Ben Pollinger's Crab-Stuffed Roasted Lobster Recipe

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No food library is complete without a truly great fish cookbook. Thankfully, chef Ben Pollinger's latest masterpiece, School of Fish, teaches the skills you need to from "occasional salmon maker" to confident seafood cook.

Every fish house has some kind of fish – flounder, shrimp or sole – stuffed with crab. Here's my take on that classic. The lobster is butterflied – split lengthwise but not quite in half; just enough to crack it open for stuffing. The crab is aggressively flavored with fresh herbs and lemon and topped with an herbed panko crust for texture. This is a special occasion recipe but absolutely worth the trouble.

For even more flavor, drizzle the tails with basil-garlic butter instead of plain melted butter.

Reprinted with permission from School Of Fish

Ben Pollinger's Crab-Stuffed Roasted Lobster Recipe
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  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons shallot (about 1 small)
  • 2 teaspoons finger chile
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (1 1/4-pound) live lobsters
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  1. Stir together the mayonnaise, shallot, chile, chives, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Gently fold in the crab so as not to break it into pieces.
  3. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Stir together the breadcrumbs, chives, parsley, tarragon and olive oil in a medium bowl. 
  5. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Set aside.
  6. Place the lobsters on a cutting board, underside facing up, and butterfly. 
  7. Pull off the claws and knuckles.
  8. Remove the vein from the tails and the grain sacs from the heads; crack the claws as you would a cooked lobster.
  9. Arrange two racks in the top and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  10. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  11. Arrange two lobsters cut side up on each baking sheet.
  12. Stuff each head cavity with one quarter of the crab mixture.
  13. Season the lobster tails with salt and pepper and drizzle each tail with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  14. Cover with foil and roast the lobsters for 20 minutes, switching the baking sheets between the oven racks halfway through roasting for even cooking. 
  15. Remove from the oven. Remove the foil and set aside the claws.
  16. Return the lobsters to the oven to continue roasting for 6 minutes more.
  17. Remove from the oven and sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the panko mixture over the stuffing in each lobster.
  18. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  19. Return to the oven and roast until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 4 minutes more.
  20. Rather than chopping, I prefer to thinly slice fresh herbs for a nice clean cut that avoids bruising the delicate leaves. Thin slivers are also attractive and integrate well into the food. Just gather the herbs into a loose pile, and holding the pile together with one hand, slice thinly.
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