Boiling a Maine lobster is the easiest way to cook and serve a whole lobster and a boiled lobster is easier to pick clean. When you have that large picnic or party and the kettle is kept full all day with lobster, boiling is just so much easier. But steaming a lobster often yields the best results for eating.
Here’s why: steaming is a more gentle process of cooking the meat and it preserves more flavor and tenderness. Steaming a lobster is also more forgiving on the chef since it is harder to overcook a lobster in a steam pot. For true lobster lovers, steaming is the way to go.
So let’s get started.
First step is to order some freshly caught, hard shell Maine lobster. Hard shells are recommended as the lobsters are usually stronger and healthier and the hard shell lobster will have the most meat.
Then choose a big four to five-gallon kettle or pot with a tight lid. This size pot should be able to easily handle up to eight pounds of lobster. Remember, don’t crowd the lobster into the pot or you will get uneven results. It is best to have the right size pot.
Add two to three inches of sea water to the cover the bottom of the pot. If you don’t have access to the Atlantic Ocean, don’t worry. Use filtered fresh water and add lots of sea salt: one to two tablespoons per quart.
Place a steaming rack inside the pot and use high heat to bring the water to a rolling boil. If you wish, you may remove the rubber lobster claw bands. Place the live lobster one at a time and head first into the pot and cover. Start timing the lobster and do not overcook.
Hard Shell Weight*
35-45 (or more) minutes
*Reduce time by 3 minutes for soft shell lobster.
Half way through the allotted cook time, open the lid and move the lobster around in the pot. It is important to shift the lobster so they all cook evenly. If necessary, you may add a little more water but no more salt is required.
The most important step for all lobster chefs is determining when the lobsters are done. The first rule, do not to overcook the lobster. A lobster shell will be bright red when fully cooked and the meat white.
So what’s the best way to tell when the lobsters are done?
Care must be taken with large lobster as they will be red but they may not be fully cooked. And a lobster in the top of the pot may not have cooked as fast as one at the bottom.
One popular practice is to give one of the lobster antennae a good pull while the lobster is still in the steamer pot. If the antenna pops off, it is a good sign the lobster is done. Another step is to use tongs to remove one lobster and cut a small slice at the bottom of the tail. If the meat is fully changed form translucent to white, it’s done. Note: The lobster will continue to cook for a minute even after it’s taken out of the pot, so again, do not overcook.
Allow steamed lobster to drain for a minute. You may pierce the body and tail with a knife to help drain the water. Then serve the lobster right away with a side of melted butter and a slice of lemon. To make eating fun and easy, serve with lobster bib and steel cracker accessory kits.
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)
Coming fast, Mother’s Day 2018 is May 13th 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:
2 egg yolks
½ cup (1/4 pound) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
4 English muffins
12 asparagus spears, steamed
1 pound cooked Maine lobster
1 tablespoon butter
8 eggs, poached
Prepare the Hollandaise Sauce:
Melt the butter in a double-boiler on top of the stove.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
Whisk the egg mixture into the melted butter, stirring constantly over heat until the sauce starts to thicken.
Season to taste with sea salt.
Remove the double boiler from the heat and keep the sauce warm over the hot water.
Prepare Maine Lobster Benedict:
Split and toast the English muffins and place 2 halves on a plate.
Cut the steamed asparagus spears in half, and place 3 halve-pieces on each English part of the English muffin.
Briefly sauté the pre-cooked lobster in 1 tablespoon of butter until it is heated, and add a portion of the heated lobster to each English muffin.
Poach the eggs and top each muffin half with a poached egg.
Add a dollop of the Hollandaise Sauce on top.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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)
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.
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