Friday, February 3, 2012

How to Kill a Lobster 101 & Poached Lobster recipe

This is the beginning to a lovely friendship. One united by food challenges and lobster killings, romantic no? Well, this is how I feel Lynn from Order in the Kitchen and I will bond. We've decided to take charge of our culinary adventures and challenge each other every month of 2012. We decided that the rite of passage, the best challenge to do, the one that would make us focused: killing a live lobster.

Maybe you've done this before, maybe you've even killed hundreds of lobsters in your lifetime, but neither Carolyn nor I had and with thoughts of Julia Child and trying to do this the kindest way possible, we started on our journey. Carolyn bit the bullet first and you can read all about her adventure over at her blog.

And now, it was my turn. After watching Lynn's video 5.4 times, I mustered up the courage. Check out the photos below, the steps I went through and how we prepared this crustacean!

He did NOT look at all happy. I wouldn't have been happy either!
You might ask why we have a kitchen towel under the lobster? Well, after watching various videos, we saw the amount of liquid that oozes out of the lobster when killed this way and well, we jut didn't want all that lobster juice everywhere. 

Lynn gives a good tip of freezing the lobster to numb it, and with all the energy going on during this time, I forgot to freeze it. As soon as I stabbed him, his tail curled up like crazy and his claws were everywhere. Thus, M. has to swoop in and hold it down.

From top to right: the halves of the lobster. It was a male, so no roe but you still need to wash the insides. Under cold running water, scrape off all the gooey innards. See how clean it is now? We then cut it into more manageable pieces (because we didn't have a big enough pot, but you can certainly leave it as is). For the preparation we were doing, we were going to boil the parts for 30ish seconds to make it easier to remove the meat from the shell.

A quick bath in boiling water (30 seconds) and then a dunk in ice water, we were able to remove the halfway cooked lobster meat. The shells were added to the start of our fennel tomato broth. The meat was refrigerated until needed. Our final dish was: Lobster Poached in Tomato Fennel Broth over Saffron Rice with White Wine Beurre Blanc. Read below for the recipe!

Tomato-Fennel Broth Poached Lobster
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
lobster shells
1 cup tomato sauce (we used frozen homemade pizza sauce we had!)
2 teaspoons fennel salt
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups water
  1.  Saute onion and celery in olive oil until translucent. Add lobster shells and cook for 3 minutes. 
  2. Add tomato sauce, fennel salt and seasonings. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add water and cook for 30 minutes. Reseason and taste as you go. 
  4. Strain twice through a fine mesh strainer and return to pot on medium heat. Drop lobster meat and cook until desired doneness, less than 4 minutes depending on size. 
  5. Turn off heat and prepare to serve.
Saffron Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white rice (jasmine or long-grain rice work well)
2 cups water
pinch of saffron threads (about 3-4)
  1. Heat olive oil and saute rice for 1 minute. 
  2. Add water and saffron, stirring to disperse color.
  3. Cook on medium heat until 90% of the water evaporates.
  4. Fluff rice with a fork and cover. Lower heat to low and cook for about 5-10 more minutes. Reserve.

White Wine Beurre Blanc (Butter Sauce)
1 cup white wine
juice of half an orange
juice of 1/4 lime
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 small shallot, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  1. Over high heat, reduce white wine, all citrus juices and shallot until it's 1/4 of the original liquid (will turn syrup like). 
  2. Add heavy cream, reduce until thickens. Remove from heat and add cubed butter. Place back on heat while whisking. Removing from heat will allow butter sauce to incorporate, but keep warm. Continue whisking until velvety smooth. Strain and reserve warm before serving.

To Serve
  • Plate 1/4 cup of rice in a shallow bowl. Surround with tomato fennel broth. 
  • Place lobster claw and tail intertwined and drizzle butter sauce over it.
  • Garnish with some herbs for color and flavor. Serve with a side of butter sauce!
 Now it's your turn! Have you ever killed a lobster? What's your favorite method to cook lobster? 
Do you have a special lobster recipe (link up!) Let's talk lobster in the comments!

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