Monday, February 13, 2017

Lobster Scampi de Jonghe #Whole Foods

"Lobster Scampi de Jonghe is rich with butter, sherry and garlic. Crispy bread crumbs soak up this delectable sauce and the best part is this special dish can be prepared in under thirty minutes."

I think I was the only one that didn't know Valentine's Day is tomorrow. When the kids were little ones I knew this. Perhaps it was the planning of the parties that alerted me or perhaps it was making those special mailboxes to collect all those valentines, but let's just say that this year I thought Valentine's Day fell on Thursday, which leaves me scrambling like most people to find a decent card that's still on the rack.

It also left me in a rush to get to Whole Foods where they are celebrating Valentine's Day big time. Not only do they have a great deal on roses, they have great deals on steak and lobster. I've always been a fan of lobster but sometimes the big tails are a bit too much for me, in which case I turn to the small 4 ouncers. When Manservant is craving steak I go buy a few of these and they make my meal as special as his. In fact, I also buy these cute petite tails when they are on sale, so I always have some to grill or add to dishes like paella.

I don't remember when I first discovered  I loved lobster but it was some time in my teen age years. One year I even remember ordering it for homecoming, which shocked the heck out of the guy I was sitting next to. Not sure I ever saw him again! After that I learned never to order the most expensive thing on the menu!

My mother, on the other hand loves to tell a different story of lobster. It so happens that on the night she met her future in laws she thought she was being quite sophisticated and ordered the lobster. My father's parents, who were simple people and kept kosher, almost blew a gasket. "What kind of a girl are you marrying? Is she a shiksa?" Well the marriage did go as planned, (I am living testimony...) but I have learned that lobster has protocols that one must follow if eating in a restaurant with people you don't know very well.

In Kankakee, lobster was not easy to come by. Well maybe it was and my parents never told me about it. So I discovered shrimp. (You can see the keeping kosher part of the family must have been ruined by the Jewish shiksa!) After earning my driver's license, my friends and I would take drives into the "country" along the river where there were always a few good restaurants. Eagle Island Supper Club was where we often found ourselves chowing down on Shrimp de Jonghe or fried frog's legs. To bad it has disappeared into the sunset. Even Al Capone ate there in his day. I remember they used to begin meals with a relish tray, which was a good thing because we used to work up quite an appetite getting there. Carrots and radishes never looked so good. Hmmmm.

Shrimp de Jonghe, if you've never heard of it, is similar to shrimp scampi. In fact I might dare say, that they are virtually the same dish, but scampi is served with pasta and de Jonghe is not. Scampi is also made with oil, where as de Jonghe has the richness of butter; in its favor, I would say. Shrimp de Jonghe originated in Chicago,  but the restaurant that made it famous was shut down during Prohibition when it was discovered they were bottlegging liquor. Go figure. There is even sherry in the sauce!

Whole Foods wanted us to celebrate Valentine's Day (which is kind of funny because they just announced they were shutting down the Ambassador program) with lobster or steak. Since I haven't made Shrimp de Jonghe in years, I decided to adapt it to Lobster Scampi de Jonghe, that way you can decide whether or not to serve this with pasta. With all of its rich buttery savory sauce, it is enough to satisfy and savor all on its own.  Lobster versus shrimp, makes it all the more luscious, so if you don't feel the need to add pasta then don't. You won't miss it. A simple green salad is more than enough to round out your meal.  I'm pretty certain that you will love this lobster as much as I do. Perfect for a last minute special dinner, this lobster scampi de Jonghe is ready in under 30 minutes.

yield: 2-4print recipe

Lobster Scampi de Jonghe

Lobster Scampi de Jonghe is rich with butter, sherry and garlic. Crispy bread crumbs soak up this delectable sauce and the best part is that this special dish can be made in under thirty minutes.
prep time: 20 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 4 four to five ounce petite lobster tails
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 2 T sherry
  • 1 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T minced parsley
  • 2 T minced shallot
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 t sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 t fresh minced tarragon
  • 1 T minced sweet onion


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Boil lobster until just pink. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook. Lobster will not be cooked all the way through, but will finish cooking in the oven. With cooking shears cut throught the middle of the underside of the tail. Remove both slices of lobster and slice into good sized chunks.
  2. Combine lobster chunks with half of the melted butter and sherry.
  3. Mix remaining butter with bread crumbs and remaining ingredients.
  4. Using four baking shells or a shallow casserole dish, spoon half of the lobster into each shell or the casserole. Top with half of the crumb mixture. Top that with the rest of the lobster. Finish off with the rest of the bread crumbs.
  5. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly browned. Garnish with fresh tarragon if desired. Serve immediately!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Happy Valentine's Day to all my Valentine's and thanks to Whole Foods for sponsoring posts over the last three years!

A Few More Romantic Recipes:

4 Ingredient Fettucine Alfredo       Scallops with Lemon and Garlic              Chocolate Lava Cake


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  1. Yum! And it's so easy too. Love this!

  2. What an ideal Valentine's meal! You don't need to worry about a card or what day of the week Valentine's Day is on if you share meals like this one.

  3. Ah, to heck with Kashrut. Some lobsters swim on the surface. ;-) I'm so glad you're a sinner. Because, I am too. This is a wonderful recipe, and your in-laws are probably glad to have you in their clan.

  4. It's been years since I've had this dish! And it's a good one. Didn't know that it was a Chicago original -- neat fact. Lucky me -- I have some shrimp in the freezer. And we always have butter on hand. :-)

  5. Perfect for Valentine's Day! Bill would prefer the shrimp version, but I'd love this!! Ames, Iowa wasn't known for lobster either :)

  6. Wish I could taste some of yours!! They look heavenly, Abbe.

  7. I'm still undecided on what to cook for Valentines dinner tonight. This looks elegant and ritzy! Whole Foods here I come. :)

  8. I remember my first Maine lobster when I moved to Massachusetts decades ago. I thought I died and gone to heaven. This is a great recipe and I wish I could make it tonight but I have to wait a little while.

  9. Hi Abbe, this looks like the perfect meal to celebrate Valentines' Day with. I bet this is delicious!!

  10. Wow Abbe, I have never had this dish before, and I am already want to sure looks delicious...thanks for the post!
    Have a great week :)

  11. I don't even remember the first time I had lobster! It certainly wasn't part of our family meals growing up. This looks absolutely delightful, Abbe! Happy Valentine's day!

  12. What a great and entertaining post! Lovely dish. I think I only had lobster growing up the couple years we lived in New York. I was immediately hooked. But it also wasn't that expensive WAY back then! I think I'd prefer this over scampi if I had to choose...

  13. My husband would be thrilled with this meal! Looks wonderful!

  14. Lobster is not casually available in the Pacific NW. Crab, shrimp and oysters are the most likely shellfish to be around. Reading your comments made me ask myself----when did I first eat lobster? I remember I was enchanted by it immediately. Mid 20's????? I have it sooooo infrequently. This recipe did remind me of the first time I had sherry in a sauce. It was with shrimp on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Went there as a broke 19 yr old college student with some other friends. We were on a road trip where we slept in the fold down seats of a rambler or stayed with friends. One of the friends Dad took us 3 girls to that restaurant, which we would have NEVER been able to afford. A lasting experience---that and tasting lychee nuts for the first time in China Town. Aaah memories. Because I don't allow myself much butter anymore, the use of it here with the sherry and the lobster I rarely get makes this dish THE winner in my book of a special entre' for a dinner.

  15. That looks like an elegant delicious meal!

  16. This looks so delicious, I am sold on lobster of any kind! Perfect Valentine's Day food.

  17. I didn't know the difference between scampi and de jonghe. Good to know! And, I would love this with lobster or shrimp!

  18. This is such a special recipe Abbe. Who would have thought it could be so easy!

  19. I love lobster and I wish I had seen this wonderful recipe before Valentine's day.

  20. That looks amazing! I never really like seafood until my mid-30's - now I love salmon, sea bass and the like - and well, of course lobster! :D

    Hope all is well, just catching up on my blog reading tonight - hugs!

  21. I adore this recipe. I love lobster! Sounds delicious, Abbe!

  22. What a lovely recipe, just in time for spring.