Lobster & Spinach Gratin

(serves 8)

2 pounds fresh lobster and liquor
3½ pounds spinach - wash, stem & cut into fine strips
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons minced ginger root*
½ cup heavy cream
1½ Tablespoon flour
¼ cup dry white wine
4 ounces fontina cheese**
1 pinch salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Remove the lobster meat from their shells, set aside, reserving 1/3 cup of the strained liquor.

Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and ginger and cook about 1 minute. Add the spinach, toss to coat the leaves, and cook until the spinach is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper, remove the spinach with a slotted spoon, and spread in a buttered gratin dish. Warm the lobster liquor and cream in a small saucepan.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in another saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook until bubbling. Remove from the heat and whisk in the warm cream until the mixture thickens. Add the wine, season with salt and pepper, and simmer 3 minutes.

Arrange the lobster meat on the spinach, pour the sauce over them, and top with the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, then place under the boiler and lightly brown the cheese.

* Substituting any other herb or spice for the ginger root will create a different dish. Chopped garlic works particularly well in this recipe.

**For a stronger cheese flavor, use classic mornay sauce (Parmesan & Gruyere or Swiss cheese).

Recipe provided by Maine Lobster Promotion Council