A few months ago I was treated to a divine lunch at Palmers Restaurant, in Downham Market, and for the first time I had a seafood thermidor. Always the foodie, I had to find out more about this dish as I was intrigued by the delicate flavours that the dish had. I did not think to take a photograph of the dish, but it’s taste is imprinted on my mind.
The version I had at Palmers was made with prawns, monkfish, minced smoked salmon, and dill. Beautifully creamy and with a bit if a bite – mustard.
Traditionally, it should be made with Lobster and it is often served in the body or just in the tails. I have trawled around the internet and found several recipes including the one from Delicious Magazine from where this photo was found.
It almost always has mustard, and will either have Parmesan or Gruyere cheese, and wine or brandy. I see some American recipes add mushrooms. Not sure about that. It was a very popular dish many years ago, but fell out of favour.
The Ivy was famous for it’s lobster thermidor and I have found a recipe from the BBC Archives which apparently came from the Ivy and there are some techniques on how to mix the sauce, and also how to cut up a lobster.
Essentially it is easy to make, but there is a difference of opinion about how the sauce is made – some use the cream, others make a roux from it. I have not tested the different techniques yet – but I will. I love learning about food.
Fishforthought also have a very similar recipe including a video.
Lobsters are, of course, fairly expensive, but there should be no reason why alternative fish cannot be used – years ago monkfish was often used instead of shellfish because it was much cheaper. Not the case anymore, and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with monkfish – I am never really sure if I like the density of the meat – although, as I said, the dish I had at Palmers was lovely.
This recipe, from the US is also a mix of fish and I think is worth a try – doesn’t it look great. (Photo from www.justapinch.com)
So if anyone does try to make one of these recipes, please share.