Friday, January 2, 2009

Gluttony - My Favorite Sin

When I get a thought in my head, I tend to follow it. A couple of weeks ago I read an article HERE that spoke of falling lobster prices. So began my search for lobster. First I called Whole Foods (OK, stop laughing, whole paycheck lived up to its' moniker). Then I tried Smart & Final - better but still pricey.

On Tuesday the 30th of December I thought of going to 99 Ranch, an Asian food chain in Southern and Northern California. If you've never been in one, it is like a feast for the eyes. There is any type of Asian produce, hot food, sauces, canned goods, seafood, meat, etc... you could possibly want or need. Usually at MUCH lower prices.

The lobsters - $11.99 a pound. Not cheap for most things - but a darn good price for lobster. So I bought 2. I wasn't sure what to do with them so I put them in the refrigerator. Since we were going to a friends house for NYE, I decided to bring the lobsters with me. I had never made them before so I looked to my favorite source, the Cooking Light Bulletin Boards, for inspiration and/or a recipe. I found one.

According to a bulletin board member (I can't believe I forgot who):
Look for active lobsters. The feistier the better. If they spread their claws far when picked up they are called "flyers". If you like the orangy-red roe, ask for females - these have feathery final (closest to the tail section) swimmerettes on their undersides. The ones on males are hard and narrow. (you can educate your fishmonger if they don't know how to pick females).

When you buy them, keep them in the fridge no more than a day. Do NOT immerse in water as this will kill them (tap water will kill most sea-dwelling critters). You can also put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to make them sleep before cooking, according to Alton Brown.

We usually steam them as this keeps the water to a minimum (I boiled). Some herbs, whole peppercorns, lemon halves, salt, and water or white wine at the bottom of a tall stockpot. Put in your steamer thing. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, toss in a little vodka, maybe 1/2 cup (this REALLY seems to work - at least for us). Put in the lobster (DON'T clip off the rubber bands). Cover (sometimes you have to weight the cover for the first 10 seconds). I think the usual cooking time is about 15 minutes for 1-1 1/4 lbs. It's 25 minutes for 2 pounders.

Use something to pull them out - either some aluminum foil on your oven mitts or tongs to keep from being scalded by the heat. Use kitchen shears (or tin snips as AB used) to clip the ends of the claw shells off as you hold the lobster(s) over the pot to drain any water out of the shells. You don't have to do this, but it keeps your plate from being flooded with water when you do start eating.

Serve with melted butter (I like to put a lemon slice at the bottom of a ramekin then pour the melted butter on top). Sometimes I sprinkle a little cajun seasoning on the lemon slice before I pour in the butter. We did melt butter but ended up not really using it.

We demolished those lobsters. They didn't even make it to the table. We stood up in the kitchen while my one friend was cracking them and just made her feed the meat to us! My other friends' daughter took a picture of the carcasses but has yet to email it to me. When she does I will post them.

So tonight we were going back to the same friends house. I went and bought 6 more lobsters. 5 adults and 2 kids (only 2 of the kids had mass quantities like we did) finished everything but one tail and 3 bodies devoid of tail and legs!!! And there was other food! One friend brought chicken gyros and the woman whose house it was bought tacos and burritos, made roasted potatoes and veggies (both are amazing), chicken nuggets for the kids (there was 1 pre-K, 4 1st graders and 4 pre-teens) and had hummus, salad (which she makes REALLY well), etc...

Since I am on the SHFA "PLC" Challenge put on by Scandy, I ate one chicken soft taco (no cheese) and about 1 lb of lobster. It was soooo GOOD! And since I dipped in to the butter only once, I had maybe one teaspoon of butter. I can definitely live like this - a very low fat food that I can gorge myself on! Of course, just in case, I might wait until after Zumba to do my daily weigh-in.


kel said...

I don't think I have eaten a lobster!!!

April said...

I do love lobster, but no way I could try to cook them at home. Good for you!

Lee the MWOB Queen said...

Julia - you are like my cooking hero - are you by chance the famous Julia Childs?? (Is she the cooking chick?) Shows how clueless I am in the culinary world but whenever you write about food, you make it all sound so good!!

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, man, now I'm craving lobster.

And I don't even eat lobster.

Dang it.

:^) Anna

Julia said...

Kel - Why?

April - They're so easy to make at home - just boil. They don't really scream when you drop them in boiling water.

Lee - Julia Childs is dead. LOL - you really are clueless! But thank you so much for the complement. One day you will come over and I will feed you :)

Anna - you are welcome to come over and eat lobster any day.