Wednesday Food: Finally... Lobster!

I know some of you out there have been patiently waiting for this one!  How long are we gonna live in Maine until we talk about lobster?!?!?!  Well, being that the ocean is super cold right now, the lobster is plentiful and $3.99 a pound!  You can't ask for a better time to play with lobster!  So here we are with our handy guide on how to slaughter, prepare and enjoy the tasty, succulent lobster meat.

First part of this journey will start with the purchasing of the lobster.  You will want to go to a reputable seller of fish/shellfish.  Ask around to your foodie friends, and get advice if you aren't sure.  Or if your lucky and live right by the piers, do your own homework and check out all the different sellers.  Buying a live lobster will be, in my opinion, the best way to go.  Make sure that when you get your lobsters, they are alive!  If you get a lobster that is not moving, and seems to already be dead - do not buy it.  The meat will be mushy and unpalatable and a waste of good lobster.

Now that you've got your lobster, how do you kill it?  I know it doesn't sound very nice and it's not easy to kill a living thing, but it's the best way to keep the meat at its highest quality.  Kinda like if you hit a deer with your car, its REALLY not a good idea to make venison steaks from it because its basically been ruined.  The traditional way you see lobster is boiled and bright red on a Styrofoam plate, (Mainer style...don't forget the silly plastic bib).  Another way to kill a lobster (other than boiling it to death), is slicing it lengthwise in half.  Now if it were up to me, I'd rather a quick and painless death than being boiled.  Not only that, boiling is most likely going to overcook the meat, and wash away all the flavorful juices that the lobster gives off.  So here is a visual example of a real lobster slaughter...

Looks like fun, huh?  There are a few things to mention about this video.  Make sure your knife is very sharp to cut through the shell.  Make sure you insert the knife first to the back of the lobsters head.....quick and relatively pain free for the lobster.  The two things you see Eric scooping up are important.  The most easily noticeable is the dark green, slender tube-like thing which we affectionately refer to as the "poop chute".  Or maybe more accurately, the lower intestine.  You will want to remove that and throw it away.  The lighter green and more brain-like stuff is being saved for a sauce we made to accompany the lobster.  That is called the tomalley, which is the liver and pancreas of the crustacean.  In a way it's kinda like the lobsters sweetbreads and they are very flavorful and delicious.

As for removing the claws, just cut them where they meet the body and there you go!  You will want to make a cut along the claw so that its alittle easier to break them open to get to that meat.

So after their glamorous slaughter, we tossed them in some seasoning.  In the past we've tossed them with some fresh tarragon and lemon juice.  This time we tossed them in some salt, pepper and some Cajun seasoning to give them a kick.  Then we put them on the grill (for about 5-7 minutes on each side) like this....

As for the tomalley......
1) Put it in a small saucepan and whisk in some stock, salt and pepper and maybe alittle cayenne.

2) Heat till it simmers and slowly whisk in some cream, no more than 1/4c.  There you go, simple delicious lobster sauce.  Can it get anymore simple than that?

 And now here is some more lobster porn for ya....


With some of the tomalley sauce poured over the lobster

Our friend Chris also prepared a blueberry pie while we prepared the lobsters.  What a traditional Maine meal, lobsters and blueberry pie!  Well I hope that next time you get your hands on a lobster, you think twice about popping those guys in boiling water!  Trust me, this is a great way to enjoy lobster in its most simplest form.  Have fun cooking outdoors, and enjoy what's left of the summer!

-Rachel (AKA BabyStella)

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