Shellfish has always played a big part in our family’s culinary heritage – my Neapolitan Maternal Grandmother passed down amazing recipes to my Mother and Aunts, and the result was always realized in a beautiful and decadent seafood extravaganza every Christmas Eve known as the “Feast of Seven Fishes”.
The origin of the story of the Feast of Seven Fishes varies; depending on who’s telling it, but a common theme seems to be this honorarium: To celebrate the birth of Jesus, fishermen harvested seven fishes to create a feast in tribute to him. Another version of the story revolves around harvesting one fish from each of the world’s seven oceans in honor of Jesus. This is highly unlikely, as fishermen of antiquity had no idea how many oceans existed at the time, where they would have started and ended, nor had boats seaworthy enough to travel them all. Plus, the fish probably wouldn’t have been so fresh when they finally got back. So, I’m not sure how it really started – I’m just happy it produced such a rich tradition that includes dining on unending courses of delectable seafood. Regardless of the origin, this feast inspired the recipe we’re making today.
How to Make Lobster Tails in Sherry Cream Sauce
The recipe is simple, decadent and delicious. The amounts below creates a meal that serves as an entree for 2 people.
- 4 large fresh raw ½ pound lobster tails (2 for each person)
- 1.5 cups of butter (3 sticks)
- 1 quart of light cream
- 1.5 cups of dry white sherry (you can use white wine if you don’t have sherry)
- 2 small onions, minced
- ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup of chopped Italian (flat) parsley
- 6 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Fill a 12 quart sauce or stock pot half-way with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring it to a boil.
- Once you have a rolling boil, gently cook the lobster tails for only 3 minutes. Drain, and let the tails cool off. Once cool, de-shell the tails.
- Leaving two tails to the side and whole, slice the remaining two tails in half lengthwise, and then slice the tail halves in very thin slices.
- In a large frying pan, melt a half-stick of butter; then sauté the lobster slices, remaining whole tails & minced onion for 3 minutes over a low-to-medium flame.
- Once sautéed, lower the heat and add 1 quart of cream, the remaining butter, parsley and sherry (in that order). The butter will melt while the cream reduces, producing a rich, thick sauce – the goal is to simmer until the cream reduces by half its volume (adjust heat as necessary to keep a slight boil or simmer going).
- Add the salt, pepper, and if desired, some crushed red pepper. Then give the sauce a thorough stir (without breaking the two whole lobster tails).
- Serve lobster sauce with parmesan cheese over Al Dente Fettuccine, with each plate getting a whole lobster tail too.