The Christmas Eve Maine Lobster seafood dinner is an Italian-American holiday tradition that is immensely popular in New England, so much so that serving wonderful seafood dishes on Christmas Eve has been embraced by people of all heritages. The historic seven-fish dinner has given way over the years to include elaborate spreads of cold shellfish such as oysters, clams and of course shrimp. But the starring role in the Christmas Eve celebration is now reserved for fresh Maine lobsters prepared any number of ways.
Pan Roasted Lobster
My neighbors always prepare several lobster courses on Christmas Eve with the favorite a pan roasted lobster flavored with Bourbon and served sizzling hot in a creamy butter sauce. Pan roasted lobster is a little tricky to prepare but with this favorite recipe the flavor is explosive and your family and guests will love it.
This favorite pan roasted lobster recipe allows the potent bourbon flavor to mingle wonderfully with the sweetness of the lobster. The use of fresh chervil imparts a hint of anise flavor to the lobster as well. And pan roasting lobster gives it a surprisingly tender texture.
For best results, you will need a large, heavy iron sauté pan or deep skillet, metal tongs and a large chef knife. Make sure to use fresh, live hard-shell Maine lobster. Care must also be taken not to place the lobster pan too close to the heat in the oven or broiler.
The Christmas Eve pan roasted lobster recipe can be served as a main course for two or as a first course for four.
Pan Roasted Maine Lobster for Two (Based on Summer Shack Chef Jasper White Recipe)
- 2 live, 2 pound hard-shell Maine lobsters (must be hard shell)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 shallots (1 ½ ounces), diced
- ¼ cup bourbon (or cognac)
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced small and chilled
- 1 tablespoon chervil finely chopped (substitute parsley and tarragon mix if not available)
- 1 tablespoon chives finely chopped
- sea salt (or Kosher)
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the broiler or oven as hot as possible (550F). Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Kill the lobster by splitting them lengthwise. Remove any tomalley and roe found. Cut off the claws where the knuckle meets the carapace. Cut the lobster halves into quarters. Including the claws, you will now have 6 pieces of each lobster. Place the pieces shell side down on a plate.
- Place the tomalley and roe in a small bowl and use a fork to mash into small pieces.
- Place the 12-inch pan over the highest stove surface heat possible. Allow the pan to heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the peanut oil and heat until it forms a film on the pan. Slide the lobster pieces, shell side down, into the hot oil. Using tongs, move the pieces to sear the shells evenly. Hold the lobster pieces m with the tongs and press the shells into the hot oil to sear. The claws need to be seared on only one side. When the shells have all turned bright red, which should take no more than 2 minutes, turn the pieces over. The oil will also be beautifully red tinged. Add the tomalley and roe to the pan.
- Place the pan in the oven. If using the broiler, cook for 2 minutes. If using the oven, cook for 3 minutes. The shells should be slightly browned, even a bit charred in places.
- Remove the pan from the oven and return it to the stove at maximum heat. Turn off the oven and put in your serving plates in to warm. Remember, the handle of the pan will be red-hot and will stay hot until the dish is complete. To avoid burns, wear oven mitts.
- Add the shallots to the fat in the pan and stir. Add the bourbon and ignite. Shake the pan until the flames die down. Add the wine and let the liquid in the pan reduce. Turn the heat to low.
- Quickly remove the pieces of lobster and place, shell side down, on warm plates. Try to “reconstruct” the lobster so that it looks similar to a split lobster. Arrange the claws so that they lean into the center of the lobster.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the butter, chervil and chives. Swirl or stir the butter in the pan to create a creamy sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the lobster pieces and serve at once.
Note on wine pairings: Champagne and other sparkling wines pair beautifully with shellfish and lobster dishes that have butter. They work well with notes of anise, ginger and mild curry, as well as toasty flavors from breadcrumbs or nuts. Try a top of the line champagne with your pan roasted lobster.
© Lobsters-Online 2014
No holiday is more New England than Thanksgiving. The holiday dinner is based on Pilgrim lore. So adding a first course of steamed Maine lobster
served in the shell with nutmeg vinaigrette and chestnut puree would add a wonderful dimension to the Thanksgiving tradition. Not to mention being a big hit for guests and family.
The lobster recipe is from Boston celebrity Chef Todd English who is on the record for being a big fan of Thanksgiving day lobster. The recipe first appeared in Food and Wine
Magazine. It is recommended that the nutmeg vinaigrette and chestnut puree be prepared the day before. The lobster recipe calls for 10 1-1/4 pound live lobsters steamed, and then halved with the lobster meat served in the shell.
The recipe will serve 20 people.
- 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 2 cups apple cider
- shallots, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Two 15-ounce cans whole chestnuts packed in water, drained
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 large scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Ten 1 1/4-pound steamed lobsters, halved
- 1/4 pound mixed young salad greens
- In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup of the stock with the cider, shallots, bay leaves and sherry vinegar. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add the heavy cream and nutmeg and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the remaining 1 cup of stock and the chestnuts and simmer until the liquid reduces by a third, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup and butter. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and puree until smooth. Blend in the crème fraîche. Transfer the puree to a clean saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
- Gently reheat the nutmeg vinaigrette. Add the scallions and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the lobster tail meat into 1-inch chunks and replace it in the tail sections of the lobsters. Spoon half of the chestnut puree in the center of each of 2 large platters. Arrange the lobster halves around the puree. Spoon the warm nutmeg vinaigrette over the lobsters, garnish the platters with the greens and serve at once.
MAKE AHEAD The lobster recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Finish the vinaigrette and rewarm the chestnut puree before serving.
SELECTING A WINE The natural saltiness of lobster, as with any seafood, will amplify the flavor of a big fruity Chardonnay. Go with a first course Chardonnay that is gently touched with fruit, and mostly un-oaked.
There is nothing that says sunshine and sea as the taste of a specially prepared, fresh lobster roll on a toasted New England bun. Waterfront clam and lobster shacks have been serving up lobster rolls all summer. Now, you can make your own anywhere and anytime of year.
Cape Cod, Ipswich, Massachusetts and the Maine seacoast are world famous for the lobster roll made with freshly caught lobster. The lobster meat, cooked to sweet perfection, is served overflowing a top loading bun. Add a side of chips, a cold beer and a sunny table, and you’re there. The recipe may vary a bit from town to town but it always begins with freshly caught lobster.
|A lobster roll from the Clam Box, Ipswich, MA
This longing for the opening of lobster-shack season was made all the more interesting when recently it was learned that Chuck Hughes, owner of the Garde-Manger Restaurant in Montreal, was named Food TV Iron Chef of America, in part because of his preparation of a good old Maine lobster roll. That’s right. The judges went crazy for his lobster roll!
For those of you who share our passion for the lobster roll but can’t go to Maine or Cape Cod, we decided to share Chef Hughes winning lobster roll recipe. We have only few hints to add.
The lobster must be fresh and healthy, so only order from a reputable lobster online dealer. Ask for a couple of females so that you can collect the lobster roe to make lobster butter. Boil the lobster in a large pot of salted water and take care not to over cook. Overcooking will make the meat tough. When opening the cooked lobster, cut the meat into large chunks. And finally, make sure to pick a quality, top-loading bun.
Remember, it’s all about the lobster!
Here is Chef Hughes recipe, adapted from his cookbook Garde-Manger:
For an added Iron Chef twist, feel free to add a smidgen of chopped dill.
4 lobsters, weighing about 1 1/2 pounds (675 grams) each
2 tablespoons (30 mL) best-quality mayonnaise
2 scallions, cleaned and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 hotdog buns
Lobster butter (recipe follows)
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lobsters for 6 minutes, and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Shell the lobsters and cut the flesh into large pieces. Combine the lobster with the mayonnaise and green onions. Season the mix to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
When serving: Butter the buns with the lobster butter, and toast them in a fry pan until golden. Divide the lobster mix among the four buns and serve immediately.
Makes 1 pound (450 grams)
Lobster butter keeps refrigerated for one month, or can be frozen for up to three.
1 pound (450 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Roe from one female lobster
In a large fry pan, melt the butter and whisk in the (roe) eggs. The butter will be red. Pour into a container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Lobsters Online.Com 2014