Mother Earth Living

Fore Street Restaurant: Potted Lobsters with Wild Mushrooms

Maine’s natural bounty is at its best with Fore Street’s sea-fresh lobster, woodsy mushrooms, and fresh herbs.
Recipe Courtesy Chef Sam Howard, Fore Street, Portland, Maine
January/February 2005
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Maine's natural bounty is at its best with Fore Street's sea-fresh lobster, woodsy mushrooms and fresh herbs.
Photo By Russell French

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Potted Lobsters with Wild Mushrooms
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a an appetizer

Maine’s natural bounty is at its best with Fore Street’s sea-fresh lobster, woodsy mushrooms, and fresh herbs.

2 live Maine lobsters (1 1/2 pounds each)
1/2 cup unsweetened sourdough bread, pulled into 1-inch chunks
4 ounces fresh wild mushrooms (chanterelles, boletes, or porcini) cut into 1-inch pieces*
3 small waxy potatoes (cherry-reds, bliss, carola, or German butterball) sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon chervil, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, sliced thin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

*Use reconstituted dried mushrooms if fresh aren’t available.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Toss sourdough pieces in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Toast in oven until golden, about 5 minutes.

3. Plunge lobsters into a large pot of rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and plunge into ice water. Place a wire strainer over a mixing bowl. When cool enough to handle, twist tails off lobsters. Work above the bowl so all juices are strained through sieve into the bowl. Twist off claws; scoop out the tomalley (liver) and roe from inside the lobsters and force through sieve.

4. With a sharp knife, split the lobster-tail shells down the middle. Remove intestine and cut each side lengthwise. Force the knuckles off claws and push meat out of shells. Crack claw shells, remove the meat.

5. Sauté mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over medium heat, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper and reserve. Poach the potato slices in barely simmering water until tender but intact, about 4 minutes; drain.

6. Place lobster pieces in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with a tight lid. Toss in reserved lobster juices and tomalley, potato slices, minced shallot and garlic, mushrooms, chervil, chives, toasted sourdough, and bourbon. Season with sea salt and fresh-milled black pepper. Place slices of cold, unsalted butter over the mixture. Cover the Dutch oven and place it in preheated oven. Roast 10 to 15 minutes. Check the lobsters after 8 minutes. They’re done when the butter has melted, liquids are simmering, and lobster meat is hot, opaque, firm, and white. Serve lobsters directly from the Dutch oven or turn ingredients into a shallow serving bowl.

514 cal., 30g fat, 22g carbohydrates, 38g protein, 2g fiber

To learn more about Fore Street and other eco-friendly restaurants, read the article "America's Top 5 Eco-Friendly Restaurants."

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