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche. Serve over rice, garnished with parsley.