I have killed thousands of lobsters…this makes me a bad person? On the contrary, it makes me an expert lobster killer. You can become as proficient at killing lobsters as I am with just a little practice and some common sense. This would be the time on the television when they say viewer discretion is advised…I have seen a lot of stupid things on television about the best way to kill a lobster – and once again one’s fame in the cooking industry does not lessen the chance that you will utter something stupid about the best way to kill a lobster. Please do not run a knife or skewer into the beasts head…you will not kill the lobster that way…as if you could hit its minuscule brain with a mere thrust of a knife…LMAO. You will merely succeed in pissing the poor animal off and you will lose most of its precious vital fluids that can be used to flavor a soup or sauce. Do you really think that such a small brain could support higher thinking much less a complex system of nerves…just rip or cut the damned thing up…it is the kindest of acts to just do it and get it over with; or just plunge the thing into boiling water, it will be dead in under a minute…I promise. And no they do not scream…honestly…where do people come up with these stories.
There are several ways one can cook a lobster: bake, roast or grill, way too dry – lobster has no internal fat so these methods are a recipe for disaster (or at least dry, tough lobster); boil, steam, poach – now we’re on the right track, lobster needs a moist method of cookery to bring out the delicate sweet nature of its flesh. Lobster has a natural sweetness in its flesh and, like most other seafood, suffers badly when overcooked; the secret is moist method of cooking and don’t over-do it, the flesh should just have turned opaque in the center when cooking is finished. A 1¼ pound lobster will take about 8-9 minutes to cook in rapidly boiling water.
Most of us like butter with our lobster…Right? I propose that the best way to cook a lobster, therefore, is to poach it in butter! I am screaming right now because very few people have ever tried this (except in very posh restaurants), and it is exceedingly simple. This method is so simple that I think you should try it at home so that you too can experience the succulent, delicate flesh bathed in it own essence and the exotic richness and perfume of cooked butter. So without further delay here is what we had for dinner last night:
Poached Lobster Tails (We also had some steak…Surf and Turf…but this post is only about the lobster…we have discussed steak elsewhere and I am sure we will do it again, but today is all about the butter poached Lobster.)
4 each cold water lobster tails (such as those from Maine, Canada, South Africa, just to name a few. Warm water tails are generally inferior.)
4 oz unsalted butter
See, I told you it was simple. Only two ingredients.
Melt the butter over low heat in a narrow sauce pan that has a lid. While the butter is melting (and coming up to 180°F or so) use scissors to cut through the shell from the opened end toward the tail. I always leave the last section on…the tail fans nicely and makes a cool presentation. Peel the shell away with your fingers being careful not to pinch or cut yourself on the pieces of shell. Remove the dark sand filled intestine-like structure that may be exposed in the flesh once it is peeled; it is full of sand and is unpleasant to eat. Set that one aside and do the same to the other three (this procedure is pretty much the same no matter how big the tails are or the exact species) Place all of the tails into the butter making sure that they are submerged into the butter during the cooking process. Baste the tails several times; the total cooking time should only be from 4-7 minutes depending on the size of your tails. They are done when the meat is opaque and the tail has curled slightly. To flatten the tail meat for presentation simply make several small cuts using a sharp knife across the tail on the bottom side. This is the most perfect way to cook lobster meat. I promise the next time I buy whole live lobsters I will do a full video on how to pick the perfect lobster and how to handle it once you get it home. Enjoy!