How To Cook Lobster

June15

Are lobsters only for special occasions? And what exactly is a special occasion, anyway?

How to Cook Lobster

Does it have to be tied to a date on the calendar? Or can a special occasion be any time we get the luxury of being with those we love… unencumbered by deadlines or other demands?

How To Cook LobsterThe lobsterfest we had with GP’s dad, (the kids call him “Papa”), a few weeks ago was one of those occasions. Nothing to celebrate, per se, except for the fact that Papa is 87 years-old (soon to be 88!) and still kicking. Making it to 87 is worthy of a celebration, don’t you think? And there’s nothing he likes to eat more than lobster! (OK, maybe Chinese food.)

Cooking up a live lobster can be intimidating, so first, let me dispel a popular myth:

• Lobsters don’t scream when you drop them in boiling water. The sound you hear is air expanding the shell.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are a few buying tips:
• Buy lobsters that are 3 lbs. or less. While there’s novelty in a 10 lb. lobster, the bigger they are, the tougher they are.
• The lobster should spread out its claws and flail around a bit when you pick it up (and eventually, you are going to have to pick it up).

Once you’ve got the lobster home, here a few cooking tips:
• Drop the lobster head first into a pot of seasoned boiling water. It’s more humane and there will be less splashing.
• Drop the lobsters in one at a time so the water can then return to a full boil.

Okay, so here’s how to cook lobster … so what’s your special occasion? You don’t need one! (Papa would certainly agree!)

 

 

How to Cook Lobster

 

 

Seafood Cioppino

April3

Seafood Cioppino a rich tomato-based stew made with whatever seafood is fresh that day.

Something delicious for this weekend: a rich Seafood Cioppino.

This recipe is Italian Chef Fabio Viviani’s take on cioppino, a tomato based stew made with whatever seafood is fresh that day. I pulled this recipe out of his fabulous new cookbook, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen. He finishes the stew with heavy cream, which beautifully balances the acidity of the tomatoes.

The recipes in his cookbook really work. In Chef’s own words: “My food is not complicated. My food is meant to be made and eaten. I just want to make sure that when you’re done cooking, every person you know will say, ‘That’s a great freaking dish.’”

And, really, isn’t that the exact reaction we all want?

Fabio's Italian Kitchen-Seafood Cioppino

Fabio’s Italian Kitchen Cookbook

 

Chef Fabio and Me

 

Lobster Deviled Eggs + Tutorial!

March27

We fancy! Lobster is cheap right now, so we’re whipping up Lobster Deviled Eggs!We fancy! Lobster is cheap right now, so we’re whipping up Lobster Deviled Eggs!

Cheap lobster you say? Yep, you bet. For a variety of reasons, there’s an overabundance of lobsters, so prices are falling. Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart are selling frozen lobster tails and cooked claws at amazingly low prices.

And… if you really want to indulge yourself, pick up some live lobsters. Scared to try? Don’t be… here’s what you need to know.

So splurge this weekend and give it a shot! I’ve got a step-by-step how-to-do-it below the recipe. If Lobster Deviled Eggs aren’t your thing, buy the lobster tails anyway, prepare as directed in the recipe below and just dip them into warm melted butter.

Look who’s fancy now!

Step-by-Step Lobster Deviled Eggs

1. Gather your ingredients: 8 eggs; 1 8-ounce lobster tail, thawed; 1 teaspoon seasoning (like Old Bay); 3 tablespoons mayonnaise;  1 teaspoons Dijon mustard; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste); 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery; 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (plus a little extra for garnish).

Lobster Deviled Egg Ingredients

2. Boil the eggs. If you’re not sure how to do it, click here. Cool, peel and set aside.

Lobster Deviled Eggs-Hard Boiled Eggs

3. Cut lengthwise through the top of the lobster tail all the way down to the tail with a pair of kitchen shears.

Lobster Deviled Eggs- Cut lengthwise through the top of the lobster tail

4. Reach inside the shell and loosen and pull the meat away from the shell (don’t remove the meat… the shell is the little oven that gives the lobster flavor); set aside.

Lobster Deviled Eggs- Reach Inside The Shell

5. Fill a saucepan with about ½ inch water and add the seasoning.

Lobster Deviled Eggs- Fill a saucepan with water and add seasoning

6. Place a steamer into the pan and bring to a boil. Place lobster tail on the steamer in the saucepan.

Lobster Deviled Eggs: Place steamer in pan and lobster tail.

7. Cover and steam for 12 to 15 minutes or until the meat is no longer opaque.

Lobster Deviled Eggs: Cover and steam for 12 to 15 minutes or until the meat is no longer opaque.

8. Remove lobster tail from pan and cool completely. Pull meat from the shell and chop into ½-inch pieces (you’ll get about 5 ounces of meat); set aside.

Lobster Deviled Eggs: Remove lobster tail from pan and cool completely. Pull meat from the shell and chop into ½-inch pieces (you’ll get about 5 ounces of meat); set aside.

9. Carefully slice the boiled eggs lengthwise. Wipe your knife off on a damp paper towel in between eggs so you don’t get yolk all over the egg halves. Place the yolks in a large bowl.

Lobster-Deviled Eggs-Slice eggs

10. Slice off a tiny sliver on the bottom of each egg white so they don’t wobble on the plate; set aside.

Lobster Deviled Eggs-Slice off the end of the egg

11. Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt. Mash the mixture with a potato masher. Taste and adjust the seasonings. I don’t add a lot of mustard because I don’t like to lose the lobster flavor.

Lobster Deviled Eggs-Add Mayo, Mustard, Lemon Juice and Salt

12. Gently fold in the celery, chives and lobster. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings. Sometimes a shake of Old Bay is needed.

Lobster Deviled Eggs: Gently fold in the celery, chives and lobster

Spoon the Deviled Lobster mixture evenly into each egg white half. Sprinkle on the remaining chives (or get creative). Cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lobster Deviled Eggs-Spoon the Lobster Deviled Egg mixture into the egg whites


Plated + Served: Seafood Gumbo

January8

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo is the perfect example of a melting-pot dish.

The recipe starts with a roux*, which originated in France. Choctaw Indians donated the filé powder. The Spanish contributed tomatoes from South America. The Germans offered up sausage. West African slaves introduced okra.

You can see why there are so many recipes for gumbo… seafood or otherwise.

Gumbo is a great weeknight meal. Add or subtract the shellfish, depending on what’s available in your market. But, peeled and deveined shrimp are a must if you are going to give the gumbo some depth. This recipe has okra so you won’t need the filé powder (which acts as a thickener like the okra).

My Seafood Gumbo recipe is built around one I learned from my good friend Chef Emeril Lagasse, and another I found in the Charleston Receipts Cookbook, which my pal DB gave me for Christmas…

Like I said… gumbo is truly a group effort!

*Roux is a thickening agent made of equal parts of fat (like butter) and flour. It is the basis of many sauces.

Emeril and Chris 1

Roux for Seafood Gumbo

 

                                                 

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Hi…
I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mamashighstrung@gmail.com