Saturday, February 26, 2011

Valentine's Day Feast 2: Bellinis, Lobster, Garlic Herb Lemon Butter and Baby Potatoes

I've made lobster once before but only the tail and it was previously frozen. Still really delicious but not quite the same as fresh live lobster, right? Right. So since I now know that Crowfoot has that seafood place, North Sea Fish Market, I figured it'd be better to buy lobster over there than at Superstore. So just as I remembered, $20 per 1.2 lb lobster. Yeah, expensive, but it's lobster, what did you expect. We don't live close enough to the shore to get fresh lobster for cheap. The guy at the Fish Market place, BTW - again, super nice and helpful, even gave us an ice-pack to go with the lobsters.

They keep them in cold water - apparently this makes them less active - so once they start warming up, they start moving around. I felt extremely bad for these two lobsters. They had to chill in my fridge covered with a wet towel (I read that helps them stay alive, like with mussels) for a few hours before dinner was all ready, and they made this terribly sad wheezing sound like they were struggling to breath :(. Anyways!!!! Don't let that stop you from cooking live lobsters!! I read up on it a bit, and there is some controversy about how much pain they can feel, but nothing conclusive. For now, it's suggested that you dunk the lobster into the boiling water head first - this way they die quicker. You can judge how quickly they die by how long they keep moving once in the water. The first one moved for maybe 5 seconds, the second one - barely at all.

They also have the thick rubber bands on their claws, so I read up on whether or not it's okay to cook the lobster with them on or to take them off. Some say that cooking with the rubber bands alters the flavor of the meat, so I decided to cut them off - I don't want any rubber in my very expensive lobster meat. Be sure to do this RIGHT before you're about to plunge the lobster into the water.

Unfortunately, I only had a big enough bowl to do 1 at a time. Since you're supposed to eat the lobster hot right away, I made the first one and let Nick start, and then cooked mine (in the same water). We did end up eating pretty much separately but whatever, no big deal. If you do have the option of cooking them at the same time, do so. Also, weigh your lobster before you cook it so you know how long to cook for! Just sayin'. A lot of the time, I won't read recipes before it's too late so...

Boiled Lobster
1 lobster

1. In a large pot, pour enough water to cover the lobster completely.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of salt for each quart of water. Bring the water to a boil.

3. Grasp the live lobster firmly by the back, cut off the rubber bands, plunge it quickly, head first, into the boiling water, and then submerge the rest of the body.

4. When water boils again, begin timing: 10-12 minutes for lobsters up to 1 pound and then add 2-3 minutes for each extra pound.

5. When the lobster is cooked, carefully drain the lobster and serve it.

Tips on how to tell the lobster is cooked: the shell is bright red, you can easily pull off the front antennae (this one didn't work out for me for some reason), the meat is white and delicious.

To be honest, I have no idea what is usually served with lobster. I made potatoes since it seems like seafood and potatoes go together. Also, it's a really easy side so it saved me some time.

Garlic Herb Lemon Butter
Make as much as you want

Butter
Crushed garlic
Squeeze of lemon juice
Dried oregano, thyme, basil, tarragon or a mix of whatever you got

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Mix in garlic, lemon, and herbs. Take off the heat and let stand until lobster is ready. When ready to eat, melt the butter again (duhh).

Baby Potatoes
However many you make, I guess...

Baby potatoes (I like the mixed bags)
4 good sprigs of fresh dill
Canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil or steam baby potatoes until cooked throughout (soft when you poke them with a knife). Once they're done, cool them slightly and cut into halves.

2. On a skillet, heat up some Canola oil over medium high heat. Transfer the potatoes into the skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until they slightly brown and have crispy parts. Mix in the dill.

Notes: I usually would mix dill with oil and crushed garlic and cook the potatoes in that mixture instead, but this time we had garlic butter so I didn't want to overdo it with the garlic. Especially on Valentine's day...

Bellinis

1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 (16-ounce) bags frozen peaches, thawed
1/8 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 (750-ml) bottles Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled

1. Stir the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Puree the peaches and orange peel in a blender with 1 1/2 cups of the sugar syrup until smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer and into a bowl. Transfer the puree into a pitcher or clear glass bowl.

3. For each serving, pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of the peach puree into a Champagne flute. Slowly pour enough Prosecco into the flute to fill. Gently stir to blend.

Notes: The peach puree can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. I also added more sugar since it wasn't sweet enough.

The Verdict: Lobster is lobster. As long as you don't grossly overcook, it'll be delicious. Oh, and don't forget to get some of those claw crackers. We enjoyed the lobsters with the whole family: first Nick, then myself, and then the cat. Yes, he got some too. Also, bibs of some kind would have been a good idea... I had to use a big towel, haha.


Have you ever made lobster? Don't forget to comment and press the like button up top! And stay tuned for cheesecake, and coulises.

Take care,
Ksenia
Original Recipe (and the tips): We Love Seafood - Cook Lobster, Bellinis

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3 comments:

CanadianMama said...

Oh, I just feel too bad for the lobsters! Especially because I don't like lobster (I'm crazy right). Looking forward to the cheesecake though :)

tamarindandthyme said...

You have one lucky boyfriend! Mmmmm.... lobster....

Heather@myeverydaygraces said...

Whoa! Thinking of the scene in Julie and Julia where she attempts to deal with the lobster; yikes!

Your potatoes look fabulous, and you can't miss with Bellinis. The whole dinner looked scrumptious:)

The hot fudge I made did get a little "chewy" but not hard. It is most definitely delicious:) Thanks for stopping by.