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Lunch / Dinner

Lobster Thermidor for Two with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

Thought to have been named by Napoleon, lobster Thermidor is the ultimate classic French dish that deserves to be in your repertoire, plus it’s surprisingly easy to make. Simply toss tender chunks of lobster meat in a rich and creamy sauce, top with Parmesan cheese, and broil until golden. It’s one of the best lobster dishes there is — perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion just for two. And with a tasty twice-baked potato, a refreshing salad, and a luscious lemon dessert, it’s certain to be a direct flight to love.

But maybe the best thing about this menu is its make-ahead factor. Thaw the lobster tails, prepare them up to the point of adding the topping, then cover and store them in the fridge for up to a day.


2 servings

Total Time

30 minutes

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Test Kitchen Tip

Lobster tails are always sold frozen because once a lobster is killed, it begins to deteriorate. To preserve their quality, most tails are flash-frozen on the boat


Preheat broiler to high with rack 6 inches from element.

Prepare tails by cutting down both sides of the belly (not the meat) to the fan and discard the flap. Remove lobster meat, devein if necessary, and cut into chunks; reserve shells.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 12 minutes. Add wine, broth, and cream, increase heat to medium-high, and reduce sauce by half, about 2 minutes. Add lobster meat and cook until it starts to become firm, 23 minutes; season with salt and cayenne.

Stir in lemon juice, tarragon, and Dijon, then divide lobster meat between reserved shells, and set on a baking sheet.

Toss panko and Parmesan with 1 Tbsp. melted butter, sprinkle over lobster, then broil tails until topping is browned and lobster is heated through, 23 minutes.


Cut down both sides of belly to the tail fan and remove the flap, then pull out the meat.


Cook lobster meat just until it turns opaque and starts to get firm, being careful not to overcook it.

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