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Lobster Grilled Cheese

Lobster grilled cheese sandwich

Every Saturday, Chef Mark McEwan, one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs, serves up everything you need for a special weekend meal, including a recipe and expert at-home cooking tips.


1 live lobster, about 1 1/2 lbs. (750 g)
4 cups (1 L) court bouillon
6oz (175 g) aged brie de Meaux, cold
4 slices focaccia, 3/4-inch (2 cm.) thick
1/4 cup (60 mL) soft butter
6-8 slices crisp pancetta
6 tbsp (90 mL) garlic aioli

Court bouillon:

2 cups (500 mL) white wine vinegar
1/2 large white onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, sliced
6 stems parsley, without leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients with 2 litres of cold water and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes about 2L.

Crisp pancetta:

Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C). Place thin slices of pancetta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes.

Garlic aioli:

1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
Salt and pepper


Whisk together the egg and garlic. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream. When finished, thin with lemon juice to taste, then season. Keeps refrigerated for up to 3 days. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a vigorous boil, plunge lobster into the pot headfirst, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove lobster, cool under running cold water and drain. Shell the lobster and reserve the intentionally undercooked meat in the refrigerator.

Bring court bouillon to a bare simmer. Cut the brie into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Slather one side of the focaccia slices with butter, then line them up, butter-side down on a large non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. Cook the lobster in the court bouillon for 60 seconds or until warmed through and then drain it on paper towels. Divide the cheese among the 4 slices of bread, spacing it evenly. Top two of the slices with a row of 3 to 4 pancetta slices. Cut the lobster into bite-size pieces and distribute it over the pancetta. Finally, flip the two cheese-covered focaccia slices onto the lobster side to complete the sandwiches.

Because of the thickness of the bread, the sandwiches should be flipped frequently, every minute or so. Add more butter to the pan as needed. When both sides of the sandwich are bronzed and the brie is melting, remove the sandwiches to a cutting board; slice them in half on a diagonal and plate with a ramekin of aioli.

This recipe serves 2.


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