Saturday, October 15, 2011

Boiled Lobster with Tarragon Vermouth Sauce (Page 337)

RECIPE #1280

  • Date: Friday, August 26, 2011 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Dave and Karen H.
  • Recipe Rating: B
My in-laws came to visit in August, and since they enjoy lobster I took the opportunity to make this recipe! This lobster preparation was pretty simple. I boiled some live lobsters in salted water. Meanwhile, I made the sauce. I whisked together vermouth, tarragon white wine vinegar, and egg yolks. Then I set the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and cooked the sauce, whisking. I added melted butter, salt, and pepper, and my special gentleman continued to cook and whisk the mixture until it reached 160 degrees. I stirred lemon juice and chopped fresh tarragon into the sauce. My special gentleman then halved the lobsters. We drizzled some sauce over the lobster halves and served the rest of the sauce on the side. This dish was pretty tasty. The sauce had a good flavor. The tarragon came through clearly and the vermouth added a nice note to it. My special gentleman always says that the problem with lobster dishes is that it is hard to create anything that is better than butter. Indeed, this dish failed his Better-Than-Butter test. It was good, but the lobster would have been even better just served with some melted butter. So would I make this again? Well, no. But I also don't really have any complaints about it. It tasted fine. It just wasn't better than butter.

The recipe is here.

Only 13 recipes left to go!

I haven't written in ages. This semester is absolutely flying by. I can hardly believe that this coming week is week 8 of classes. I am only teaching one course this term: Calculus 3. I like teaching. Occasionally I have had classes that were unpleasant, but for the most part teaching is very enjoyable. This semester, though, my students are an absolute delight. There are 41 of them, and I can honestly say that not one of them has been difficult to deal with, or unpleasant, or unreasonable. On the contrary, they are friendly, hard-working, and respectful. Hands down the best classroom of students I have ever had. Seven of them are also doing an honors option for the course, which means that in addition to the usual coursework, they also do projects outside of class on mathematical topics that may or may not be related to calculus. This semester I have students doing projects on Knot Theory, Game Theory, The Life and Work of Euler, Financial Mathematics, The Calculus of Tumors, and Proofs from Calculus. So I see those seven students frequently in my office, and we talk about a wide variety of mathematical topics. It's fun. There is also a group of 3 students who do their homework in my office during my office hours every week, so I have gotten to know them pretty well too. A lot of other students come by for occasional help as well, so I know quite a few of the students outside of class.

I really just enjoy this classroom of students. I am sure they have no sense of what it is like to be a professor, and what a big difference the attitude of the class can make in the professor's enjoyment of their job. So they likely have no idea how delightful they are. Yet I often feel like they are giving me a gift by being so diligent and easy to teach. I am very thankful for this class.

I have had a few health issues this term, and I need to have minor surgery in a couple months. None of it is dangerous or related to my brain tumor, and I feeling fine now, but for a while I was going in for a lot of early morning doctor's appointments and lab tests. And under those circumstances, I would have imagined that teaching my 9am class would have been stressful and unpleasant. But it has been quite the contrary. My interactions with my students have cheered me up on some personally challenging days. That is the sign of an excellent classroom of undergraduates.

Other aspects of this semester have been good too. I have been traveling to give talks, and will continue to do so in the upcoming months. Research is going smoothly. And now that I am feeling better my special gentleman and I recently started a serious exercise regime to kick our butts back into shape (Well, my butt really. He's always in shape.). We are doing intense 60-90 minute work-outs 6-7 days a week. It's insane. We are usually pretty busy, so on several occasions already this has resulted in us working out at midnight, drenched in sweat. It has been great though. I am feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.

Fall is here in full force now and it is hard not to think that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. And before I know what happened, I will be back from Christmas break and it will be a new semester, with different classes and new students. I wish that this term would slow down a bit though. It's a nice semester.


GilaB said...

I noticed today that the Home Cooking board of Chowhound has made the Gourmet Cookbook their cookbook of the month for next month, meaning that many people will be cooking from The Book and reporting on their results. The individual threads aren't there yet (there will be separate threads, each devoted to a few chapters, once November starts), but the announcement is here:

Teena said...

Thanks so much for the heads up!