So, Valentine’s Day is approaching, which means plenty of people will be making elaborate dinner plans. Omar and I will probably cook up something at home, but our menu this year hasn’t been decided yet. I’ll eventually post our meal, but for those of you looking for ideas for a special dinner at home, I’d like to suggest fresh lobsters.
Unless you live in Maine, most of us think of lobsters as a luxury food, and we pay a pretty penny for it at restaurants. Cooked at home, lobsters are less than half the price. It is also an experience to remember together. We bought live lobsters and boiled them at home for our anniversary the year before last, when we were still in Indiana. It was one of our most memorable cooking and eating experiences together.
Boiling a lobster is probably the easiest way to cook a live lobster. Steaming or grilling might win a taste test over boiling. However, we were complete amateurs, so we went with the easiest way and boiled ours. The pictures that follow are from our 2010 anniversary dinner, so you’ll notice our kitchen is different (and much bigger!).
Since our lobsters were the star of our table, we didn’t fuss about the sides and had a basic tomato soup and steamed broccoli to supplement our dinner. Pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy!
FRESH BOILED LOBSTERS
2 live 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lb. lobsters
1 lemon, halved
2 bay leaves
(some Gusto and Encouragement!)
special equipment – large stockpot and lobster or nut crackers for cracking the shell
Keep the lobsters cold and over ice until you are ready to cook. (Tip: stroking the lobster with your index finger in between the eyes has a calming effect on the lobster).
Fill a large stock pot with enough water to cover the lobsters. Bring the water to a boil, add the lemon and bay leaves to flavor the water. (Admittedly, Omar and I did not flavor the water, because we were too hung up on the best way to clip off the rubber bands and dropping the things into boiling water). Our pot was too small for two lobsters, so we cooked them one at a time.
Once the water comes to a high boil, carefully cut the rubber bands off the claws and quickly drop the lobster head first into the boiling water. Do this with gusto and encouragement from each other. Cover and boil for about 15 minutes. If your lobsters are larger than 1 1/2 pounds, they will need more boiling time. See Lobsterhelp.com for additional tips and cooking time. We lifted them out of the boiling water with large tongs.
The lobsters are ready when they are bright red and the tail curls. When the lobster is ready, the antennae and small walking legs should come off easily with a light tug.
Serve with melted butter.