With three kids at home we eat a lot of spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, meatloaf, and mac 'n cheese. That's fine most of the time, but Big A and I crave grown-up food, and we LOVE seafood. Our picky eaters don't allow us that freedom very often, however, once in a great while we grab some scallops, or fish, and occasionally, a couple of lobsters for ourselves. The kids don't complain as long as we get them a pizza.
Last night we happened to have a rare night at home with no kids. Is it pathetic that we sped to the grocery store to pick up a couple of lobsters? I guess you could say we're both a little tired of meatloaf.
I grew up going to Maine with my family in the summers, and I cook lobsters the way my parents taught me. Boil. Serve with hot butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon. There's something about the flavor of lobster with the butter, and getting all messy. It's just fun, and it tastes like heaven.
But before we get to cooking, you have to pick out your lobsters.
When I buy live lobsters, I want them to be right around 1 1/2 lbs. These are the perfect size in my humble opinion. Also, if you're buying them, be sure the lobster is lively. You don't want a lobster who's not moving around - that means he's not doing too well.
(B T Dubs, you need to buy your lobsters the day you are going to cook them.)
When I get them home, I keep them right in the bag, and just pop them in the fridge. The cold of the fridge will make them a little sedated, so they shouldn't run around too much.
When ready to cook, fill a large stock pot with water. If you live by the coast, you can use fresh sea water. I don't, so I add salt to the water - a lot of it. I used about 1/2 cup salt to my large stock pot. Place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil.
When the water was almost boiling, I got the lobsters out of their bag. Our cat was so curious about the lobster - so Big A put him down for the cat to see. Too gross?
Once done playing, we got down to business. (Big A thinks this next picture is morbid. And he's kinda right.)
Plunge the lobsters head first into the water and put the lid on. Be careful not to get splashed with the hot water. Once they're in the water, reduce the heat so that the water wont boil over, but so that it's still boiling. If it boils over, it gets very messy - trust me, I do it every time!
(A Note - Big A will not put the lobsters in the pot. I get it. It seems kind of mean, but, I will do anything for food. Still if your squeamish - lobsters truly don't scream. Any noise is just a little air escaping from under their shells. Apparently they don't feel pain - they do not have complex brains, just nerve bundles.)
For 1 1/2 lb lobster I boil them for 20 minutes. NOTE - most cooking charts advise a lot shorter cooking time, but I find 20 minutes is perfect. Mine were not tough or rubbery.
Once the time is up, your lobsters will be bright red. Use tongs to pull the lobsters out and place them in a colander in the sink. Let them drain and cool for about 10 minutes.
While the lobsters cool, melt about half a stick of butter for two people. Add the juice of a quarter of a fresh lemon to the melted butter. (To your taste).
I serve the lobster on a plate with a little side dish of butter for each person. I personally only eat the claws, knuckles and tail. I don't bother with the little legs. There is some meat in them, but it takes the patience of a saint to get it out.
If you want to see how to get the lobster meat out of the shell, check out this quick video:
What to serve with lobster? Uh, we just had butter with lemon. I don't like any other food to distract me from the taste of the lobster. However, it wouldn't be wrong to have salt potatoes and a simple side salad. (It also wouldn't be wrong to have apple pie with whipped cream after your lobster.)
I'm dying to know - do you like lobster? If you had a night alone, and didn't have to make kid-friendly food, what would you run out to the store for?