Lobster Étouffée

The Scantleburys and friends made this dish, traditionally made with shrimp, with lobster tails that were a gift from Cuban fisherman while they were cruising in Cuba.

1/2 cup oil OR 1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lobster stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 to 2 bay leaves
4 to 6 medium lobster tails
2 scallion tops, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Cooked white rice

In a large pot, cook lobsters in boiling water until they start to turn bright red. Remove, cool, and shell. Reserve cooking water for stock. In a large saucepan over low-medium heat, make a medium-dark roux by heating the oil or butter slowly, adding the flour slowly, and stirring constantly for about 20 minutes. When the roux reaches the color of chocolate, add the onion, celery, and garlic and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. Add lemon juice, lobster, butter, and spices. Thin with additional stock if needed. Simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to a gravylike consistency. Add lobster meat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add scallions and parsley. Adjust seasonings, then serve over rice with crusty French bread and your favorite red wine. And don’t forget the hot sauce!