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This easy holiday appetizer calls for lobster tails, the meatiest part of the lobster, which you can buy fresh or frozen. We've also included three easy and delicious compound butters to choose from to pair with the lobster meat: this recipe makes classic lobster thermidor butter, with the rich mix of Parmesan cheese, herbs and brandy; see Tips (below) to swap in an earthy porcini mushroom butter or a bright fennel and lemon butter.

Source: EatingWell.com, November 2019


Recipe Summary

25 mins
15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place rack in top third of oven. Preheat broiler to low. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Using kitchen shears, cut along the length of each lobster tail shell; do not cut through wide end of tail. Using a knife, make a shallow cut in the meat, leaving the fan intact. Remove the vein running through the tail. (If needed, rinse the lobster tails under cold running water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.) Using your fingers, loosen the meat from the shells, but do not remove. Place the tails on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Combine butter, Parmesan, shallot, tarragon, brandy (or cognac), garlic and mustard in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until well combined and the brandy (or cognac) is absorbed into the mixture. (Or see Variations, below). Divide the butter mixture equally among the lobster tails, spreading it evenly over the lobster meat.

  • Broil the tails until the lobster meat is plump, opaque and pulling away from the sides of the shells, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the tails to a serving platter. Spoon any melted butter from the baking sheet over the tails.


Tips: Compound Butter Variations:

To prepare Fennel Butter: Combine 1/2 cup finely chopped fennel, 6 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter, 1 Tbsp. dry white wine, 2 tsp. grated garlic, 2 tsp. lemon zest, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until well combined and the wine is absorbed into the mixture.

To prepare Porcini Butter: Grind 1/4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms in a spice grinder until a fine powder forms, about 20 seconds. Transfer 1 Tbsp. of the powder to a small bowl (save any remaining porcini powder for another use) and add 6 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots, 2 tsp. dry sherry, 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary and 1/4 tsp. salt. Mash with a fork until well combined and the sherry is absorbed into the mixture.

To make ahead: Refrigerate compound butter for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts

1 lobster tail with about 1 Tbsp. compound butter
145 calories; protein 11.4g; carbohydrates 0.5g; sugars 0.1g; fat 10.1g; saturated fat 6g; cholesterol 100mg; vitamin a iu 302.6IU; vitamin c 0.2mg; folate 6.8mcg; calcium 103.8mg; iron 0.2mg; magnesium 23.1mg; potassium 131.9mg; sodium 320.6mg.

2 fat, 1 lean protein