Having spent parts of Easter weekend at home with my parents it was great to be surrounded by ocean, crazy wind and lobsters. Fishing was a part of almost every single conversation, it was fantastic. I walked into the house and dad had about a dozen lobsters alive on the front step in a crate and another six or so already being steamed on the stove. Mom was a little miffed that he had brought so many, but dad gives lobsters and the meat as gifts during holiday seasons. So, mom was relegated to shelling dozens of lobsters before our pork meal was to be prepared... I got to stand next to her and eat my favourite part- the legs. I offered to help, but really I am so much slower than she is at shelling lobsters. At my house we never ate lobsters straight out of the shell- way too much work for a meal. We always had them creamed or in a chowder... yum!
Of course I got about four lobsters worth of meat to bring back with me and so I made a chowder tonight. Lobster chowder is my favourite way to have lobster and I thought I'd share my easy easy recipe with you!
First; three tips on shelling lobsters that I had to learn by calling my mother:
what you need: A VERY sharp and large knife (think chopping knife), a fork, a rolling pin/jam jar, a small shelling scooper dealy (comes with kits- a long thin instrument will work too).
1. The claws have a sweet spot, trust me. Take your knife, turn the claw "palm up" and (after taking the small "thumb" off) chop between the "thumb" joint and the end. The claw should crack right down the middle and snap apart... if your knife is sharp enough.
2. Twist the tail off, then twist the little fan part at the end off. Take the tail, "face up" in your hand and with your fork hook into the 'belly' and pull the tail out.
3. The leg meat is the BEST part (along with the knuckles of the claws). An easy way to get the meat out is to take a rolling pin/jam jar and roll along the legs, squishing the meat out! mmmm.
Ok! NOW you are ready to make an awesome chowder!!
Ingredients for a small chowder that would serve four people:
Four Organic Potatoes
One Organic Onion
About four tails/claws lobster meat
three cloves of organic garlic
1/4 cup of butter
1 litre of 10% cream and some milk.
First: chop up the potatoes into 1cm cubes until they cover about an inch of the chowder pot. Add
just enough water to cover them (butter if you want too) and boil. Add a whole (halved OR chopped up if you want, I just don't like onions... lol).
Fry the lobsters in butter and pressed garlic. Make sure when you are
cutting the lobsters up in cubes that you clean out the tail. As you can see in the picture, the tail has a little peely part that reveals their... ummm... poo tract. Make sure you clean out the digestive matter prior to cutting (the same goes for frozen lobsters. Nothing is worse than seeing frozen black poo in the middle of a piece!). Once they are golden brown they are ready!
Add some cream to the lobsters and allow the butter and lobster "juice" to mix together (haha, can you tell I'm not the "chef" in the household??).
When the potatoes are mushy (or cooked), drain a bit of the water and dump the fried lobsters and cream into the pot. Add all the cream and if there is some room (and you ran out of cream) add some milk. Which is what I usually do. Some people add grated cheddar cheese, which adds thickness. Personally I find it tastes UBER fattening. Add the rest of the butter, and season to taste.
Voila! A sustainable, seafood meal that will impress your guests and should only take 30 minutes! (after shelling of course).
Of course we ate our chowder and are now going to a yoga class... Cream probably wasn't the best choice for someone of my "iffy" digestive skills... LOL. Thank goodness we have two hours between!