Lobster, king of the seas

Lobster thermidor -
Lobster thermidor -

Lobster is one of the most endearing of the large marine crustaceans. Most expensive on restaurant menus and the most prolific sandwich on the US east coast.

Lobster appears in the most diverse of ways on restaurant menus, from lobster in black bean sauce, to Thai lobster in coconut curry, it’s broiled, served up in thermidor style, usually in its shell, makes fantastic bisques, and is quite decadent in pot pies. One of my most memorable lobster meals was while vacationing on a Caribbean island at a non-descript restaurant many years ago, it was a thermidor, which came to the table bubbly and hot in it’s shell. The meat was tender, delicious and perfectly covered with a light cream sauce, ensuring the flavour of the freshly caught lobster shone through.

The beauty of enjoying lobster is making it yourself. Unless you can be certain that the restaurant where you purchase it will be sure to serve it up perfectly cooked meaning, tender and juicy as opposed to rubbery and dry, a sure sign that it has been overcooked.

My advice to you is to purchase lobster tails, preferably local (from Mayaro or Grenada), these are frozen but tend to be very high quality and flavourful.

I’ve done the whole lobster bit, where the tail is removed, and the rest of the body is picked apart for the meat, (very time consuming). Unless you are going to use the shell to create a fabulous Cajun or creole sauce, it’s really not worth your effort.

The next time you spot a good-looking lobster tail, and you are confident it’s local, try it. It is worth a grand celebration every time.

Broiled lobster with lime butter

2 live lobsters/ just caught or frozen or 2 large lobster tails

1 tsp minced garlic

olive oil


cilantro lime butter

⅓ cup butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp chopped hot pepper, optional

1 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tbs finely chopped chadon beni or cilantro

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small saucepan. Melt butter, add garlic and pepper, cook to a sizzle until fragrant, do not burn or brown garlic.

Remove from heat and stir balance of ingredients, except lobster.

For frozen tails:

Thaw thoroughly, snip backs to open shell a little.

Cut into flesh and remove small vein that runs through back of tail.

Season with garlic and olive oil, sprinkle with salt.

Heat grill or grill pan, add a little olive oil.

Place tails flesh side down and grill for about 4 minutes per side.

Remove and serve with butter.

Serves 2 to 3

For live lobsters:

In a large pot, heat 3 quarts of water, add 2 tbs salt and bring water to a boil.

Plunge lobsters into water, head first.

Cover and heat to boiling, reduce heat and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove lobster and drain.

Place lobsters on their backs, cut into halves, lengthways with a sharp knife.

Remove stomach, which is just behind the head, and remove the intestinal vein that runs from the tip of the tail to the stomach.

Crack the claws.

Place tails meat side up on the baking pan, drizzle with some of the cilantro butter.

Broil 3 inches from heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove and serve with remaining lime butter.

Serves 2 to 3

Lobster thermidor

2 lbs fresh, lobster meat cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt

1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

For the sauce:

3 tbs unsalted butter

3 tbs all purpose flour

1 cup evaporated milk

2 egg yolks

½ cup white wine

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp dried mustard


½ cup dried breadcrumbs

2 tbs butter

2 tbs chopped parsley

2 tbs parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine lobster with garlic and salt, set aside.

In a heavy medium sized sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook until smooth and almost liquid, add milk cook stirring well until mixture thickens.

Add lobster and mushrooms, cover and simmer for five minutes remove from heat add egg yolks, and wine stir to combine. Place on a low heat and cook to warm mixture. Do not boil or else eggs will curdle.

Add parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper and mustard.

Preheat broiler or grill.

Spoon lobster into buttered thermidor dishes or shallow ramekins.

Combine all the ingredients for the gratin.

Sprinkle on top of lobster, place under broiler until golden on top.

Serves 4 to 6



"Lobster, king of the seas"

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