I have the strangest relationship to lobster. Not one built from cinematic longings of “this is what rich people eat in fancy restaurants!” But one built from a childhood growing up on the coast of Maine. I remember eating lobster like one would eat chicken, and knowing how to crack them open like a crustacean-nut-cracker-wielding-pro.
My sister and I would have lobster races across the kitchen floor, and we’d go out on a family friend’s lobster boat every summer. The experience was….smelly. And to a little kid, all of those snappy claws were a bit scarey (albeit delicious that night when the lobster was cooked).
Now, I won’t get into the ethos of lobster cooking or even go there. Let’s just admit that there are some places left in the country where food is prepared a bit…differently. To those of you who have prepared fresh lobster before, you are well-versed in what this difference may be.
The point is, fresh lobster, when cooked straight from the Maine ocean and onto your childhood plate was a clearly delicious treat. I believe I was 15 or 16 when I finally realized for the first time that it wasn’t normal to have lobster on a bi-weekly basis. Nor was it normal to know lobster biology in and out. But I’ve never considered myself terribly normal.
For the most clearly delicious of all seafood dishes (and in my mind, any cuisine), try this easy, basic boiled Maine lobster recipe. If you are lucky enough to be on the coast of Maine, acquiring this crustacean shouldn’t be difficult at all, usually retailing at about $6.99-$8.99 a pound. However, if you feel like treating yourself in another part of the country, there are plenty of companies that ship fresh lobster right to your door. See the Maine Lobster Council for more details. I suggest Bob’s Seafood ($13.99 for live lobster and $3.99 for clams/mussels, yum).
This recipe comes from Linda Jones (fellow foodie and awesome friend in Maine).
* 4 Soft-Shell Maine Lobsters (2 lobsters per person)
* Water (enough to cover lobster), salted
* butter, for dipping
1.) Fill pot 3/4 of the way full with water and salt to taste (1-2 tablespoons). Just like when cooking pasta, the water should taste like sea water.
2.) Cover pot and bring to a boil. Once water has come to a boil, add lobster (head first). Cover pot and cook lobster based on size/pounds. One pound of lobster should be cooked 13-15 minutes. 1 1/2 pounds should be 15-20 minutes and 20-25 for 2 or larger (so on and so forth).
3.) Turn off heat and pour lobster into an oversized strainer. Allow lobster to rest for 5 minutes before serving (they’ll be too hot to eat otherwise and will continue to cook for a couple of minutes in the strainer).
4.) Serve with melted butter and crusty bread.
Enjoy! Makes 2 servings.
Written by: Helana Brigman