“A woman should never be seen eating or drinking unless it be lobster salad and Champagne, the only true feminine and becoming viands.” — Lord Byron
Sign me up for the Lord Byron lady diet! I, le Jerzee Girl, was just about to quickly reblog some lobster recipes from the NY Times when I realized that my summertime lobster adventures deserved a more thorough treatment. Behold, the Lobsterganza post.
1. If you are ever anywhere near Mt. Desert Island in Maine, run, do not walk, RUN to the Jordan Pond House and stuff thyself on the world’s most.amazing.popovers and the creamy, sherry infused lobster bisque (below). I highly recommend a 1-to-1 butter-dish-to-popover ratio. I do not, however, recommend then going on a 2-hour post-popover-death-march bicycle ride immediately afterwards.
2. If you are ever near Buzzard’s Bay in Massachusetts, stop in at the Back Eddy for the lobster casserole…yyyuummm… (and try the apple wood bacon wrapped scallops)
3.And then of course, there are the Jerzee Bites lobster roll recipes which started out this whole blog!
4. Have you ever wondered what people who catch lobster for a living call themselves? After polling numerous people in Maine, the debate raged on about whether they call themselves lobstermen or lobster fishermen or fishermen. The results were inconclusive, but we did learn that they call lobsters “bugs.” (Mmmm… hot buttery bugs…)
5. All this talk about lobster’s got me ready to head off to my favorite NY dealer — the Red Hook Lobster Pound. But how to prepare?
Here are 12 recipes from the NY Times Magazine: Thai Lobster Soup, Lobster Grapefruit Salad, Lobster with Curry Mayo, etc.
And a great lookin recipe I came across online:
Summer Shack’s Pan-Roasted Lobster with Chervil & Chives Recipe
(props to Chef Jasper White Scribner)
“The bourbon in this recipe adds a sweetness that mingles potently with the sweetness of the lobster. An excellent Cognac or brandy can be substituted for similar results. Fresh chervil imparts a hint of anise flavor to the lobster; if unavailable, fresh parsley mixed with a small amount of fresh tarragon (1/2 teaspoon) will give a taste almost as good.
Equipment: You will need a medium Chinese cleaver or large chef’s knife, a heavy oven-proof 12-inch sauté pan and tongs.”
2 live 1 ¾ pound hard-shell lobsters
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 shallots (1 ½ ounces), finely diced
¼ cup bourbon or cognac
2 or 3 tablespoons dry white wine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon finely chopped chervil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the broiler or preheat the oven as hot as possible (500 or 550F). Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. You may need to shorten the cooking time slightly if the broiler rack is close to the heat.
2. Split the lobster lengthwise (it will kill the lobster instantly). Remove the tomalley and the roe if present. Now cut off the claw with the knuckle attached (where the knuckle meets the carapace). Cut the lobster halves into quarters. You will now have 6 pieces of lobster. Place the pieces of lobster, shell side down, on a plate.
3. Place the tomalley and roe in a small bowl. With a fork, break them into small pieces.
4. Place a heavy 12-inch sauté pan over the highest heat possible. Allow the pan to heat for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes extremely hot. Add the oil and heat until it forms a film on the surface of the pan. Slide the lobster pieces, shell side down, into the hot oil. Using tongs, move the pieces in order to evenly sear all the shells. Because the lobster pieces are not flat, you will need to hold them with the tongs and press the shells into the hot oil to accomplish this. 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 have taken on a beautiful red tinge. Add the tomalley and roe to the pan.
5. 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.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and return it to the stove at maximum heat. Turn off the oven and put your plates in to warm. This will take only a minute. Warning: The handle of the pan will be red-hot and will stay hot until the dish is complete. To avoid burns, wear oven mitts from now until the dish is complete.
7. 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 liquid in the pan reduce until the pan is almost dry. Turn the heat to low.
8. Quickly remove the pieces of lobster and place, shell side down, on warm plates. I like 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.
9. 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 with the pan juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use very little salt, if any, because the lobster adds its own salt. Spoon the sauce over the lobster pieces (see photograph insert following page 50) and serve at once.
Serves 2 as a generous main course.
Viva the Sea Bug!