LOBSTER POT PIE (for four)

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Lobster cream filling:

1-1/2 cups yellow onion (1 large onion), chopped

¾ cup fennel (1 bulb), chopped

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 cups fish stock or clam juice

2 tablespoons Pernod

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup heavy cream, more to taste

4 cups cooked lobster meat, cut into chunks (from four 1-1/4 pound lobsters)

1-1/2 cups frozen peas (not baby peas)

1-1/2 cups frozen small whole onions

½ cup minced fresh parsley

Crumb topping:

1-½ cups crushed Ritz cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve of crackers)

3 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon paprika

  1. For the filling, saute the onions and fennel with the butter in a large saute pan on medium heat until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the flour and cook on low heat for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Slowly add the stock, Pernod, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Add the heavy cream. (If the sauce seems too thick or dry, add additional cream and/or clam juice until it reaches a consistency you like.)
  1. Cut the lobster meat into medium sized cubes. Place the lobster, frozen peas, frozen onions and parsley in a bowl (there is no need to defrost the vegetables).  Pour the sauce over the mixture and check the seasonings.  Set aside.
  1. For the topping, toss the cracker crumbs with the melted butter and paprika until well mixed. (The pies and topping can be made up to several hours ahead to this point and refrigerated.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425*. Divide the filling among four shallow 8 ounce ramekins or gratin dishes, or place in a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the lobster mixture.  Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven until the sauce is bubbly and the crumbs are a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes for ramekins, 15 to 20 minutes for a large baking dish.

filling is adapted from Ina Garten on the foodnetwork, topping is from Brooke Dojny, The New England Clam Shack Cookbook, 2nd edition

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