Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanic the Musical and Lobster Thermidor

September 11th 2001 is a date that will live in the memories of all people who remember that terrible day. It really seemed like something had died, something beyond the poor souls who lost their lives that day. April 15 1912 was other such terrible day. It was the the day the Titanic went down with 1900 souls aboard her. I was doing Titanic the musical the day the attack on the day the world trade center happened. And I was caught by the powerful significance between the two events. One saw the end of the guilted Age and one saw the end to the "Era of American innocence ", which had flourished since the end of the second world war.

I was in Wisconsin at the Fireside Theater doing Titanic that September and had been there since July. It was a really wonderful production of the show and captured the human element of the characters very well and very powerfully I felt. It had been an emotional rehearsal process I remember. During rehearsal when we got to the life boat scene and the song "We'll meet tomorrow", I can recall all 26 of us started to lose it. Weeping and crying and overwelmed by the thought of the poor souls who we were representing in the show and what they must have experienced that cold and dark night in the middle of the Atlantic. Far from home and far from safety. 9/11 made us all feel the same way and to this day I am grateful to have been surrounded by such a fine group of folks as we weathered the emotional impact of that day.

Now the Fireside Theater was a machine. It was a very impressive operation indeed. Not only did they have a 400 seat theater in the round with amazing production values. But, they also had a 900 seat restaurant and a shopping arcade that was composed of about 20 small little shops and sold all kinds of things.  It was an amazing operation and sold out show after show because of the busses of tourists coming from all over to have dinner and see a show. The great thing about working at the Fireside was while it was a dinner theater, the theater was separate from the dinner.

The Restaurant was really impressive as well. It had a buffet menu certain days with at least 25 items including carved steamship round and turkey. And on other days had an ala carte menu that was extensive and well done. On Sundays they would have an awesome brunch! I for one loved it! Well during the Titanic Run they served many dishes which would have been served on the ship during it's maiden voyage. One of these dishes was Lobster Thermidor. A preparation famous during the day. It's a marvelous dish with so many elements. At the end of the day it's a creamy lobster dish with liquor in it! What could be bad about that! I had it for the first there and have had it since. But I have to admit that the Fireside gave it that Midwestern twist that I think made me love it! Over the past few years I have tried to recreate it. Whenever I am feeling flush with cash to attempt it. So I offer it up to you on tis the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Lobster Thermidor ala the Fireside! Enjoy Ya'll.

Company Lobster Thermidor

I call this Company Lobster Thermidor but the truth I called it that because I use only 3 lobster tails instead of 4 for 4 people. Mostly because it's so damn pricey! But also because I wanted never to serve this dish in the manner it was originally served in. In a lobster shell. Why? Cause I hate chopping up lobster. I like to buy it done cooked and ready to go! So I serve it as a casserole ( shrieks of wailing pain from foodie purists and chefs everywhere, oh please Maria! ) Or serve it in individual ramekins. I kinda vote for casserole and a great toast raft. But that's up to you. This recipe rocks! Enjoy!


3 lobster tails meat cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound of Mushrooms sliced ( white button)
1 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon of Worchestershire
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup brandy
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
a dash of hot sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
1/2 cup  finely crushed ritz crackers


Cook the mushrooms till soft in butter over med low heat
Add flour and cook till slightly brown
In a stock pot, Reduce wine to half  at a boil ,turn down heat then add the brandy and the
parsley, Heavy cream, worchestershire, and mushroom mixture
Cook but don't boil till very warm
Beat eggs in a bowl and add a few spoonfuls of the hot mixture to them
Add to the cream sauce the lobster meat, S&P and hot sauce
When heated through pour into a 9 inch baking dish
Sprinkle with crackers and cheese
Broil till the top is a little crusty and nicely browned.
Serve over toasted white bread with the crusts cut off or rice

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