Sweet lobster tails with Sauternes

Adding scallops to a lobster dish can make it a little more economical, writes Dr Chris Duckham

For four people

  • Two live lobsters, each about 700-900g in weight
  • White wine vinegar
  • 12 large scallops, white meat only
  • One shallot, finely chopped
  • 100ml Sauternes
  • 50ml Noilly Prat or similar dry vermouth
  • 40ml double cream
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • Olive oil for cooking

The only problem with serving lobster as a main course is the cost.

One way to deal with this is to combine the lobster meat with some scallops so there are two portions from each lobster. We serve it with a Sauternes sauce, the sweetness of the Sauternes perfectly highlighting the natural sweetness of the shellfish.


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200degC. To blanch the lobsters, bring a large amount of water to a rolling boil and toss in a few black peppercorns, coriander seeds and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar. Plunge in the lobsters, cook for one and a half minutes, then drain. Shell while still warm and reserve the claw and tail meat.

2. For the sauce, place the chopped shallot in a saucepan, add the vermouth and Sauternes and reduce by half over a moderate heat. Add the cream and reduce further to a coating consistency. Strain into a fresh saucepan and at the last minute whisk in the butter and season to taste.

3. When ready to serve, pan fry the scallops in a little olive oil. Halve the lobster tails lengthwise and quickly seal with the claws in a little oil in an ovenproof skillet. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast for four minutes.

4. Serve on a bed of spinach and cauliflower puree and garnish with the scallops, sauce and a few deep-fried cauliflower florets.

Dr Duckham is a GP in Tongue and Armadale, Sutherland, and runs Restaurant Cote du Nord, Farr Bay Inn, Sutherland. Email comments or queries to GPlife@haynet.com


Elegusto recommends:

The slight sweetness and saltiness in this dish require a very light white wine to cut through the creaminess and, overall, to balance the flavours.

Elegusto Wines selects the following wines from its cellars to accompany this dish:

The Sancerre, Domaine Sauterau 2003 £9.90

This is dry, medium-bodied and aromatic, and an overall elegant wine by a careful producer. Sancerre has been a favourite in the UK for over 30 years and this is one of the finest examples. A lovely accompaniment to shellfish.

Jacquesson Avize Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 1995 £42.80

A more decadent choice would be champagne and this is rated as one of the best Blanc de Blancs currently available - with fine, tiny bubbles, a lively aroma of apples, hazelnuts, even slightly floral. The taste is pure elegance.

For more details or to purchase these wines, please visit: www.elegusto.co.uk/hcr

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