Monday, June 6, 2016

Steamed Lobsters in Garlic Butter...

Going all out for our family Sunday dinner with lobsters, homemade Caesar salad, paprika oven-baked potatoes and corn on the cob! Serving steamed lobsters can turn an ordinary meal into an event. Twisting to remove the tail from its body, extracting the meat from the shell with special utensils, meat dipped into melted garlic butter to taste the sumptuous juicy piece of fresh lobster-- what can signal the signs of summer than this? People are often screamish cooking it at home, I certainly was at first, but after a few times and with most things for all of us, I handle them now with abandonment :). As my mom taught me, lobster meat is as good as how well you clean them, and that really means its' inside. Did you know that the key to fresh clean tasting meat is to release its impurities before cooking-- ok, I mean urine. Yup, there is a small circle at the bottom of a lobster's tail... it sounds cruel, but you have to poke into it with a skewer, and pull back its tail straight to let any fluids flow. I do not like doing this part, as it causes the lobster to flinch and curl its tail, however the difference in taste is dramatic-- clean or astringent-tainted.

I recommend steaming instead of boiling as steaming is a slower cooking process and results in a more tender meat (less chance of overcooking) and since less water penetrate than boiling, the meat is more flavourful and succulent. Sleeves rolled, let's get to it...

Buying: When purchasing lobsters, be sure to look for lively ones whose tails curl under when the lobsters are lifted which indicate freshness. Be aware of listless lobsters which is a sign that it's been in the tank too long and perhaps at the end of its term. I prefer 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounders for the best sweet meat.

Fun Fact: The male is generally narrower through the "tail" and has bigger claws while the female has a childbearing "tail" and roe. With the exception of the roe, the meat from both tastes exactly the same.

Paprika Oven-Baked Potatoes: For one pound of potatoes (Parisienne rounds or potatoes cut into two-bite size pieces), toss well with ½ cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp. garlic salt and 4 tsp. paprika and let sit for an hour up to four. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a glass baking dish with two Tbsp. olive oil. Spread marinated potatoes on bottom of dish in a single row. Bake one hour turning potatoes half way through cooking.

If not cooking lobsters right away, keep in fridge in paper bag you brought them home in, and keep it opened. When ready to prepare, place them in the sink and run cold water over them to "wake or freshen" them up!

Here's the cleaning part to release the lobsters' urine. You cannot miss the small circle at the bottom where his body and tail meets. To make it easy, leave lobster in sink, flip onto its back, hold body sturdy with one hand, and with a skewer, poke into the circle. The lobster will flinch and curl its tail. Pick the lobster up tail side down and pull back its tail to drain it of urine (the liquid is murky) and excess water. (Note: In right photo I have lobster hanging head down just for show). Rinse lobster with cold water and set aside. Repeat with the rest.

Getting ready for the hot steaming pot!

Fill a large, tall, narrow pot with 2-inches water and 1 Tbsp. salt and bring to a rapid boil. Place the lobsters in the pot, claws facing down, and cover. Steam the lobsters for 20 minutes until they have turned bright red; the tail meat should be white with no translucency and if the lobster has roe, it should be bright red.

I placed a steamer basket below to anchor the lobsters but you don't need to!

What's a better side than garlicky homemade Caesar Salad... it's really simple to do and I think tastes better than bottled Caesar dressings.

Getting all the special lobster tools ready!

Simmer butter in a small pot and add chopped garlic; cook for ten seconds and divide into small bowls. 

NOTE: I prefer leaving the milk solids in the butter, because that's where the delicious flavour comes from. If you prefer clarified butter, simply use a spoon to skim off the frothy milk solids on the surface of the melted butter.

Remove lobsters from pot with a long pair of tongs onto a platter. 

Wow, look at them lined up like red ducks in a row!

DELECTABLE!! Excuse us, we need some quiet to crack and dig in!

Twisting and removing tail, cracking and pulling out claws!

The next best thing to roe... Guts (technically tomalley-- liver & pancreas)!

HOWEVER, if you prefer to leave the cooking to the experts, well then you just have to check out my beautiful friend Marianne Woo's Toronto restaurant Lobster Monster she runs with her husband Steve. An extensive menu for everyone, their lobster meat so-ever fresh and tender, you can taste the succulence.

Their famous lobster (1-3/4 lbs.) dinner steamed to perfection!

Neptune's Delight Seafood Linguine is for the seafood lover in you-- generous servings of scallops, tiger shrimps, baby clams, lobster tail and a mini lobster claw tossed with linguine in a fresh-made marinara sauce with a touch of cream for a smooth finish. To see my family dining experience, please read my previous post.

1 comment:

  1. Blessings ...
    That all looks delightful however i can not buy, hold, cook it or crack it to eat it. For me it will have to be served shelled with just the meat in front me thank you very much. I know am a chicken but am good with, lol.

    Stay blessed.

    “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence”-Rabindranath Tagore