© Wayne Howe 2018
© Wayne Howe 2018
Coming fast, Mother’s Day 2019 is May 11th this year. So this time begin Mom’s special day with a Mother’s Day lobster brunch of homemade fresh Maine Lobster Benedict, a beautiful dish that is sure to make your Mother’s Day celebration very special indeed. As we like to say, flowers are great, but a Mother’s Day gift of lobster just tastes better.
The Maine Lobster Benedict recipe begins with fresh Maine lobster. You will need five one-pound lobsters to garner 1 pound of cooked lobster meat. You steam the lobster as usual and use a large chef’s knife to open the claws and tail to remove the meat. Of, if you prefer, you can buy one pound of freshly cooked Maine lobster meat. Just make sure the lobster is fresh.
The Maine Lobster Benedict recipe will provide four servings for a great Mother’s Day Brunch. The recipe includes preparing homemade Hollandaise Sauce:
Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients:
Prepare Maine Lobster Benedict:
Note on the Hollandaise Sauce from Chef Tom Gutow: If the butter fat and egg yolks separate and the sauce appear to curdle, add a few tablespoons of hot water from the boiler and whisk like crazy to emulsify it. This will make the sauce smooth again.
A recent Harris Poll of 1,000 adults asked the question, “Is lobster the food of Romantics on Valentine’s Day?” More than 42 percent answered with a resounding “Yes.”
For a long as people can remember, it has always been a tradition that many people consider lobster the most romantic of all meals. Lobster is often the dish of choice for celebrations and holidays and now we know it extends to romance.
A spokesman was quoted by the study explaining that “Lobster is the perfect dish for a Romantic, or Special Occasion dinner out. It is an exotic delicacy that results in an intimate moment between loved ones because Lobster is hand-held and shareable. Shellfish, especially lobster, is a catalyst for connection like no other food.”
Valentines Day Lobster Dinner
Oysters are traditional delicacies that are also served as part of a romantic Valentine’s Day meal. Oysters are known to be aphrodisiacs in many cultures. A good reason why these delicate shellfish are the perfect choice for Valentines Day dinners. Raw oysters on the half shell with ice cold champagne makes the perfect appetizer.
Lobsters this year can be ordered online and are available for delivery anywhere in the united states on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016.
© Wayne Howe 2019
Looking to wow the family? Try this Christmas Eve baked-stuffed lobster recipe dazzling with pine nuts, dried apricots and rosemary for a fantastic gourmet holiday feast.
Make sure you start with ocean fresh lobster from Maine. Order for home delivery from your favorite online lobster delivery service. Then gather up the following ingredients.
Let’s Get Ready:
Let’s Start Cooking:
In a large (16-quart) cook pot, bring 3 cups of water to a roiling boil. Place lobsters one at a time head first into the pot and cover tightly with lid. Cook for seven (7) minutes, making sure to stir the lobster once or twice. Remove the lobsters and set aside and let cool. Save the liquid in the pot. Once cool, use a large chef knife to open the claws and remove the meat. Set meat aside and discard the shells. Twist the body from the tail and slice open the body and remove the insides leaving just the outer shell. Remove the legs from the body shell. Save the shell. Use chef’s scissors to cut the outer edges of the underside of the tail and remove the meat. Discard the cut tail shell piece and save the tail shell. Clean the lobster meat over a bowl to save the juices. Strain 3 cups of the liquid from the pot into the bowl. Dice all the lobster meat except for four of the claws. Leave 4 of the 8 claws whole.
Prepare the stuffing
Bring oven to 350 degrees and toast the brioche until golden brown, about seven to 10 minutes. In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and apricots and cook, stirring frequently. Cook until apricots have darkened and the pine nuts have toasted to deep brown. Add in the onion, celery and fennel and stir. Cook for three to five minutes until the celery begins to soften. Add the red pepper flake, fresh ground pepper, parsley and a pinch of salt. Add the toasted brioche and toss the mixture. Add three cups of the reserved liquid and combine with mixture. Cook over low heat until the bread has absorbed the liquid, about three to five minutes. Add the diced lobster meat to the mixture and toss to combine. Keep the stuffing warm.
Position the Lobster Shells
Next position the lobster tail shells and body shells on a sheet tray. Fill each shell with a generous portion of the warm stuffing. Place the rosemary aside each shell. Pre-heat broiler to medium-high and cook for seven to 10 minutes until golden brown. Then add the four claws, one atop each lobster, and cook one more minute. Serve immediately.
© © Wayne Howe 2018
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.
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.
(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)
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!
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.5
© Wayne Howe 2018
Along comes November in New England and the tree leaves along the lobster coast are turning into an ocean of color. The days are shorter, evenings cooler and once again it’s time for a hot bowl of homemade Boston Lobster and Corn Chowder. Made with Fresh Maine lobster and freshly harvested corn on the cob, this seasonal chowder makes a great meal for the Fall.
Make Your Own Chowder
The Boston Lobster and Corn Chowder recipe* includes cooking a lobster stock so it will take about two hours to prepare. The recipe will provide 4 to 6 bowls or more of chowder. While the recipe is a favorite for the Fall when fresh corn is available, it can be made year round with seasonal corn or fresh frozen kernels.
Boston Lobster Corn Chowder Cooking Directions
Use a 10-quart stock pot filled two thirds with sea water or fresh water heavily salted, bring water to roiling boil and add the live lobster one at a time. You only want to blanche the lobster by cooking four to six minutes. Remove the lobster and set aside to cool.
Crack the shells with a large chef knife and pick all the meat from the tails, claws, legs and bodies. Remove the intestinal track from the cartilage and tail. Dice the meat into ¾ inch cubes, cover and refrigerate. The bodies and left over shells will be used in the lobster stock. The stock will take more than an hour to prepare so that must be the next step (see Lobster Stock Directions below).
Take Your Time Making Lobster Stock
While the lobster stock is simmering, husk the corn and rub with a dry towel to remove all the silk. Carve the kernels from the cob and set aside. Break the cobs in half and add to the simmering lobster stock.
When the stock is ready, using a six-quart pot, heat the bacon until golden brown and pour off all but one tablespoon of bacon grease. Add butter, thyme and onion and sauté until onions are soft. Add paprika and stir about two minutes.
Add the potatoes, corn kernels and enough lobster stock to completely cover the potatoes. Increase heat and bring pot to a boil. Cover and cook for 12 minutes until the potatoes are just softened on the outside.
Add Plenty of Maine Lobster Meat
Add the lobster meat and the cream and remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand a few minutes for flavors to meld.
To serve, spoon the lobster, potatoes and corn into a large bowl and then ladle in the creamy broth. Garnish with chives and chopped parsley.
Use a six or eight-quart stock pot. Add the lobster carcasses, shells and tomalley to the pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim any scum from the surface. Reduce heat to a fast simmer. Add the wine, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and fennel seeds. Let simmer for an hour or more until the flavor is rich. Strain the stock though a fine mesh and draw off enough to add to the chowder as required. Any extra stock may be frozen and kept up to two months.
Boston Lobster Corn Chowder Ingredients
Lobster Stock Ingredients
* Traditional Lobster and Corn Chowder recipe made famous by Boston chef Jasper White.
© Wayne Howe 2018
While the New England Lobster feast is a year round tradition older than America itself, New England seafood was a part of the first Thanksgiving. According to historical lore, the pilgrims first learned about the lobster from Native Americans.
In a letter home to England in 1621, the Pilgrim Edward Winslow wrote of how they fished, hunted and brought in the harvest to set out a feast for the entire pilgrim company and guests, including the Indian King Massasoit and 90 Indians. Winslow wrote that the feast lasted for five days. The Winslow letter was published in England in 1622 causing great excitement and helping to start the tradion of a Thanksgiving feast.
So while turkey has center stage today, the pilgrims first feast gave the lobster clambake a starring role with the turkey. For many New Englanders, the lobster is an alternative part of Thanksgiving.
The story is told about how seven Nationally known Boston Chefs eschewed the turkey one year and took the pilgrim lobster tradition to their Thanksgiving Holiday table. An article in Food and Wine Magazine published more than a decade ago tells the story of how the chef’s and their families got together at Lydia Shire’s (Biba, Towne Stove) farmhouse home in Weston, Massachusetts and created a “potluck extravaganza” to revolutionize Thanksgiving dinner.
Chef Todd English (Olives, Figs) brought the lobster and served it in its shell with a warm, creamy nutmeg vinaigrette and a chestnut puree. Every chef contributed, including Jody Adams (Rialto), Gordon Hamersley (Hammersley Bistro), Susan Regis (Biba), Chris Schlesinger (East Coast Grill), and Jasper White (Jaspers, Summer Shack). The menu included the lobster, cod, oysters, pumpkin soup, turkey and more.
While this menu would be overwhelming for most home kitchens, the tradition of holiday feasts with all the wonderful seafood from the cold, clean New England waters can be part of any family celebration this year. Thanksgiving Dinner can be extra special by serving fresh lobster and shellfish. The best part is you no longer have to go to Plimouth Plantation, Cape Cod or Maine to enjoy Maine lobster. Thanks to an online retail lobster delivery service, live Maine lobster can be shipped overnight to any home in the United States.
Let’s eat lobster!
© Wayne Howe 2018
Steaming or boiling lobster? That is the question.
Hard Shell Weight*
35-45 (or more) minutes
|A striker goes after a Swordfish on a calm day.|
Fresh lobster tails on the grill are perfect for just about any occasion. However, cooking lobster tails on the grill requires careful attention to timing and movement. Cooking over the dry heat of a gas grill can dry the lobster meat out or cause it to cook it unevenly. Lobster tails on the grill should be rotated on the grill to make sure the tail meat cooks evenly. And the tails should be turned only once. Start cooking the lobster tail with the flesh side down. Then for the last three minutes flip the lobster onto the shell side.
Split the lobster’s tails in half lengthwise and press the flesh open. Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir. Brush the oil sauce onto the flesh side of the lobster tail. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high temperature. Place tails on the grill flesh side down and cook for seven minutes. Four minutes on the flesh side and three minutes on the shell side. Do not over cook. Remove the tails from the heat and serve immediately.
Prep Time: 13 minutes
Grill Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: About 20 minutes
Servings: Serves 3 to 6 (depending on how lucky your guests are)
As an option, garnish with fresh lemon slice and serve with grilled asparagus. Grilled fresh lobster tails; outdoor entertaining at its best.
© Wayne Howe 2018