Tag Archives: cooking lobster

Try This Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe Bursting with Flavor

Down home American comfort food – fresh Maine Lobster and macaroni – combined to create a high-class dish that is bursting with flavor and a winter lobster dish favorite. Follow this recipe to make a glorious Lobster Mac & Cheese Casserole that will have your family and guests swooning.

lobster mac and cheese casserole

Lobster and Campanelle Pasta

The lobster mac and cheese dish starts with a selection of four of your favorite cheeses, Campanelle pasta and a hard-shell, two pound or larger, live Maine Lobster.

Directions:

  1. Begin by poaching the lobster.   Add two to three quarts of water and two tablespoons of sea salt to a kettle or large pot.  Bring the water to a roiling boil, add the lobster, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for three to five minutes until the meat is just firm and opaque.  Remove the lobster and let drain. Save the water in the pot. Using a chef’s knife, open the tails and claws and remove the lobster meat.  Cut into bite size chunks. Save the claw and tail shells.  Set the poached lobster meat aside.
  2. Using the same water and pot, bring water to a boil again and stir in the macaroni. Add lobster claw shells and save the tail shell. Reduce heat to medium and cook the pasta uncovered about six to eight minutes (half the time specified on the box). You want to undercook the pasta otherwise it will be mushy after baking. Drain the pasta in the sink, rinse in cool water and set aside.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. The next step is the sauce. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over low to medium heat.  Add in diced onion and cook until onion is translucent, about four minutes. Scoop the onions from the pan and set aside. Add the saved lobster tail shell; add the minced garlic, chopped shallot and light cream (or milk) to the sauce pan. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Scrape the garlic, onions and shallots from the pan and set aside. Remove and discard the lobster tail shell. Add in three more tablespoons of butter.  Stir in the flour and whisk until thickened.
  5. Stir in all four kinds of shredded cheese to the thickened cream sauce. Heat until the cheeses are melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.  Add in the macaroni and lobster chunks and toss.  Stir in the onions, garlic and shallots.
  6. Add heated macaroni mixture to a four quart casserole and smooth the cheese across the top.  Sprinkle with panko (or buttered) bread crumbs. Bake in oven until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1 pound) campanelle pasta or other tubed macaroni
  • 1 (2 pound or larger) live Maine lobster, hard shell
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups light cream (or milk)
  • 5 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½-pound soft, cream style (Boursin) cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

What About Serving Jumbo Lobster for New Years Eve Dinner

Every New Year holiday there is heard the same debate about what size lobster to order for the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration. Do bigger lobster have more meat? Are bigger lobster tough when cooked? Are jumbo lobster priced better?

Jumbo lobster on dinner plate

Jumbo Lobster Dinner for New Year’s Eve 2012

There are differing opinions on the quality of taste between a smaller lobster and a jumbo lobster, but these opinions are based on legend and not fact. Cooked properly, a six-pound lobster will be just as delicious as a 1-1/2 pound lobster. However, care must be taken not to overcook a large lobster. Overcooked lobster meat will toughen quickly. Steaming is the most forgiving way to cook a jumbo lobster. So follow cooking instructions and tips carefully and your jumbo lobster will be just as succulent as a smaller lobster.

Fresh is Best

Among the most important factors affecting taste is freshness. Ocean fresh is best. For example, supermarket lobster that sit in tanks for weeks at a time will begin to lose weight as the claw meat shrinks. When cooked, the supermarket lobster won’t taste as succulent as an ocean fresh lobster.

The next important factor is to make sure the lobster is flavorful is to order what is called the “hard shell lobster.” Lobsters “molt,” which means they shed their shell as they grow. After molting, the lobster’s new shell is soft. During this growth period, lobsters are in a weakened condition and do not travel well. Soft-shell lobster also have less meat for their size and some people are of the opinion soft shells are not necessarily as flavorful as the hard shells. The connoisseur won’t take a chance and will usually avoid soft-shell lobster.

So the keys to succulent jumbo lobster is careful cooking, freshness and selecting hard shells, but are jumbo lobster also a good value?

Larger lobster have a higher volume-to-surface ratio, yielding a little more meat per pound. Not a big difference, but there is a difference. On a practical level, jumbo lobster have larger legs, swimmerets, body and shoulders. The meat in these parts of the lobster is considered a delicacy. The truth is, on a large lobster the meat in those places is much easier to get at then on a smaller lobster. The legs especially will have a higher volume of meat. The larger claws on jumbos will also offer up to 20% more of the very desirable sweet claw meat.

Wild Caught Lobster

The Maine lobster lives in the ocean and is still harvested much as they were in the 19th century. Lobster fishermen go out in season to collect lobster from their traps and the lobster is delivered to market daily. Since the harvest varies from month to month, lobster prices go up and down with supply and demand. Waterfront Maine lobster pounds such as the ones operated by the Lobster Trap Company allow the storage of ocean fresh lobster, helping to stabilize prices in the off season.

Big George the lobster

Jumbos begin at 2 ½ to three pounds with the weight measured wet, or right out of the tank. Some years the price-per-pound for jumbos is higher than quarters, halves and selects. Some years the price per pound is less. It just depends on the supply and the demand.

Lobsters-Online.Com ships only hand selected, fresh lobster. The hard-shell lobster are lively, healthy, and ocean fresh. By operating water-front lobster pounds in Maine, Lobsters-Online.Com is able to offer customers ocean-fresh jumbo lobster year round.

So go ahead an order some jumbo lobster for your New Year’s Eve dinner celebration. And have a Happy New Year!

© Lobsters-Online.Com 2015

Downeast Cooking Tips that “Tug” on the Christmas Lobster

No matter how you prepare them, Maine lobsters are a gourmet treat any time of year.  But at Christmas, lobster is often celebrated as the Christmas Eve dinner main course.

For some hungry family members,  the bigger the Christmas lobster is, the better. A few  jumbo lobster recipe cooking tips may help.

In just a few days Christmas Eve chefs all across the country will boil, steam, bake or grill Maine lobster.  But cooking those jumbo lobster to satisfy family members can be tricky.  Care must be taken not to overcook, or the meat will toughen. Under-cook a jumbo lobster and the lobster will not have its succulent flavor.

Given this challenge, even experienced cooks may be surprised to learn that that the lobster antennae can play a role in helping chefs determine when a whole lobster is cooked and ready to take out of the steam pot.

A steamed lobster with antenae

A tug on steamed lobster antennae can help tell chefs the lobster is ready

Steve, a former Downeast Maine lobster fisherman who now lives in North Port, Florida, recently shared with Lobsters-Online an experience he had with jumbo lobster. He says timing how long a big lobster cooks is not always accurate as those on the bottom may cook faster than those on the top.  To double check if  a lobster is done, Steve firmly stands by the practice of giving a pull on the lobster antenna.  If the antennae pops off easily, the lobster is done. If it stays on, the lobster needs to cook a little longer.

“I have cooked thousands of lobsters of all sizes.  Giving a slight tug on the antenna has worked for over 50 years for me.”

“I was a lobster fisherman back in the 70s,” Steve said.  “I have cooked thousands of lobsters of all sizes.  Giving a slight tug on the antenna has worked for over 50 years for me.”

Steve said once for his birthday  at a restaurant he ordered a giant 13-pound lobster for himself and a 10-pound lobster for his sister.

“When the waitress brought them to my table I gave the antenna  a slight tug and the whole lobster came with it,” Steve said.  “I told the waitress that they where not cooked and asked her to take them back and have them cook them some more . The cook then came out to my table with the manager and he told me that if they cook it anymore that it will be tough.”

 

Steve said he then broke the 10-pound lobster open  and showed everyone that the meat was not fully cooked.  The manager apologized and took them back to cook some more.
“I told the manager about the antenna on the lobster breaking loose when it was done,” Steve said. “He came back to my table with the lobster and I gave the antenna a tug and it came off . I opened up the lobster and cut a piece of the tail and gave it to the manager and he agreed that it was tender and that it was cooked just right .”

 

The Jumbo lobsters were delicious, he said.

 

“Cooking lobsters according to time tables does not work all the time and they can be raw or become over cooked,” he said, adding that it is also important to move the lobsters around in the pot to make sure they cook more evenly.

 

A Traditional Christmas Eve Baked Stuffed Lobster Tail Recipe Sure to Please

For families all across the country, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner is celebrated with lobster as either the main course or a first course. This year, for many chefs,  baked stuffed lobster tails will take center stage.

Here is a traditional baked stuffed lobster tail recipe, courtesy of Chef Christopher Russel of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  Russell is a former Maine Lobster Council Chef of the Year.

baked stuffed Maine lobster tail on a plate

Traditional baked stuff lobster tail (Maine Lobster Council).

Be sure to select fresh, live Maine  lobster. Hard shell lobster are best as the tails will be larger and more succulent.  The dish is easy to prepare and is always sure to please all your guests.

Plan on one  1-1/2  pound-lobster per person, or if convenience dictates,  fresh or frozen lobster tails may be purchased instead of whole live lobster.

INGREDIENTS:

(4 servings, cook time 20 minutes,  preparation 25 minutes, total meal in 45 minutes)

4 live Maine lobsters, each 1-1/2 pounds *
8 Tablespoons butter
2 Cups finely chopped onions (about 2 medium)
4 Tablespoons  fresh parsley finely chopped
2 Teaspoons Old Bay seafood seasoning
4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 Cups Ritz crackers crumbled (6 ounces)

DIRECTIONS:

Boil salted water in a large kettle or pot. Cook the whole lobsters for 5 minutes. Remove lobsters and place in an ice water tub to cool.  Crack and pick the meat from the claws, knuckles and body. Chop lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Split the tails lengthwise down the center with a sharp knife, being sure to keep the shell-side of the lobsters facing up. Make sure to keep the shells intact. Remove the tail meat from the shell and remove the intestinal track from the meat. Then carefully insert the whole tail meat back into the shell.

For the stuffing, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion. Sauté until soft. Stir in the parsley, Old Bay seasoning and lemon juice. Remove the skillet from heat and let cool. Stir in the chopped lobster claw and knuckle meat. Gently add in the cracker crumbs and stir. Using a spoon, add the the stuffing into the lobster tails. Refrigerate the lobster tails until ready to bake. When ready, preheat the oven to 425-degrees .  Bake the tails until the stuffing is golden and crisp,  about 15 – 20 minutes. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon and let the dinner party begin!

NUTRITIONAL:

Per serving:

658 calories

46 grams protein

37 grams carbohydrates

36 grams fat

1196 mg. sodium

2 grams fiber

* Instead of whole lobster, the dish may also be prepared with frozen Maine lobster tails. Boil water and just blanch the tails and carefully remove the meat, leaving the shell intact. Substitute 16 ounces of raw Maine crab meat or shrimp instead of the lobster knuckle and claw meat. Sauté the crab meat or shrimp with the onion and finish preparing the stuffing and the lobster tails as directed.

© Lobsters-online 2014