Lobster is made for summer. Cold lobster rolls are the perfect snack to enjoy on the beach, relaxing in the sunshine and watching the seagulls. The knuckle meat makes an excellent salad topping, for those days when you want something filling and healthy. And the tails are the best barbeque dish. All you have to do is fire them onto the grill and give them a quick squeeze of lemon juice before tossing them onto plates with sides of potato salad and corn on the cob.
Lobster is not just good for the summertime. You can cook with it when the temperatures get cooler, and you want to spend more time cozying up indoors. These are four different lobster dishes that you should make at least once this season:
Cooking with Lobster:
The most important thing that you can do as a home cook is to use top-quality ingredients. When you cut corners and get low-quality ingredients, your dishes aren’t going to turn out the way that you’d like them to. Look for fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and in-season. Check to see if they’re in good condition when you add them to your shopping cart. When you get home, make sure to store them properly — it would be a shame for them to go rotten before you need to cook with them.
Quality matters for meat, too. So, when you’re planning on following a lobster recipe, you need to make sure that you get the best possible lobster on the market. This can be a challenge when you don’t live on the coast. Your grocery store might not have anything other than packs of frozen lobster that have been sitting in the freezer for weeks — if they have any lobster at all.
The good news is that you can order Maine lobster directly to your doorstep. You could be in a completely different state and have fresh lobsters delivered to your address within 24 hours. The website Lobsteranywhere.com offers whole lobsters and other delicious seafood ingredients like colossal shrimp and sea scallops. If you’re too intimidated to handle whole lobster, they also offer tails and meat. These come with the same quality and flavor but require a little less effort in the kitchen.
Now that your kitchen is stocked with the right ingredients, you can get started on these seasonal dishes.
1. Lobster Shepherd’s Pie
A traditional shepherd’s pie — or cottage pie — is made with lamb. It’s become popular to replace the lamb with another kind of red meat, usually ground beef or pork. But you could leave the restrictions of tradition behind you and skip the red meat altogether, replacing it with tender and juicy lobster meat instead.
A lobster shepherd’s pie will be the best comfort food to dig into on a cold, blustery day. Serve it hot out of the oven, so that the potato layer is nice and crisp, and the sauce underneath is bubbling. Wash it down with a cold beer or glass of white wine.
The only problem with this delicious dish is that you’ll have to clear your schedule. You’ll be so stuffed, you’ll want to take a long nap on the couch after dinner.
2. Hot Lobster Roll
Traditional Maine lobster rolls are served with cold lobster on toasted buns. On the other hand, Connecticut lobster rolls are served hot, drizzled with clarified butter. It’s important that you don’t confuse the two — there have been state rivalries over the best way to prepare a lobster roll for a very long time.
You don’t have to pick a side. If anything, you can enjoy both types of rolls during the year. The Maine version is great for hot summer days, while the Connecticut choice is great for colder weather.
Start by cooking the lobster meat. You want it to be in nice hearty chunks. Then melt butter into a skillet. Coat the still-warm lobster meat in the butter, along with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Then stuff as much as you can into a toasted split-top bun. Eat it with a pile of potato chips or French fries.
3. Homemade Lobster Bisque
Nothing will make you warm up faster than a bowl of piping hot soup. So, skip the classic chicken noodle or the canned cream of mushroom and make yourself an amazing pot of homemade lobster bisque on the weekend.
You want to pack in a lot of flavor in every spoonful. Start by cooking down chopped celery, onion and carrots in a pot. Add minced garlic, salt, pepper and a whopping tablespoon of tomato paste. When the mixture becomes fragrant, add a few tablespoons of flour — this will help the soup become nice and thick.
Add in seafood stock and then wine, before letting it simmer for a half-hour or so. Then, you can blend it until its velvety smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and mix until it’s blended. And then add the piece de resistance: the cooked lobster meat, cut into small chunks. Sprinkle on chives or thyme when you’re ready to serve.
You can eat it with classic oyster crackers or warm bread rolls with thick swabs of salted butter.
4. Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
When it’s a cold, gloomy day, you need to make a big dish of macaroni and cheese. It’s rich, delicious and absolutely decadent. How can you feel bad after having a bowl of it? It’s impossible.
You can give your regular macaroni and cheese recipe a boost by stirring lobster meat inside of the pasta before you bake it. The special ingredient will suddenly turn that classic meal into an instant family favorite. Once you’ve scraped your bowl clean, you’ll wonder why you haven’t used the ingredient in your family recipe before.
Fall is an exciting time to jump into the kitchen and cook up a frenzy. You can gather apples and make mouth-watering crumbles and pies. You can pick up sugar pumpkins from a farmer’s market or pumpkin patch and then make jars of toasted seeds. And you can order fresh lobster online, and then whip up incredible dishes that the whole family will love.