Browned Butter Risotto with Butter Poached Lobster and Pan-Roasted Peas – creamy, flavorful classic risotto enriched with homemade lobster stock and white wine, topped with succulent butter poached lobster tail, sweet pan-roasted peas and nutty browned butter!
I told you guys it was gonna get fancy.
For this dish, I combined some of my absolute faaaavorite things – browned butter (nutty, toasty, rich…omg), butter poached lobster (!!!), classic creamy risotto (perfected with a Thomas Keller recipe), and roasted peas, which you can sub out for any tasty veg!
I debated about posting this recipe, as it’s a little…complex. time consuming. BUT it’s not complicated, and it’s sosososo good! And how can I keep that kind of goodness away from you?
I mentioned in a former blog post that I was trying out for Masterchef, and this was actually the dish that I brought! The only difference was that I blistered some tomatoes and scattered those about in place of the pan-roasted peas.
Another reason why I’m posting this recipe..this dish got me past the first round of Masterchef auditions…as in the tasting round!! A real chef tasted it and everything, and I moved on to the next round of questions! It was nice after all the time and work I put in (waking up at 5:30 to cook, 4 hour drive to Austin) that I got such a nice reward, and it was a fun experience!
Also, sorry for posting this approximately 5 weeks after the audition took place…I swear, my classes at school are trying to kill me. Midterms, homework – I know that’s what I’ve been saying since school started, and unfortunately that hasn’t changed!
So I’ll keep this short and sweet – you gotta try this. And if you want to, go ahead and switch some things up if that makes it easier – sub in some roasted tomatoes (or any other roasted small vegetable) or hell, omit them all together! You could use store-bought seafood stock instead of the homemade lobster stock, or you could just roast some shrimp and put them on top of the risotto!
Browned Butter Risotto with Butter Poached Lobster and Pan-Roasted Peas
Risotto recipe adapted from Thomas Keller
Poached lobster adapted from Steamy Kitchen
For the risotto –
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups lobster stock* (recipe follows)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup finely minced onion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 ounce (30 grams) Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the poached lobster –
- 2 lobster tails, shells removed (save the shells!) (this video shows how I removed the lobster from its shell)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon chunks
- For the lobster stock –
- Shells from 2 lobster tails
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is what I used)
- Fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, and/or bay leaf, tied together with kitchen string) (optional)
- For the browned butter –
- 1 tablespoon salted butter (or 2 tablespoons if you want more butter on top of your risotto)
- 1/4 cup frozen or fresh peas, to finish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the lobster shells on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until the shells are dry and crisp but not brown, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute the diced tomato in the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the wine and stir to scrape up any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the roasted lobster shells, the water, and the fresh herbs, if using. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes. Strain the stock into a bowl, then add it back into the same stockpot and keep warm over low heat until ready to use.
- To make the poached lobster – in a saucepan, bring 1 tablespoon of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in 1 piece of butter. When the butter has melted, add another piece. Continue with remaining butter pieces, one at a time, until all the butter is gone. Do not let this sauce boil, or it will separate. You should have a pale yellow, creamy butter sauce.
- Keeping the heat on medium-low, add in the lobster tails and cook for about 5 minutes, turning the lobster every minute or so. The lobster is done when the internal temperature is 140 degrees. Remove lobster and set aside.
- To make the risotto – in a bowl, whisk the 1/4 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat, and add in the canola oil. Add the onion and the 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly cook the onions (don’t brown them), until they’re completely soft, reducing the heat if necessary.
- Add the rice and continue cooking the mixture, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Pour in the white wine and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed by the rice and you can no longer smell the alcohol.
- Ladle enough of the hot lobster stock over the rice to barely cover it. Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Continue this process – ladling, stirring, ladling, stirring – until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked but the center is still al dente (You might not need all of the stock, so taste the risotto occasionally to test the doneness of the rice).
- Once the rice is al dente, add the butter and vigorously whisk it until it is emulsified into the risotto. Add in the Parmesan cheese and stir until thoroughly combined. Taste for seasoning, and add more stock if necessary, so that the rice is creamy and its surface naturally flattens out. Stir in whipped cream.
- To make the browned butter – place the tablespoon of butter into a small skillet over medium heat. Cook the butter, swirling frequently, until the butter is melted, and keep swirling until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, not burnt. (This article includes many helpful tips) Set aside.
- Add the peas to the pan you just browned your butter in. Cook over medium-high heat until the peas are golden brown, 90 seconds-2 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
- To plate – spoon the risotto into a large bowl. Top with the poached lobster tail (you can leave it whole; I sliced mine), drizzle with a spoonful of browned butter, and sprinkle with the pan-roasted peas. Serve immediately.
Phew. I know, a lot of steps.
Here’s some insight:
- If you’ve never made risotto before, or even if you have, something might look a little strange to you – unsweetened whipped cream. Don’t be alarmed! Stirring the heavy cream into the risotto takes the flavor and the texture to a higher level; don’t skip it! Just put on some pajama pants; you’ll be okay!
- I use an instant-read thermometer for a lot of stuff now – caramels, candies, and internal temperatures of fish! I think having a thermometer makes the whole experience more accurate.