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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Steamed lobster a simple delicacy for special occasions

Posted Friday,
August 30, 2013
Like 6 · 0 ·
Photos/Ellen Fox Emerson
Fresh, two-pound lobsters from Maine, purchased at Gilbert’s Corner in Loudoun County.
Cole slaw, corn on the cob and some drawn butter round out a great meal.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I recently read an article from the Business Insider, “The Remarkable Story of How Lobster Went From Being Used As Fertilizer to A Beloved Delicacy.”

It said at one time lobsters were so plentiful that Native Americans used the crustaceans as fertilizer and fish bait. Many considered lobster the poor man’s meal. Not until the mid 1880s did lobster “become a commodity instead of a nuisance.”

Lobster rarely shows up in my kitchen. Only on a very special occasion or when visiting New England, I get to indulge. But, once a year, I can count on this delicacy – for my mother’s birthday. For as long as I can remember, we enjoy lobster for her special dinner.

The lobster comes fresh from Maine. We get them from Christian Flemming of The Great Maine Lobster Co. He ferries them down every Saturday to Gilbert’s Corner. To ensure you get as many as you need, call Christian in advance at 703-509-2055.

My brother John is the man behind the apron for this dinner and he has kindly shared his recipe for the perfect lobster dinner.

Steamed lobster
Serves 6 to 8

Eight 1½- to 2-pound lobsters
2 tablespoons of sea salt
1 pound of butter

Place a steaming rack in the bottom of a lobster pot (or the largest pot you have on hand). Add about 2 inches of water and one tablespoon of sea salt and cover with the lid. (Ideally, you would want water from the ocean, John says.) With the burner set on high it will take about 10 minutes to bring the water to a full boil. The pot should hold about 4 or 5 lobsters. Place the lobsters in the pot and let them steam for 16 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, remove from the pot and place them on a platter to cool.

After they have cooled enough to handle, use kitchen scissors to remove the rubber bands and then cut up the middle of the tail and crack the claws. This will make it easier for your guests to eat the lobsters.

The lobsters can be cook an hour in advance of serving. They will still be warm when you’re ready to eat.
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