How To Cook a Lobster

August 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

The end of summer will be upon us before we’re ready.  Soon, apples will be in the store instead of tomatoes, and pears instead of corn.

For me, eating lobster conjures up exquisite memories. Holiday dinners with extended family in Chicago when I was growing up, clam bakes on the beach during summer vacations, and the occasional birthday celebration. Unless you live in Maine, where the price per pound hovers around $5 a pound, eating lobster is a treat that is equated with special occasions. Perhaps it’s time to start a new Labor Day tradition.

Cooking a lobster is not as hard as you think, though it does seem a bit cruel to plunge a live crustacean into boiling water. Mercifully, that part is over in a flash, and you can look forward to the first bite of nirvana in short order.

To help you prepare for such an event, here’s  a primer on my favorite way to cook this sweet delicacy.

I would suggest getting your lobster from Lucky Catch Lobster in Portland, Maine. I have ordered from this outfit twice, both times with stellar results. The lobsters have arrived alive, as they should be, and in the promised time frame. The lobsters come with bibs, towelettes, and placemats (with descriptive lobster eating instructions on them), AND the lobsters are incredibly sweet and flavorful. It’s easy to place your order online and, compared to Lucky Catch’s competitors, the price including shipping seems reasonable.

Okay, the lobsters are in your kitchen, kicking against the styrofoam box. Now what? Grab one by the body and plunge it into the pot of boiling water. I don’t have pots big enough to boil more than one at a time, so I simply have two pots of water going at the same time.

Assuming 1 1/2 pound lobsters, boil them for 10-12 minutes. They will be about 3/4 of the way cooked when you pull them out, preferably with tongs.

Place each lobster on a cutting board and, using a heavy knife, split each lobster lengthwise, but don’t cut through the back shell. Brush with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

The boiling part can be done ahead of time and then all of them can be thrown on the grill at once so you and your guests can all eat at the same time.

When ready to eat, place the lobsters on a hot grill, cut side down, for 4-6 minutes, until they are cooked through.

Now for the reward. Put your bib on, get those crackers cracking and dig in. I like my lobster dipped in butter, but they shouldn’t really need any embellishment.

Experts always say white wine with shellfish, and though I typically prefer red, this is one time I pull out a good bottle of Chardonnay to sip between bites. It’s the perfect complement. Add a good salad to cut the richness of the butter, and it just doesn’t get better than that.


Nutritional Facts–

Lobster is low in fat, calories and cholesterol–even lower than white turkey or chicken meat.

Lobster contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are credited with reducing the risk of heart disease.

Lobster is high in calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamin A and vitamin B12.


Entry filed under: food. Tags: .

Cafe Des Amis Friday Food Critics–8/27/10

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