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Broiled Lobster Tail with Brown Butter Sauce

If starting with frozen lobster tails, while the lobster tails are defrosting, prepare the hazelnut brown butter sauce to save time.

1 Toast the hazelnuts: Toast hazelnuts in a small skillet on medium to medium high heat. When fragrant and lightly browned, remove hazelnuts from pan and place in the center a dry, clean dish towel.

Rub the hazelnuts together inside of the dish towel to remove as much of the papery dark skins as you can. Coarsely chop them and set aside.

rubbing skins off of hazelnuts

2 Brown the butter: In a small stainless steel saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. (Use stainless so you will easily be able to tell when the butter is browning.) After the butter melts, it will foam up, and recede. The milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pan.

Continue to heat and the milk solids will start to brown giving the melted butter a wonderful nutty aroma.

Let most of the milk solids brown and then remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, to remove the browned milk solids.  Remove 2 Tbsp of the melted browned butter and set aside (they will be brushed on to the lobster tails before broiling. (See more details in How to Brown Butter.)

3 Complete the sauce: To the remaining brown butter, add the chopped hazelnuts, parsley, shallots, lemon zest and salt. Set aside.

4 Prepare lobster tails for broiling: Place rack in medium position in oven. Preheat broiler. Place a layer of foil over a broiling pan or roasting pan.

Using kitchen shears or strong scissors, cut the top side of the lobster tail shells lengthwise, from open end to the base of the tail.

To help make the shell easier to deal with, put the tail upside-down in the palm of your hand and squeeze to break the translucent bottom shell (see this useful video I found on YouTube).

Grip the sides of the shell and pull open by about an inch or two.

Using your finger, carefully wiggle between the lobster meat and the shell and separate the meat from the shell.

Then gently pull the meat up through the crack you’ve created, keeping the meat attached to the tail, and let the lobster meat sit on top of the shell. Place the tails on the foil-lined broiling pan.

5 Brush lobster tails with browned butter and broil: Pull back the lobster meat to expose as much of it as possible. Brush the exposed lobster meat with the unadorned browned butter you set aside in step 2.

Broil for 7 to 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through (less time for smaller lobster tails), and the shells are bright red.

I recommend using a meat thermometer, which should read 145°F when the lobster is done.

6 Serve with browned butter hazelnut sauce: When the lobster tails are done, remove from oven and place on serving plates. Spoon the browned butter hazelnut sauce over the lobster meat of the lobster tails to serve.

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