Preparing Lobster the Perfect Way
Lobster is one of those rare treats most people reserve for a fancy dinner out. But if you're up for a little adventure and willing to cook lobster at home, it's easy to prepare and kinder to your wallet.
My latest video (link to video) shows you step by step how to get from pot to plate. But there are some important things to know before you bring a lobster home for the first time.
I prefer to buy live lobster because it tastes better. Purchase them in a store that regularly sells live lobsters that are kept in a saltwater tank. When making your selection, choose lobsters that are active. Ones that don't move around much can be an indication that they've spent too long in the tank.
Ask for lobsters with firm outer shells. Most lobsters molt in summer and fall months which can make the meat chewy and rubbery. Instead, purchase lobsters when they're at their peak in the spring. They also tend to be less expensive.
Lobsters are like wine -- their flavor depends on where they come from. I prefer cold water lobsters from places like Maine or New Hampshire because the water is fairly clean. Be sure to ask where your lobster hails from before handing over your money.
Instead of buying one huge lobster, try two smaller ones since size is usually an indication of age. According to one website I found, a two pound lobster can be 6 to 10 years old which means the meat could be tougher and not as sweet.
Purchase lobster the day you intend to cook it, not before. Once outside the tank, cook them as soon as possible. If you needed, you can cover the lobster with a wet paper towel and keep it in the refrigerator for a couple hours. But remember, this is a living creature so please respect it by killing it quickly.
Armed with the information above, you too can prepare the ultimate lobster feast at home without booking a table at an expensive restaurant.
Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
Flatten out the lobster on a cutting board and grasp it with one hand where the tail joins the body. In the other hand, take a large chef's knife and place the point an inch behind the eyes with the blade facing away from the hand that is holding the tail. Press the point of the knife all the way through the lobster's head to the cutting board, then bring the blade down between the eyes to finish the cut of the head. This kills the lobster as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Plunge the lobster head first into boiling water. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Lobster will turn bright red. Remove lobster from pot with tongs and place on cutting board. Using a towel, twist off claws with knuckles. Separate the tail from the body and place tail in the ice bath. Return the claw to the pot and cook another 2 minutes. Once cooked, plunge claws and knuckles into ice bath.
When cool enough to handle, remove tail from the ice bath. Using a pair of small, sharp scissors, cut along the underside of the tail where it meets the shell. Carefully remove lobster meat and discard shell. Cut tail in half lengthwise and remove vein.
Remove claws and knuckles from ice bath. Twist off claws from knuckles. Using scissors, cut through shell on the knuckles and remove meat.
Remove rubber bands from claws. Hold claw in one hand with the thumb on your right. Gently push down on the thumb until it cracks. Carefully remove thumb part of the shell and cartilage.
Remove the small legs from the lobster body. Using a rolling pin and starting at the tip, roll out the meat.
Nutritional information per serving (3 ounces):
Calories: 82; Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 60mg; Sodium: 319mg; Carbohydrates: 1g; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 17g