Today’s W.O.F.F. post comes from Becki Lucarelli! She is a “chocolatier” from the Chatham Candy Manor and she has also been a on the W.O.F.F. BOD since day one. Becki’s husband is a commercial lobstermen and two of her sons fish, as well, on lobster and gillnet boats. As you can imagine, Becki knows a thing or two about lobster and the best ways to cook it! Thank you for sharing with us Becki!
Fall is in the air, which can only mean one thing…. I need a lobster for dinner! My early October birthday has my husband and children asking what I’d like for my special day. As I tend to be practical in the gift department, I always say I don’t need anything. But considering my husband is a commercial lobster fisherman, perhaps I could have a lobster?
Ironically, as much as we enjoy a good lobster feast, it generally only happens in the spring, when his season begins and/or in the end of December, when his season comes to a close (occasionally we have guests in the summer and serve them lobster, while we eat chicken). The lobster catch supports our family, so it’s always been about selling them. A few years ago I told them all I wanted for my birthday was a big lobster all to myself, and I wanted to eat it hot without interruption. Gratefully, I enjoyed a 4 pounder, steaming fresh from the pot, with butter and lemon…. no phone calls, no kids asking for this or that…. it was heaven!!!
Homarus Americanus, the American lobster, has not always been a culinary treat. Centuries ago there were so many of them that they were easily gathered wading in shallow water. Native Americans used them as bait and fertilizer. In colonial times, they were considered food for the poor, fed to prisoners, and some servants even created contracts specifying that they could not be forced to eat lobster more than three times a week!
Obviously times have changed!!! Who’s with me?? Who’s ready for a lobster??
The most traditional ways of cooking lobster are steaming and boiling. Since I can’t wait long enough for a whole pot of water to boil, I’ve always steamed them. Pick a pot large enough to hold your lobsters and have some extra room at the top. Add a few inches of salted water and bring to a boil. Carefully REMOVE THE RUBBER BANDS, this is a big ‘must do’ that many people are unaware of. Believe me, you can actually taste the rubber bands if they get left on! Place the lobsters in the pot, put the lid on, and return to a boil. Now you can begin timing…. Allow 15-18 minutes for a 1 to 1.5 pound hard shell lobster, closer to 20 minutes for a 2 pounder. When you think the lobsters are done, pull on the antennae. If they pull off easily, they’re done. Now you’re ready to break out the hammers, forks, butter and lemon and dive right in!
If you’re up for something a little more decadent, go to the Barefoot Contessa’s website (Google it) and look up her recipe for Baked Shrimp Scampi. This is an amazing dish that I have served for Christmas dinner and has always been devoured. A few years ago, for a special WOFF event, I used lobster instead of shrimp and it was fabulous. You can follow the recipe exactly, replacing the 2 pounds of shrimp with 2 pounds of lobster meat. BUT, you must cook the lobster yourself because you need it undercooked for this dish as it gets baked in the oven. I used the steaming method and only cooked the lobsters about 5-7 minutes, let them cool enough to handle, then pick the meat. You can par cook the lobsters a day or two ahead of when you will be making this meal. You will need about 6-8 pounds of live lobster for 2 pounds of meat. Yikes! That’s some tough math to swallow, but worth every penny! Just think about how much the market charges for a great cut of beef! I guess being married to a lobsterman has its perks!