We all know Lobster is delicious. But it is ourageously messy, and it has a tendency to scare off people afraid to wrangle their own food. I wanted a lobster recipe that was 3 things:
Easy to make for large groups
I think this recipe satisfies my needs, and has great presentation value.
There are not a lot of ingredients, and I forgot to take a picture of everything, but I will list them here:
8 1-1 1/4 Lb Lobsters, live, uncooked
1 Lb crab meat
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 sleeve crackers (Ritz or other brand)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
Lots of Butter
Step 1: Make the Stuffing and Steam the Lobster
The crab meat stuffing packs a lot of the flavor punch and is super easy to make. First, saute the onions and peppers until onions are soft, about 3-5 minutes. remove from heat and let cool.
If using canned, or jarred, or pressed crab meat, its always best to break it up or flake it out of the container with a fork. This keeps any lumps of crab meat from sticking together. Mix crab meat with mayonnaise and mustard. Work in the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Crush the sleeve of Ritz cracked using a muddle or back of a spoon. Don't completely obliterate them, crush until only pea-sized or smaller chunks remain. Add the crackers into the crab meat and mix together. Put aside for now.
Add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of a pot, turn heat to high.
Steam Lobsters in batches, depending on the size of your pot. Steam for 3-4 minutes, until lobsters are dead, and just beginning to turn red.
Step 2: Ice Bath
Remove the lobsters to an ice-bath to quickly stop the cooking process. This is crucial. If you don't put them in an ice bath, they will continue cooking inside the shell, and will be akin to tire rubber when you eat them.
While the lobster are cooling to the touch, chop up 4-5 cloves of garlic. Put them into a small pot with 2 sticks of butter, turn heat on very low. Squeeze one lemon into the butter. Throughout the next steps, occasionally stir the pot when you have a free hand.
Step 3: Crack the Claws for More Even Grilling
Now its time to get to work... The best advice here is to take your time, and be patient. The first time I did this, i was getting about 60% done right. After 1 or 2 batches, I did them all correctly.
First, crack both claws with the back of your knife. Strike firmly about 1/2 way down the thick part of each claw. Try to break about 1/2 inch into the claw as seen in the images below.
Step 4: Split and Clean the Lobster
It's going to get messy. Very Messy. It's best to have a large cutting board, and a nice spacious area. If your worried about cleaning, put down some newspapers first.
Time to get stabby... Spread the lobster out on the cutting board, flatten the tail out if it is curled. Press the point of your chefs knife against the head of the lobster, about 1/2 inch from the eyes, right in the middle. Press down firmly until you hit the cutting board. Work the knife cutting to the back of the lobster, at the top of the tail. Firmly press the knife down, splitting the tail in half. Turn the knife around, placing back into the first place you cut, press down firmly to split the head in half.
Be gently with the split lobster, particularly between the tail and the body. If you are not careful, they will separate and ruin the presentation.
Remove the internal organs with your hand or a spoon. Remove the eyes, antennae, and any non-meat portions that you don't find appetizing. I don't know what their called, I'm not a lobster doctor. Wash the lobster halves under running water to remove any remaining innards. Let the lobster drain excess water and place on a large baking sheet.
Step 5: Stuff and Bake or Grill
Using a small spoon, drop a good dollop of crab cake mix into the cavity of the lobster. Press so that it fills the body. Repeat until all of your lobster are stuffed. Top with any remaining crab cake mix and sprinkle with chives if you want to get fancy.
Run the lemon butter through a strainer, or pour carefully to avoid large clumps of garlic.
Brush some of the garlic lemon butter across the tails. Arrange your lobsters for baking, or put them on a grill, shell side down for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Bake for 5 minutes at 400, then broil for 2 minutes to brown the top of the crab. Server with small cups of lemon butter.
I hadn't really planned to make an instructable, so I forgot the most important photo, the finished baked shot. I do these occassionaly for summer clam bakes, so I will update when i have one.