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Lobster as part of a surf and turf

As a chef for Miller and Carter, I wanted to provide a special birthday meal for my brother at a time where we were unable to go out for a family meal. BHFish providing a hand delivered live lobster went with a selection of T-Bone and Ribeye steak, that I served up M&C style. Our lobster was delivered the day before we needed it, so I stored it at the bottom of our fridge, in the bag it arrived in, with the addition of damp newspaper wrapped lightly around the lobster itself. A lobster will "happily" store in your fridge for up to 36 hours in this way, and it best to keep live until the time of cooking, as the bacteria they carry will multiply rapidly upon death.

The way I prepared our lobster was simple. Step one is to ensure that there is a large pan of water on a rolling boil and salty as the sea, with a lid that fits ready to hand. The lobster will be at a point of hibernation after a stint in the fridge, making it easier to dispatch it before cooking. Placing a live lobster straight into the water is both inhumane and also a quick way to spoil your meal, as the boiling water will not kill it instantly, and will ensure tough meat and potentially the shedding of claws and legs meaning differing cooking times. The best and easiest way to dispatch is to take a sharp cooks knife, find the cross on top of the lobster's head, place the knife tip on this cross, and swiftly thrust the blade tip down and then slice between the eyes. I only wanted to blanch the lobster to ensure ease of de-shelling and prevent that aforementioned bacteria growth, so I firmly yet gently held the lobster in both hands, one at the head end, and the other at the join between tail and main body, and twisted to seperate the two parts. Next I dropped both pieces into the pan for around a minute, removing, placing into ice water quickly then draining. The quick shock in ice water retards the cooking process, but isn't long enough to allow the water to penetrate the flesh and make it soggy. I then proceeded to break the lobster down. The best way to see this, in my opinion, is this clip of Gordon Ramsey on Masterchef USA, Chef Ramsey does remove the bands on the claws while the lobster is still alive, which I wouldn't recommend until after dispatching, but definitely before boiling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W37TDK6dBM.

First up, twist the claws of off the head, seperating the knuckles as well. Gently crack each piece (don't smash hard, as you'll shatter the shell and its a nightmare to deal with then) with a rolling pin, or the back of a kitchen knife. Remove the claw and knuckle meat, taking care to remove the fin shaped bone that runs through the claw meat.

Twist the legs off of the body, using a rolling pin to push the meat out starting at the thin end

Discard the dead mans finger, the feathery looking grey parts in the head. They aren't actually poisonous, they just taste awful and ruin any bisque you might make.

The green gooey part is called tomalley, and is akin to the brown meat from a crab.

The meatiest part is the tail. Gently compress the tail in on itself until you hear a crack, then tease the meat out. Remove the black vein that runs along the length, this is the digestional tract, and is not edible. Slice into bitesize pieces.

The shells make a great stock, to be the base of a bisque or in place of standard fish stock. I've yet to use these ones, and have frozen them to use another day, they'll last upto 6 months.

I then arranged the meat for a nice photo -

Once I had the lobster broken down, I coated it in olive oil and a light dusting of paprika, covered it and placed in the fridge while I prepped the rest of dinner. Once I was ready to serve, and my steaks were resting, I removed the lobster from the fridge, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then placed into a hot frying pan and cooked for a minute each side. After turning, I placed a knob of butter, some parsley and a good squeeze of lemon into the pan and coated the lobster pieces, and serve.

 

 

Nathan Newitt
Apr 17