Sweet Lobster

  • lobsters (up to four)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • almost 1 1/2 cup white grape juice (or apple juice)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, depending on how much you like vanilla and how much you have around the house
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam the lobsters. (We had two lobsters, almost 1.5 pounds each, and we steamed them in a 12-qt pot for 25 minutes. 4 lobsters of similar size usually takes us about 45 minutes.)

While the lobsters are steaming, start the sauce. Take a measuring cup, pour in the vanilla extract, and fill with grape juice until it measures 1 1/2 cup. Add that and the vinegar to a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Boil the mixture (stirring occasionally) until it is a medium brown and slightly thickened, and reduced to maybe 1/2 cup. While it boils, cut the rest of the butter into small pieces.

Turn the heat down very low. Add the butter pieces two at a time and whisk them into the sauce (whisk constantly). Do not add more until each set of pieces is completely melted in.

If the sauce separates, don’t panic. It won’t actually affect the taste; it’ll just look a little odd.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Be gentle with the salt; a little goes a long way in this case. Serve the sauce in small individual bowls or ramekins with the lobster.

Flavored Variation

Instead of using 1 tablespoon vanilla, use 1 tablespoon of your favorite flavored liqueur. We like Chambord (raspberry) or Grand Marnier (orange). I’m guessing that Amaretto (almond) might also work well.

It may seem odd, serving a sweet sauce with lobster, but we find it brings out a marvelous savory character in the meat.

Lobster Tail Variation

You could easily substitute lobster tails for whole lobsters; simply heat in your favorite manner and serve with the sauce.

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