Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grilled Lobster Tails

Jay and I saw that fresh lobster tails were on sale and thought, "why not?!" I should mention that this shopping trip happened during the week that I was so overwhelmed with thesis work that Jay ventured to the store by himself. As we are two carless city-dwelling companions living a mile from the grocery store, he ventured on foot, armed with a duffel bag backpack. The bus is ridiculously unreliable, so he was forced to walk back with a backpack full of things I never would have purchased simply because of their weightiness. Yes, he did pick out some glorious lobsters, but I had to chuckle seeing that among the crackers and frozen pizza he lugged a large jar of pickles, some salsa, canned soup, potatoes, apples, a jar of pasta sauce... I could go on. Needless to say he was a bit sweaty.

Jay and I were in the mood for a dine-in surf-and-turf style meal, and this definitely satisfied our cravings without breaking the bank. You will see that I served this shellfish alongside a steak (actually, Bulgogi, because we love it so much), some broiled asparagus sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper, as well as some sauteed mushrooms drizzled with teriyaki sauce. It was quite an eclectic plate; it was sort of an east meets Key West (for some reason lime and seafood always remind me of that island), but for us it worked. I think another fun combo would be a steak seasoned with mexican-style flavors (such as cumin, garlic, and oregano) and served with a fresh, lime-y salsa to really play up the citrus flavors in the lobster.

Confession: This was my first foray into cooking lobster. By no means do I think I have preparing lobster down-pat, but these were insanely delicious.

Second confession: Preparing the tails really gave me the willies. In fact, at one point I flipped out and ended up dropping the lobster in the sink. I thought it moved!

Third confession: In addition to the spices listed below, I also used a bit of Fisherman's Warf seasoning. (I know! I cheated!) This brand is available at Whole Foods, and their whole line is amazing. Recommended, but not necessary. Its ingredients include: salt, black pepper, parsley, garlic, white onion, lemon peel, green peppercorns, and green onion. You could just as easily add all of those ingredients and you're golden. In fact, based on the spices I used, this probably was completely unnecessary. Ha!
The Stuff:
  • kitchen scissors, or sharp paring knife
  • large stock pot
  • a grill
The Edibles:
  • 2 garlic gloves, smashed (or equivalent in jarred or powdered)
  • 2 lobster tails
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 2-3 T. lime juice
  • garlic powder
  • onion salt (or onion powder)
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. butter, melted (if desired)
The Making:
  1. Fill large pot with water and garlic and bring to a boil. Warm grill.
  2. Prepare lobster tails by placing on a cutting board or in a shallow bowl with the soft side of the shells facing up. Cut the tails in half lengthwise though the soft shells using the scissors or soft knife. I chose to break off the little side fins and completely remove the soft shell from the body. I suggest researching this before you try it for the first time, because I felt like my method was way harder than it should have been. (Again, it was my first time.)
  3. Once the water has reached a boil, drop in prepared tails. Cook for 3 minutes, remove with tongs, and allow them to drain in a colander or on the cutting board for a minute or so. The lobster may not be fully cooked. It's okay, because you'll be grilling it!
  4. Spray lobster soft-shell-side with olive oil cooking spray. Drizzle with lime juice and season to your heart's content with the suggested spices and any other seafood-specific spices you may have on hand.
  5. Grill lobster with the hard-shell side down for 1-2 minutes. Turn over and grill an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve with melted butter, if desired.

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