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Lobster Scampi de Jonghe

“Lobster Scampi de Jonghe is rich with butter, sherry and garlic. Crispy bread crumbs soak up this delectable sauce and the best part is this special dish can be prepared in under thirty minutes.”

lobster, shrimp, scampi, clam shell

I think I was the only one that didn’t know Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. When the kids were little ones I knew this. Perhaps it was the planning of the parties that alerted me or perhaps it was making those special mailboxes to collect all those valentines, but let’s just say that this year I thought Valentine’s Day fell on Thursday, which leaves me scrambling like most people to find a decent card that’s still on the rack.

It also left me in a rush to get to Whole Foods where they are celebrating Valentine’s Day big time. Not only do they have a great deal on roses, they have great deals on steak and lobster. I’ve always been a fan of lobster but sometimes the big tails are a bit too much for me, in which case I turn to the small 4 ouncers. When Manservant is craving steak I go buy a few of these and they make my meal as special as his. In fact, I also buy these cute petite tails when they are on sale, so I always have some to grill or add to dishes like paella.

I don’t remember when I first discovered  I loved lobster but it was some time in my teen age years. One year I even remember ordering it for homecoming, which shocked the heck out of the guy I was sitting next to. Not sure I ever saw him again! After that I learned never to order the most expensive thing on the menu!

lobster, shrimp, scampi, clam shell

My mother, on the other hand loves to tell a different story of lobster. It so happens that on the night she met her future in laws she thought she was being quite sophisticated and ordered the lobster. My father’s parents, who were simple people and kept kosher, almost blew a gasket. “What kind of a girl are you marrying? Is she a shiksa?” Well the marriage did go as planned, (I am living testimony…) but I have learned that lobster has protocols that one must follow if eating in a restaurant with people you don’t know very well.

In Kankakee, lobster was not easy to come by. Well maybe it was and my parents never told me about it. So I discovered shrimp. (You can see the keeping kosher part of the family must have been ruined by the Jewish shiksa!) After earning my driver’s license, my friends and I would take drives into the “country” along the river where there were always a few good restaurants. Eagle Island Supper Club was where we often found ourselves chowing down on Shrimp de Jonghe or fried frog’s legs. To bad it has disappeared into the sunset. Even Al Capone ate there in his day. I remember they used to begin meals with a relish tray, which was a good thing because we used to work up quite an appetite getting there. Carrots and radishes never looked so good. Hmmmm.

lobster, shrimp, scampi, clam shell

Shrimp de Jonghe, if you’ve never heard of it, is similar to shrimp scampi. In fact I might dare say, that they are virtually the same dish, but scampi is served with pasta and de Jonghe is not. Scampi is also made with oil, where as de Jonghe has the richness of butter; in its favor, I would say. Shrimp de Jonghe originated in Chicago,  but the restaurant that made it famous was shut down during Prohibition when it was discovered they were bottlegging liquor. Go figure. There is even sherry in the sauce!

Whole Foods wanted us to celebrate Valentine’s Day (which is kind of funny because they just announced they were shutting down the Ambassador program) with lobster or steak. Since I haven’t made Shrimp de Jonghe in years, I decided to adapt it to Lobster Scampi de Jonghe, that way you can decide whether or not to serve this with pasta. With all of its rich buttery savory sauce, it is enough to satisfy and savor all on its own.  Lobster versus shrimp, makes it all the more luscious, so if you don’t feel the need to add pasta then don’t. You won’t miss it. A simple green salad is more than enough to round out your meal.  I’m pretty certain that you will love this lobster as much as I do. Perfect for a last minute special dinner, this lobster scampi de Jonghe is ready in under 30 minutes.

lobster, shrimp, scampi, clam shell

Lobster Scampi de Jonghe

Prep Time 20 MINS
Cook Time 10 MINS
Total Time 30 mins
Yields yield: 2-4

Lobster Scampi de Jonghe is rich with butter, sherry and garlic. Crispy bread crumbs soak up this delectable sauce and the best part is that this special dish can be made in under thirty minutes.

Ingredients

  • 4 four to five ounce petite lobster tails
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 2 T sherry
  • 1 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T minced parsley
  • 2 T minced shallot
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 t sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 t fresh minced tarragon
  • 1 T minced sweet onion

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Boil lobster until just pink. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook. Lobster will not be cooked all the way through, but will finish cooking in the oven. With cooking shears cut throught the middle of the underside of the tail. Remove both slices of lobster and slice into good sized chunks.
  2. Combine lobster chunks with half of the melted butter and sherry.
  3. Mix remaining butter with bread crumbs and remaining ingredients.
  4. Using four baking shells or a shallow casserole dish, spoon half of the lobster into each shell or the casserole. Top with half of the crumb mixture. Top that with the rest of the lobster. Finish off with the rest of the bread crumbs.
  5. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly browned. Garnish with fresh tarragon if desired. Serve immediately!

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all my Valentine’s and thanks to Whole Foods for sponsoring posts over the last three years!

A Few More Romantic Recipes:

4 Ingredient Fettucine Alfredo       Scallops with Lemon and Garlic              Chocolate Lava Cake

             

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lobster, shrimp, scampi, clam shell

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    February 13, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Yum! And it's so easy too. Love this!

  • Reply
    Holly @ abakershouse.com
    February 14, 2017 at 12:51 am

    What an ideal Valentine's meal! You don't need to worry about a card or what day of the week Valentine's Day is on if you share meals like this one.

  • Reply
    Adam J. Holland
    February 14, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Ah, to heck with Kashrut. Some lobsters swim on the surface. 😉 I'm so glad you're a sinner. Because, I am too. This is a wonderful recipe, and your in-laws are probably glad to have you in their clan.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    February 14, 2017 at 3:34 am

    It's been years since I've had this dish! And it's a good one. Didn't know that it was a Chicago original — neat fact. Lucky me — I have some shrimp in the freezer. And we always have butter on hand. 🙂

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    February 14, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Perfect for Valentine's Day! Bill would prefer the shrimp version, but I'd love this!! Ames, Iowa wasn't known for lobster either 🙂

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    February 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Wish I could taste some of yours!! They look heavenly, Abbe.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    February 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I'm still undecided on what to cook for Valentines dinner tonight. This looks elegant and ritzy! Whole Foods here I come. 🙂

  • Reply
    Gerlinde de Broekert
    February 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    I remember my first Maine lobster when I moved to Massachusetts decades ago. I thought I died and gone to heaven. This is a great recipe and I wish I could make it tonight but I have to wait a little while.

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    February 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Abbe, this looks like the perfect meal to celebrate Valentines' Day with. I bet this is delicious!!

  • Reply
    Juliana
    February 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Wow Abbe, I have never had this dish before, and I am already want to try…it sure looks delicious…thanks for the post!
    Have a great week 🙂

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    February 14, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I don't even remember the first time I had lobster! It certainly wasn't part of our family meals growing up. This looks absolutely delightful, Abbe! Happy Valentine's day!

  • Reply
    mimi rippee
    February 14, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    What a great and entertaining post! Lovely dish. I think I only had lobster growing up the couple years we lived in New York. I was immediately hooked. But it also wasn't that expensive WAY back then! I think I'd prefer this over scampi if I had to choose…

  • Reply
    Lynn Vining
    February 15, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    This looks and sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    Ann Fulton
    February 15, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    My husband would be thrilled with this meal! Looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Mama
    February 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Lobster is not casually available in the Pacific NW. Crab, shrimp and oysters are the most likely shellfish to be around. Reading your comments made me ask myself—-when did I first eat lobster? I remember I was enchanted by it immediately. Mid 20's????? I have it sooooo infrequently. This recipe did remind me of the first time I had sherry in a sauce. It was with shrimp on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Went there as a broke 19 yr old college student with some other friends. We were on a road trip where we slept in the fold down seats of a rambler or stayed with friends. One of the friends Dad took us 3 girls to that restaurant, which we would have NEVER been able to afford. A lasting experience—that and tasting lychee nuts for the first time in China Town. Aaah memories. Because I don't allow myself much butter anymore, the use of it here with the sherry and the lobster I rarely get makes this dish THE winner in my book of a special entre' for a dinner.

  • Reply
    HADIA ZEBIB
    February 15, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    That looks like an elegant delicious meal!

  • Reply
    Caroline Williams
    February 16, 2017 at 12:49 am

    This looks so delicious, I am sold on lobster of any kind! Perfect Valentine's Day food.

  • Reply
    lisa is cooking
    February 16, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I didn't know the difference between scampi and de jonghe. Good to know! And, I would love this with lobster or shrimp!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    February 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    This is such a special recipe Abbe. Who would have thought it could be so easy!

  • Reply
    Balvinder Ubi
    February 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    I love lobster and I wish I had seen this wonderful recipe before Valentine's day.

  • Reply
    Biz
    February 19, 2017 at 5:08 am

    That looks amazing! I never really like seafood until my mid-30's – now I love salmon, sea bass and the like – and well, of course lobster! 😀

    Hope all is well, just catching up on my blog reading tonight – hugs!

  • Reply
    Mary
    February 21, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Yum, yum!!
    Looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    Zaza
    February 22, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I adore this recipe. I love lobster! Sounds delicious, Abbe!

  • Reply
    All That I'm Eating
    February 23, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    What a lovely recipe, just in time for spring.

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