Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New England Lobster Grill

Summertime in New England is very under rated. We have some great weather. Hot, but not for long. While we have had lots of rain this year, it has been a spectacular season for lobster. Prices are good, the shells are thin and the meat is buttery tender this time of year. Ti's the season. I have have enjoyed making boiled lobster for many years, but a few years ago I began to grill it. Let me tell you, I may never go back. Not to worry though, this technique is totally humane and the little dears never feel a thing.

I got this idea several years ago when I was in Japan. Among my favorite meals is Japanese grill, where you sit near the chef at the bar and he grills stuff and serves it to you. One of the great dishes I enjoyed was the grilled lobster. However, the Japanese chef had no qualms about bisecting the poor thing live, but the fire was so hot that it was not alive for long. Watching this was fascinating and the meal was delicious, but I came up with a tamer, more humane way to do this. I basically boil the lobsters for 1 minute prior to processing them. I cooked this dish on an apple wood fire in the Stone Pony, my outdoor stone oven, but you can use a good kettle grill or a gas grill too. If you want to experiment with cooking it on an open fire, I recommend you dig a pit for safety, also have a hose handy.

  • Lobster
    • 1 Live Lobster per person, I find that 1.5-2 pound lobsters are ideal. I prefer them bigger.
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
    • 1 handful fresh chives
    • 1 pinch fresh oregano
    • 1 pinch fresh parsley
    • substitute your favorite fresh herbs, these are what I grow in the garden
  • Sides
    • 1 ear of fresh corn per person (leave the husk on)
    • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato per person
    • 1/2 bunch of mustard greens, Swiss chard, or Chinese broccoli
    • 1 stick of butter
  1. Soak the corn, husk and all in cold water and wash the potatoes thoroughly.
  2. Light the grill. Place the corn and potatoes on the warming rack at least one hour before cooking the lobster, cover the grill. Flip after half an hour.
  3. Mix the olive oil, herbs, and garlic in a bowl.
  4. Boil a large pot of water.
  5. Boil each lobster for 1 minute, not enough to cook them, but long enough to kill them.
  6. Drain the lobster and cut down the middle of the front from the head through the tail.
  7. Spoon the herb mixture into the crevice. Don't forget to remove the rubber bands off the claws.
  8. brush the remaining herb mixture onto the mustard greens
  9. Turn up the heat of the grill and place the lobsters stomach side up on the grill. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  10. Flip the lobsters, place the vegetable on the grill. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
  11. Place the butter in a bowl, add some olive oil and microwave for 30 seconds. Add some chives to the butter. The olive oil helps make the butter more liquid and tastes good too!
  12. Serve the lobster over the vegetable with the corn and potatoes on the side.
  13. You are now in heaven.
  14. For those of us who like to have seafood chowder, don't toss out the lobster shells when you are done indulging. The shells make a fine stock which can then be used to make any seafood sauce or chowder.

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