Derrick Westbrook turns the classic moules frites into one show-stopping meal by replacing the mussels with garlic-butter drenched lobster. The double-fry method for cooking the fries ensures that they will be perfectly cooked — creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The first fry will cook them through, and the second will turn the outside brown and crisp. Adding Old Bay to the aioli is a genius move. Serve the meal with a bright, crisp, minerally Chablis.

By Derrick Westbrook

Gallery

Credit: Justin King

Recipe Summary test

active:
1 hr
total:
1 hr
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

For the butter sauce
For the Old Bay aioli
For the pommes frites and assembly

Directions

For the butter sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until it starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining butter and reduce heat to low. Stir until butter is melted. Mix in lemon juice, cilantro, and pepper. Let butter steep over low heat for 10 minutes. Strain and return the butter to the saucepan. Set aside.

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For the Old Bay aioli:
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk, 1 tablespoon vinegar, garlic, and salt to blend. Set a folded kitchen towel underneath the bowl to keep it steady. While whisking vigorously, very slowly add the canola oil a few drops at a time. The mixture will be loose at first and will then turn foamy before finally pulling together and thickening. Very slowly whisk in olive oil. Whisk in Old Bay. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt, if desired. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away. 

For the pommes frites:
  • Pour enough oil into a deep fryer, a large pot, or a wok to reach at least halfway up the sides of the pot but not more than three-quarters of the way up. Heat the oil to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.

  • Cut the potatoes into 1/3- to 1/2-inch wide and 2 1/2- to 3-inch long strips. Rinse the potatoes, then dry thoroughly in a clean dish towel. Drying the potatoes will help keep the oil from splattering when adding to the oil. Divide the potato sticks into 4 equal portions, about 1 cup each. 

  • Working with 1 batch at a time, fry the potatoes until firm but almost tender and very lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Using the fryer basket, a skimmer, or slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain. Be sure to bring the temperature of the oil back to 350°F between batches. At this point, the fries can stand several hours at room temperature, if desired.

  • If you have cooked the potatoes ahead of time, heat the oil again to 350°F. Working in batches, fry the potatoes until browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Drain on fresh paper towels or brown paper bags. Sprinkle with salt. 

  • Stir the lobster meat into the butter sauce and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, just to heat through, about 3 minutes. On each plate, make a bed of pommes frites. Drizzle with a little Old Bay aioli. Top with the lobster and butter sauce, and garnish with the bell pepper, celery, and scallions. Drizzle with more Old Bay aioli.

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