Celebrate! Fabio's Lobster Tails with Italian-Spiced Butter

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In honor of the 100th episode of Chow Ciao!, Chef Fabio prepares an elegant steamed lobster tail with a simple Italian twist: spiced butter that's good on anything from beef to vegetables. With herbs infusing both the steam and the butter, this easy recipe is bursting with flavor. Featuring special guest, the legendary Frankie Avalon.

Culinary Tips:
--Fresh or Frozen? Many markets sell frozen lobster tails. Be sure to defrost your tails in the refrigerator for the most tenderness.
--Be careful not to overcook your lobster, or it will get rubbery and lose its mild, sweet flavor.
--Ask your butcher to "piggyback" your lobster tails so that the meat rests on the tail shell. This way, the meat is elevated above the boiling water. To do it yourself, simply cut the top of the shell lengthwise, then gently lift the meat out until it rests on top of it.
--Nothing like the real thing: Margarine is not recommended for this recipe. Use real butter for best melting and best flavors!
--For best results, mix the herbs together first, and let the butter get very soft before adding them.
--Fabio puts that s*** on everything: store your leftover compound butter and use to add flavor to steak, fish, or vegetables, or even pastas, breads, or white rice! You can also swap it out for plain butter in sauces, or on popcorn! Experiment with other flavor combinations to elevate almost any dish that calls for butter.
--Pair this dish with Fabio's Prime Rib for an amazing Surf and Turf with an Italian twist!

Fabio's Italian Compound Butter is great on lobster, steaks, vegetables, and so much more!
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 2 servings

For the Compound Butter:
½ tsp. minced shallots
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (optional)
pinch of salt
2 tsp. grappa, or other non-fruit brandy
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature and in chunks

Thoroughly combine all ingredients except butter. (Fabio uses a stand mixer!)
Beat the butter and herb mixture together until thoroughly combined.
Using a spatula, remove all of the butter to a large piece of parchment paper, and form into a log.
Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Alternatively, freeze for at least an hour.

Leftover compound butter can be stored for up to one month in the refrigerator, or up to three months in the freezer. Be sure to double wrap it very tightly, because butter quickly absorbs refrigerator flavors and odors.

For the Lobster:
1 lemon, sliced
4 fresh basil leaves, torn
4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
2 sprigs fresh oregano
3 shallots, peeled
4 whole garlic cloves
2 lobster tails, thawed

Fill a large, shallow pan with about two inches of water. Make sure the pan is deep enough to hold the lobster tails when the lid is in place, but that the boiling water will NOT touch the lobster meat.
Bring the water to a boil, and then add all ingredients except lobster, and bring to a boil again as necessary.
Add the lobster tails to the pan and cover, making sure that the meat doesn't touch the water.
Steam lobster tails about one minute per ounce, until the shells turn bright red and the meat is white and no longer translucent.

To serve, slice the chilled compound butter into 1/4" discs, and place 1-2 atop each lobster tail to melt.
Garnish with lemon and chopped parsley, as desired.


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