Saturday, January 26, 2008

LOBSTERPALOOZA!

I know that many of the frequent visitors to this blog are on the edge of their respective seats each day, waiting for an update on the remodeling of our second bathroom, or perhaps some information on the taming of the once nearly feral Samson. Both of those stories will continue to be told, but I have to document an event that occurred here on the western plains of the Enchanted Mitten last night.

Deirdre and I were the lucky recipients of a Lobstergram. I did some pro bono work for a friend of mine (ask your lawyer friends what pro bono means) and to show his appreciation, he sent us the Lobstergram. On Friday morning the FedEx truck paid us a visit and delivered a white styrofoam cooler to our door. Inside of the cooler were the following items:



  • Two live Maine lobsters, ocean-fresh
  • Two 4 oz. Premium Lobster Cakes
  • 20 oz. Lobster Bisque
  • 12 oz. Lobster Ravioli in Lobster Alfredo Sauce
  • A 20 oz. Chocolate Heart Cake
  • Fresh whole lemon and butter
  • Two Shell Crackers and Seafood Forks
  • Two Lobster Gram Bibs and Moist Towelettes
  • Lobster Gram Cooking Manual
I opened the cooler to check on the lobsters. While a little sluggish from their recent trip to our door, they were definitely alive and well. Samson was a little inquisitive about the cooler, as he could hear scratching coming from inside of it from time to time. I decided to make this dinner a Surf & Turf meal, so in addition to the lobsters, I would cook a couple of filet mignons to round out the meal. Ever the guardian, Samson is shown here guarding the lobsters to the left in this picture, and the filet mignons are out of site on the counter to the right.

Deirdre got home from work and we reviewed the cooking manual that came with the lobsters. I fancy myself a pretty good cook, but up to this point I had never cooked live lobsters before. Dee positively loves lobster, but she has some ethical issues about putting the lobbies alive into a pot of boiling water. I, however, have no problem with such a task! This fantastic gift gave me the opportunity to expand my cooking experience and I looked forward to the evolution. We could not resist introducing Samson to our visitors, as we were fairly certain he had seen one in the flesh. Needless to say, he did not quite know what to make of the lobsters!



My sister Patty (who is a great cook) has prepared many a lobster dinner, so I called her to ask for some advice. To be frank, cooking lobster is very simple. You bring a cauldron of water to a rolling boil, pop the little devils into the pot and cook them until done. The hard part is knowing when the lobsters are fully cooked. If you overcook the lobsters, the meat, while still flavorful, can be downright rubbery. Patty told me that for the size of our lobsters (1 1/4 lb) that they should cook for 14-16 minutes. I brought up the largest pot we had from our basement, filled it with water and brought it to a rolling boil. As soon as the water was ready, into the cauldron our two crustacean went!

After putting the lobsters into the pot, I set one of our kitchen timers for 15 minutes and patiently waited for the buzzer to go off. This period of time allowed me to make the Turf side of the meal, which was Pan Seared Filets in Cabernet Sauce. The arrow of time continued and in what seemed like just a few moments, the timer went off and we removed the lobsters from the pot. The lobsters looked fantastic, developing a bright red to pink hue during their immersion in the pot. Next, I had to pull out the meat from the tails and that was a much simpler evolution than I had thought it was going to be. And yes, that is steam rising from the lobsters in this photo!

I set to work to remove the tail meat from the lobsters, as we made the command decision to forgo the meat from the claws and legs for now, which was the right decision. I was able to quickly separate the tail meat from the lobster and with in a few minutes of the removal of the lobsters from the pot, dinner was ready to be served. Of course, Samson was now even more interested in what was happening and he was my shadow throughout the final preparation moments of this meal.

The meal could not have turned out any better than it did. Deirdre and I feasted on the lobster and the filet mignons, and enjoyed some white wine and red wine with meal. We made the right decision to go after the tail meat and put off collecting the claw meat until after the meal was done. When dinner was done, I went to work on getting the meat from the claws and legs of the lobsters, ensuring that none of it went to waste. Samson was once again quite interested in what I was doing and we discovered that he, too, likes lobster as we gave him a few small snitches of meat. I was able to gain experience cooking a dish I had never made before and the confidence that I could cook it again with similar results.

4 comments:

John said...

Now I know I hate you...

Lisa and Gary... said...

What separates us from the lobsters (other than a back bone), are our thumbs. The better to grip the top of the pot full of boiling water.

If, say, the lobsters had the thumbs and WE did not...well, I guess this story would have a different ending now, wouldn't it? While I appreciate Dee's humane nature, long live those of us with thumbs!!

Lisa

Deirdre said...

There were directions on how to 'massage' the lobsters so as to put them in a trance-like state before boiling to death!

Of course, there were AMAZINGLY delicious. :)

Paul's Blog said...

Being the steely eyed killer I am, I did not massage nobody. Into the pot they went! As I told Dee last night about dinner, "All gave some, but some gave all."

The lobbies were delish!

PK