Print Recipe HOMARD À L’AMÉRICAINE [Lobster Simmered with Wine, Tomatoes, Garlic, and Herbs]
Homard à l’américaine is live lobster chopped into serving pieces, sautéed in oil until the shells turn red, then flamed in cognac, and simmered with wine, aromatic vegetables, herbs, and tomatoes. In France, unless you are at a formal dinner, the meat is left in the shells and guests dig in, flanked by finger bowl and napkin. We have noticed that many Americans prefer that the meat be removed from the shells before the dish is served, which is too bad, as it makes more work for the cook. The origin of homard à l’américaine is a subject for discussion. Some authorities call it à l’armoricaine, after the ancient province of Armorique in Brittany where lobsters grow. Others say armoricaine is nonsense because the tomato flavoring is quite untypical of Brittany and that the recipe is far more likely the product of a Paris chef with Provençal inclinations who titled his dish after an American client, or after the exotic origins of the tomato. In any case it is a splendid creation for fresh lobster, and though we are not partial to frozen lobster tails, it is one of the best ways we know to cook them. Risotto simmered in fish stock, or steamed rice, and a dry white wine with body such as Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or Graves would make fine accompaniments.