Lobster Or Crayfish A L'Armoricaine
This dish, so completely French in character, is currently referred to as lobster "a Vamericaine." This is a shocking mistake, as the real recipe "a l'americaine" is quite different.
My recipe for lobster "a l'armoricaine" has purposely been simplified; the delicious dish being thus easier to digest than lobster usually is.
Its preparation also avoids the unnecessary torture of live dissection.
1 lobster (or crayfish) weighing 2 lb.; 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil, 10 tablespoonfuls of butter, 3 tablespoonfuls of flour, 1 glass of dry white wine, 1/2 glass of good madeira, 2 tablespoonfuls of brandy, a small pinch of Cayenne pepper, 1 clove, 2 tablespoonfuls of tomato puree, 1 clove of garlic, a bunch of mixed herbs.
If the lobster is uncooked, as it should be, tie the legs and tail; plunge it very quickly head first into a large saucepan of boiling water.
Let it boil for only 5 minutes.
Take it out again.
Now remove the claws and legs, break them and remove half the shells; remove the body shell altogether and cut up the flesh from inside it in small pieces; cut the tail into neat, rather thin slices, leaving all the shell this time; put the smaller legs, the soft parts and the coral, if there is any, on one side in a bowl to be pounded later.
Heat the oil, and put into it the slices of tail, the cut-up flesh, the claws and large legs.
Fry on a high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, then lift out.
Make a brown roux by melting 3 tablespoons of butter and stirring in the same quantity of flour and letting this brown; moisten with the white wine, madeira or sherry and brandy, add the tomato puree, bunch of mixed herbs, the clove of garlic stuck with a clove, pepper and Cayenne pepper.
Cook the slices of lobster in this sauce for 15 minutes.
If you think the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little of the liquor in which you cooked the lobster.
During this time mash or mince up all the pieces you put aside for this purpose, pressing this paste through a fine sieve or food mill, then beat it into 7 tablespoonfiils of butter.
When the lobster is done, put the pieces on a hot dish, removing the bunch of mixed herbs and the garlic.
Divide the paste and butter mixture into small pieces and mix them into the sauce, beating as you do so; as soon as the butter is melted, pour the sauce over the lobster.