Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lobster Palooza

5-6 pound lobster
Lobster and seaweed
I have to admit that while I have eaten whole lobsters, I have never actually cooked them before. My family told me that I did make them before, but I don't remember this. This week our local family owned grocery store chain celebrated "Lobsterpaloza." To celebrate this year they were offering live 1-1/4 pound Maine lobsters, flown in fresh, or fully cooked lobsters for $10.99 each.
Boil Salted Water
One of my daughters just graduated from a culinary program at Kendall College with a Personal Chef and Catering certificate. I decided right then and there that this year it was time to man-up and cook my very first (or second) whole lobster, with my daughter's help of course. I placed an order for five whole lobsters. 
Drop them in
The following day I arrived at the fish department to pick up my lobsters. In the fish case they had a live 5 or 6 pound lobster just calling to me. I was handed a wine box with 5 whole lobsters and seaweed in it. 
Lobster cooking
I placed the box on the conveyer belt as it proceeded on its way to the cashier. She asked if there was anything in the box and I pointed to the tag and bar code on the top of the box. As she started to turn the box over to scan the bar code I advised her that she was about to dump the live lobsters and seaweed onto her conveyor belt. "They're alive? She asked jumping back from the box. 
Nine minutes later
Cool enough to handle
Once at home we started a pot of Kosher salted water on the side burner of the grill until came to a full rolling boil. Now the moment of truth came and we dropped them into the water and covered the pot. The fishmonger said it would take 12 to 15 minutes to cook. That seemed like a very long time, but we followed his instructions to the letter. In actuality the time was wrong and 9 minutes would have worked better. We removed the lobsters from the pot to the cold grill top and allowed them to cool enough to handle.  
Ready to process
Lobster tail section removed
Lobster tails

Lobster claws and legs removed

September through October is the time to get lobster. Maine has declared October to be Lobster Month. How did "lobsterpaooza" get started anyway.For more information visit the Maine Lobster Council website at
Crack shells and remove meat from claws
Serve lobster with garlic mashed and melted butter
So what do you do with all of the left-overs? I know what you're thinking... What left-over's. Plan for it. Just from the claw and leg meat you can make a New England style lobster roll, or lobster dip.
Chopped lobster
New England Lobster Roll
In an earlier post about lobster I said that I would tell you what my favorite lobster was. I think that Australian Rock Lobster tails are the best. This is what they served at Weller's, our favorite seafood restaurant in the 60"s.
Steamed and then broiled lobster tail
 Finally, I really don't like to see how my dinner got to the plate.  Cooking a whole lobster is not for the faint of heart, so I would suggest buying frozen lobster tails

© TMelle 1998-2011


grasshopper said...

Yum. Did they scream when you dropped them in the water? Great post Tim, Now I'm hungry

Tim M said...

No they don't scream. They are messy so do it outside. If you have a side burner on your grill that's even better. Once they are cooked, split them in half, brush them with clarified butter and grill them until they start showing a slight grill mark.