2 lemons, halved
1 onion, quartered
1 Bouquet Garni, recipe follows*
2 (1 1/2 to 1 3/4-pound) live Maine lobsters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
1 bay leaf
1 small sprig fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
*Bouquet Garni is a small bag filled with herbs and seasonings that is used to flavor poaching liquids and broths. By placing the items in a bag, the liquid stays free of debris and the seasonings can easily be extracted. The ingredients in the bouquet garni vary to suit the final dish.
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