Here is a delicious way to serve stuffed broiled lobsters. It is particularly recommended for the cook who wants a splendid main course that can be assembled at leisure. This is a much simpler recipe than lobster Thermidor, and every bit as good. The lobsters are steamed in wine and herbs, then this liquid is used to make the light cheese sauce, which bubbles around the lobster meat as it heats in the oven.

Steaming the Lobsters


  • A large fish kettle or steamer
  • 2 cups dry white vermouth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 live lobsters, 11/4 lbs. each

Simmer the above ingredients for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the live lobsters rapidly under cold running water and tie them to a rack (if possible) so they will stay flat during cooking. Bring liquid to a rapid boil, add lobsters, cover tightly, and steam for 18 to 20 minutes or until head feelers can be pulled easily from sockets.

The Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • A 3-cup enameled saucepan
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • Salt and pepper

When Lobsters are done, remove them. (If you did not tie the lobsters before cooking, tie or weight the tails so they will flatten while cooling.) Rapidly boil down cooking liquid until it has reduced to 2 cups. Melt butter in saucepan, blend in flour, and cook slowly for 2 minutes without browning. Remove from heat, and let cool for a moment. Strain in a cupful of the hot lobster-cooking liquid, vigorously blend with a wire whip, then strain in the rest of the liquid. Bring to the boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Thin out with spoonfuls of cream until sauce coats a spoon nicely. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese, and correct seasoning.

Browning Under the Broiler


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A shallow broiling pan

Cut off claws and legs. Turn lobster on their backs and, being careful to keep chest and tail sections attached, cut out underparts of shell to expose tail meat and the chest meat and green matter. Remove sand sack at head. Remove tail meat and slit it up the back so that you can take out and discard the intestinal vein. Cut tail meat into 1/4 – inch slices. Spread a bit of sauce in the tail and chest cavities. Replace the tail meat; remove joint and claw meat and place in the chest cavity. Cover with sauce, sprinkle with remaining grated cheese, and dot with the butter. Arrange lobsters in the pan and set under a moderate broiler to heat through thoroughly and brown top. (Or refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving time. Then set in upper third of a preheated 425-degree oven until lobsters are bubbling hot and cheese topping has browned. ) Serve with watercress, shoestring potatoes, and a chilled, dry white wine such as a Burgundy.

Serves 4 people 1 lobster each


In 1961, as a recent graduate of the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, Julia Child co-authored the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking and launched her career of educating Americans in delicious ways with food. In 1963 she began her own cooking show The French Chef, produced at WGBH. This recipe was published in The French Chef Cookbook*.

Watch these newly digitized episodes from the first year of The French Chef (1963) and learn more about Julia Child's life and career here.

*THE FRENCH CHEF COOKBOOK by Julia Child, copyright © 1968 by Julia Child. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. For online information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet Web Site at