Lobster with Oranges and Tarragon


I eat oranges primarily in the winter, as their season is November through March. I order a case from Florida and when the fruit comes in, it’s oranges all the time. My favorites are Honeybells, also known as Minneola tangelos, but they aren’t really oranges. They are a hybrid of a tangerine (which is a hybrid of an orange) and grapefruit.

I am on my second case of honeybells. I’ve already made orange bitters, 3 half pints of orange marmalade, orange sherbet (oh joy, is that awesome), pork shoulder cooked in orange juice (all recipes are in my current book, The Kitchen Ecosystem), and drunk glass after glass of the stuff. I think my flu would have lasted days longer if it weren’t for the honeybells.

I was on Arthur Avenue with my Dad recently and while at Teitel’s where I buy nuts and olives and capers and such, I told my friend Mike that I was in honeybell heaven. He used to be a restaurant chef and told me that he liked to serve boiled lobster with orange juice and tarragon. It sounded so divine I had to try it. I invested in three gorgeous 1 ½ pound lobsters at Randazzo’s, and when I got home I boiled them in the shell, removed the meat and saved the heads for bisque. That evening, I brought the fixings for dinner over to Nathalie Smith and John Zito’s place in the East Village. Nathalie is an old friend from college who’s Global Table is the most elegant dishware shop in New York, if you ask me. She has beautiful taste. John provided a fabulous chardonnay and I put together this salad. It was absolutely wonderful, very chic, sweet and fresh tasting, and super easy.

And that’s what you gotta love about Teitel’s. You go in for capers, but you come out with lobsters.

Warm Lobster and Potato Salad in Orange Tarragon Sauce
Save the heads to make lobster reduction sauce. This is terrific for flavoring up a pan of shrimp and chroizo, or rice, or as a sauce for a piece of broiled or baked fish.
Serves 4

3 lobsters, boiled with meat removed and cut into large pieces (save the heads for lobster reduction, recipe below)
8 medium sized white potatoes, boiled, peeled and quartered
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used honeybell)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons chopped Parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the butter, orange juice, and 3 tablespoons of tarragon in a medium-sized saucepan. When the butter melts add the lobster and toss in the sauce. Add the potatoes and toss in the sauce. Season to taste.

Pour the lobster and potatoes into a serving bowl and garnished with the remaining tablespoon of tarragon.

Note: For a brunch dish, poach a couple of eggs and serve on top. Wow.


Lobster Reduction
Makes 1 half-pint

This stuff is so glamorous, it’s like having caviar in the house. And to, think, it’s made from just shells. You can make this recipe with shrimp heads and crayfish heads too, or a combination. Note there is no salt added in this recipe. I found that the lobster shells were naturally salty enough (and I like salt). You have to freeze this reduction. There is no USDA data for canning it, and no real equivalents either, as it is thicker than a soup. To make lobster stock, don’t reduce the stock. Just strain and pour into a sterile jar, and use it to make bisque. There is no USDA date for canning lobster stock, but it freezes well.

3 lobster heads
1 quart fish or chicken stock
1 cup fennel tops (optional)
1 carrot
1 rib celery
1 onion
1 garlic clove
5 or so branches fresh thyme
1 bay leaf

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized soup pot.

Cover and gently boil over a low heat for 2 hours. Every once in a while take off the top and stir the ingredients around, and crack some of the heads up a bit with a big spoon. The smell is quite intense and kind of stinks up the house.

Cool and strain. Discard the shells. You should have about 2 cups of brown stock.

Put the lobster stock in a pot over a medium-low heat and bring to a gentle boil. Boil, partly covered, until the stock reduces by 50% or more. Strain again and then a third time, using ever finer strainers. The finer the strain, the more elegant the sauce, but you end up losing volume. Also, any particulate matter will separate as the jars cool. It looks funny but it is perfectly safe.

Pour into freezer safe jars or containers leaving 1-inch headroom. Refrigerate to chill, then freeze for up to 9 months.




One Comment on “Lobster with Oranges and Tarragon

  1. I’m with you, Eugenia, citrus in the winter – It’s what keeps me believing April will soon be here…

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