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.
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.
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 .”
“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.
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
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
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.
Lobster Fra Diavolo, the dish by which all other seafood dishes are judged! Be forewarned, preparing this seafood feast it not for the feint of heart. But the wonderful culinary rewards are worth it.
To introduce our dish, you should know that “Diavolo” is Italian for devil. As a culinary term it is used to describe a tomato based sauce that is liberally spiced, with “Fra Diavolo” the Italian term for brother devil: a spicy sauce prepared with linguine and fresh seafood.
Our dish calls for preparing a homemade lobster stock made from fresh Maine Lobster. A favorite of Boston’s North End, the Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo recipe will feature lobster, clams and mussels and take four and one-half (4 ½) hours to prepare both the homemade lobster stock and the sauce. The recipe will serve four to six people.
The first step is to prepare the lobster stock. This begins by blanching the live lobsters, cracking the claws and tails and removing the meat. Set the lobster meat aside. Please see the directions for the lobster stock preparation below.
Bring 1-gallon of salted water in large pot to a boil and add the pasta to the pot. Partially cook for 5 minutes, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside. While cooking the pasta, place a 14-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and cook until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté about 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook the ingredients until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add the clams to the pan, cover and cook about three minutes. Add the mussels to the pan, cover and cook about three minutes. Add the lobster to the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the parsley to the pan. Add the partially cooked pasta to the pan. Add 1 ½ cup of the lobster stock and continue to cook. Toss the pasta in the sauce until al dente, about four to five minutes. Season the pasta with the salt and toss again. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Par boil lobster for five minutes, cool and remove meat from claws and tails
Add lobster body, cracked claw and tail shells
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 celery ribs, cut in quarters
2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 small fennel bulb
1 small head garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions Lobster Stock
Heat vegetable oil in large stock pot. Add the empty lobster claw and tail shells and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, tomatoes and thyme. Cut the fennel and garlic bulbs in half and add to the pot. Cover ingredients with two inches of water. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until mixture is reduced by half (about 4 hours). Add salt and black pepper to season. Strain stock and set liquid aside.
The recipe screams to be served with a sparkling Rose Champagne or a light, traditional Chianti.
We are having a family feast for Labor Day 2017. The guests of honor, as it always is for the Labor Day Holiday, is the Wellfleet Oyster and fresh Maine Lobster.
The late Howard Mitcham, a renowned chef that called Provincetown, Cape Cod home, called the Wellfleet Oyster the best in the world. In his book, entitled “Clams, Mussels and Oysters …” Mitcham wrote that the flavor of oysters varies widely from region to region. And as anyone who has eaten a raw Oyster knows, the flavor is complex. Oysters can be sweet, salty, earthy, or even melon.
After last Saturday, two dozen Wellfleet Oysters later, we are in complete agreement with Mitcham that the Wellfleet Oyster is the most succulent, sweet oyster in the world. The clean, crisp, cold Cape Cod waters help produce a wonderful abundance of Wellfleet Oysters, and they are prized by locals and visitors alike.
Interestingly, the Wellfleet Oyster is a transplant from Connecticut and the Chesapeake Bay. After Cape Cod oysters were nearly fished out in the 1800s, the Wellfleet locals introduced young southern oysters into their waters. The oysters were fattened up on sparkling clean river estuaries and then harvested and sold in Boston. This created the first aquaculture, as it is known today. The result was a lucrative success for the harvesters and a joy to the taste buds for the rest of us.
Experts believe the cold water and the 12-foot tides combine to help make the Wellfleet oyster plump and sweet by providing them with ample, ocean-fresh plankton.
Generations later, the flavor of a Wellfleet Oyster is as distinct as Cape Cod itself. Today, people all over the country order Wellfleet Oysters and have the oysters delivered right to their door as fresh as if they were just purchased from a Cape Cod market.
Some people are intimidated by the challenge of opening an oyster. And everyone has their own special technique. But there some basic steps and advice that proves true.
When selecting an oyster from a fish market bin, try to pick the ones that have a very hard shell as opposed to oysters with a brittle shell. A hard shell usually signifies a plump, healthy oyster inside. Make sure to keep the oysters cool when you bring them home.
Get a good oyster knife as no other kind of knife will work. You will need one old work glove or a heavy hand towel to hold the oyster with. When ready to open, scrub the oysters under fresh running water to remove any sand but do not immerse them in water. Place them on ice or on a flat pan in a refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to rest. This will allow the oysters to relax and make them easier to open.
Hold the oyster with flat side up. Place the knife at the small end of the oyster, or the heel. Press the knife into the heel and twist. If it is too hard to open, some folks will hold the oyster and knife vertically and then tap the base of the knife handle on a cutting board or stone. This drives the knife with a good nudge into the muscle and makes it easer to pop open the shell. Try not to spill the oyster juices. Once open, slice under the muscle to cut the oyster from the bottom shell and place the opened oyster shell on a plate of crushed ice. This keeps the oyster level and cold. Serve immediately.
The traditional serving is with a side of fresh lemon, cocktail sauce and horseradish. A robust red wine compliments the complex flavor of the Wellfleet Oyster nicely. Most adults can eat a dozen or more, so be sure to order enough.
This time of Summer theCape Cod“Day Boat” fishermen are arriving back in port each day carrying their precious catch of seafood treasure: the tender, sweetCapesea scallop. All summer these small commercial vessels – or Day Boats – harvest fromCape CodandNantucketBaythe precious Capesea scallop that locals love.
Chef’s all overNew Englandprize the delicate,Capesea scallop for its exceptional delicious flavor and plumpness. The day boat scallops are a true renowned delicacy. No where else in the world can these clean, sweet, succulent scallops be found.
From June or July through early Fall the day boats will harvest the wild-caught scallops from the pristineCape Cod andNantucket bay waters and sell them straight to local buyers where the scallops are processed and sent out to fine restaurants and seafood retailers. As popular as Maine Lobster this time of year, the scallops are so prized by locals, that mostCapesea scallops never get the chance to leaveNew England. Cape CodandBostonrestaurants have a long standing tradition of offering freshly caughtCapesea scallops.
The Lobsters-Online.Com fulfillment facility — located in Bourne,MassachusettsonCape Cod— processes the day boat scallops by hand.
“Our sea scallops are true “day boats” sourced daily fromProvincetownHarboronCape Cod,” said Dan Brandt, the Lobster Trap Company domestic seafood buying manager. “The scallops are all natural, shipped dry and chemical free. They are hand shucked and shipped within 24 hours. Our scallops are never processed, treated, or frozen ensuring they are as fresh as if you caught them yourself!”
These sea scallops are so flavorful on their own that local chefs will tell you that if you add more than two ingredients to your recipe, “it’s too much.” Capescallops can be baked, broiled, sautéed or fried. Many folks simply use a hot pan with a bit of butter. Just pat the scallops dry and drop them in a hot pan and let them sizzle for a minute. (Careful: the scallops cook really fast.)
Indeed, the day boat scallops are so highly prized by locals that they are celebrated each September at the Cape Cod Scallop Fest onCape Cod. This year’s event begins Sept. 22, 2017 and will be held at the East Falmouth Fair Grounds. More than 55,000 people are expected to partake in sea scallop dinners, raw bars, craft shows and non stop music.
The Maine lobster clambake with freshly harvested steamer clams is one of those wonderful summertime dinners that locals enjoy up and down the New England coast. But for many people, a basket of freshly cooked steamers can be a fabulous dock-side lunch or dinner all by themselves.
The steamer is a soft shell clam known by many names. Steamers can be called the Ipswich clam, the long neck clam, the belly clam, the fried clam and other not so flattering terms. The shell is soft enough to break with your fingers. Steamers are readily identified because the long neck, or snout, stick out of the shell. They are harvested from saltwater sandbars and saltwater mud flats. The clams live in the sand just below the surface and are famous for “squirting” water when people walk by, making them easy to find.
The best soft shell clams are still harvested by hand and are usually available year round, except when the flats freeze. They are sold daily to markets and stored in mesh bags in large, airy coolers. Although easy to prepare, it is important to follow some basic steps.
Ipswich Steamer Clams Recipe Popular in Boston and Cape Cod
At least one hour before cooking, place the clams in a clean sink (no soap or other residue) and just cover the clams with cold water. Add two drops of white vinegar to the water to help the clams expel any sand they have in their shells. Stir the clams gently and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the sink flushing any sand residue. This time without vinegar, cover the clams with cold water again, gently stir, and let soak for five minutes. Drain. Discard any clams with broken shells.
Four pounds of freshly dug steamer clams
2 large stalks of fresh celery
2 medium yellow onions
1 stick salted butter
1 fresh lemon
Steamer Clam Preparation:
Clean steamer clams with white vinegar as described
Cut celery stalks into two inch pieces
Cut onions into two inch quarters
Cut lemon into ¼ size wedges
Melt butter and place in ramekins
Add water to large steaming kettle or lobster pot 1/4th of the way up
Bring to roiling boil
Place steamers, onions and celery into pot at the same time and cover
Gently stir clams twice
Cook for 12 minutes until the clam shells open (do not overcook)
Drain broth from the kettle into ramekins.
Squeeze lemon wedges into melted butter
Remove clams from kettle and discard any unopened shells
Note: Dip to wash clam in broth and then use the fingers to remove the membrane covering the neck. Most people will eat the entire clam, while some leave the neck. Dip clam in the melted butter and enjoy. As an aside, don’t forget that day boat scallops are now in season and can be ordered for home delivery.
Get ready for Grilled Baked Stuffed Lobster and the best lobster dinner you’ve ever had. Start out with a pair of fresh four-pound live Maine lobsters, a hot charcoal grill and get ready to prepare a lobster feast you will never forget.
Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend
This recipe is best with cold water lobster, which means lobster from Maine. If you can’t buy jumbo lobster near your home, you can have Maine lobster delivered right to your door anywhere in the country from a lobster online service. This recipe is easy to prepare and takes less than an hour. The result will be the best baked stuffed lobster you have ever had.
Gather up the ingredients for a lobster feast for two to four people:
The next time you invite the family over for a lobster outing try this traditional old-time favorite Maine lobster steamed-in-beer recipe. It’s a fun, easy way to prepare lobster and gives the lobster a great, robust down-east flavor.
You will need a pot or steaming kettle large enough to hold six lobsters, some seasalt, beer, fresh whole lemons and butter. That’s it.
Add about an inch of water to the pot. (Some Mainers use only beer)
If you don’t have seawater, add two tablespoons of sea salt. You need to add salt even if you use all beer. Always add salt when cooking live lobster.
Add two 12-oz. cans of beer, IPA beer is a good choice. Don’t use light beer.
Bring the water and beer to a roiling boil over high heat.
Remove the rubber bands from the claws and add the lobsters head first. Cover tightly. Wait for the pot to return to boil and start timing.
Steam the lobsters 14 to 15 minutes. About halfway through, stir the lobster at least once to move the bottom lobsters to the top of the pot.
Melt the butter in small pan and slice the lemon into wedges.
When done the lobsters will be a bright red and the tails will be curled under the body of the lobster. Remove the lobsters with tongs and pierce the body with chef’s knife to allow water to drain.
Serve immediately with melted butter poured in ramekins, lemon wedges and cracking utensils.
Note, if you want to cook different size lobsters you can. For each pound, cook the lobster 13 minutes. Then three minutes for each additional pound. While steaming is a flexible way to prepare lobster, be careful not to overcook.
With the Fourth of July just days away, the outdoor entertaining season with fresh Maine lobster is moving into full swing. With the lobster menu decided upon, the question that always comes up is what are the best wine and lobster pairings?
First of all, let’s answer the question that is most asked. No, you can not serve red wine with lobster. The tannin in red wine and the iodine in lobster will react, overpowering the delicate flavor of the lobster, giving the meat a metallic taste. Therefore, no red wine, not even Beaujolais or other kind of low-tannin red should be served. The Gamay of even a subtle red will over power the lobster. The only exception is Lobster fra Diavolo, when Chianti is the only choice. But that discussion is for another day.
Today we are entertaining outdoors and a traditional steamed lobster dinner is on the menu. So what wines are most enjoyable?
I will start out by saying beware of serving robust white wines such as the new types of Chardonnay that have overly vibrant fruit flavoring. The natural saltiness of lobster, as with any seafood, will amplify the flavor of a big fruity Chardonnay. So unless you are grilling your lobster, go with a Chardonnay that is gently touched with fruit, and mostly un-oaked.
Pouilly-fuisse & Lobster
For us, we prefer steamed lobster with a white burgundy such as Louis Jadot Pouilly-fuissé (2008 $18.99). This wine has wonderful Chardonnay flavors, minerals and just a bare touch of oak. The perfect pairing for enjoying the sweet, delicate taste of warm lobster dipped in melted lobster butter.
The first course should be Wellfleet oysters. They must be shucked and served as an appetizer. On a large platter covered with plenty of ice, arrange the oysters in circles with traditional New England red cocktail sauce, lemons and horse radish … the only way to serve oysters.
What wine to pair with raw oysters?
The world’s perfect oyster must be served with the perfect Champagne. We enjoy Taittinger Champagne La Francaise ($27.99). This sparkling wine has a high blend of Chardonnay grapes to yield a balance of stone fruit and crisp hints of bread crust. One sip of chilled Champagne, followed immediately by a world famous Wellfleet oyster, and your taste buds will explode. Trust me, you will love it.
Champagne & Oysters
The steamers and chowder should be served as the second course well before the lobster and paired with a zesty Chardonnay. I enjoy pairing the clams with La Crema Montery Chardonnay (2009 $20.00). This is a wine with its own fresh mineral notes and tropical aromas of lemon that will nicely pair with the sweet, ocean flavor of the steamer clams. Just chill the wine and serve.
Chardonnay & Steamers
Wellfleet Oysters and Taittinger Champagne; La Crema Chardonnay and Maine steamer clams (or shrimp); and of course, Louis Jadot Pouilly-fuissé and lobster; sweet, fresh lobster will all contribute to a memorable outdoor dining experience. The perfect pairings of three wines with three courses of all the best seafood New England has to offer will have your dinner guests abuzz. Believe us when we say, it does not get any better than this.
Just let us know what time we should be there for dinner.