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Lobster Boil


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Peter the eater

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:06 PM

Earlier this summer The Eaters had a family-sized family-style lobster boil on Prince Edward Island. We were guests in a cabin near Cavendish where the proprietors told us how it's done in PEI and loaned us the kit plus garage. The m.o. is pretty much the same in Nova Scotia but I thought it might be interesting to share my instructions, with photos.

  • Get 2-3 pounds of live lobster for each adult
  • Bring 2 inches of salted water to the boil in the pot, out of the wind
  • Plunge the lobsters in head first then cover for 20 minutes
  • Plunge cooked lobsters into cold fresh water for 5 minutes
  • Usings shears/cleaver open up the claws and tail as much as possible
  • Serve warm

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Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#2 LindaK

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:12 PM

Big claws on those guys!

So maritime style means nothing but lobster? Here in New England a lobster boil means lobster + corn + potato + etc. cooked together.


 


#3 Peter the eater

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:35 PM

Big claws on those guys!

So maritime style means nothing but lobster? Here in New England a lobster boil means lobster + corn + potato + etc. cooked together.


That's a good point Linda. I'm looking at that plate and thinking how it doesn't reflect the Canada Food Guide Policy.

From mid to late summer, yes, corn and potato would be the classic lobster boil sides. Unless you're on the beach I wouldn't put them all in the same water. In fact, unless I had to, I wouldn't cook anything in ocean water.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#4 PopsicleToze

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:59 PM

Gosh, that looks great, Peter! I especially love the picture of your daughter holding a lobster. Gotta teach them early :biggrin:

#5 threestars

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:57 AM

Wow. That will definitely best served with corn and potatoes! Yummy!

#6 Peter the eater

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:33 AM

Wow. That will definitely best served with corn and potatoes! Yummy!

And garlic butter. When you pinch the crusher claw meat a perfect butter resevoir opens up.

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Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#7 patrickamory

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:39 PM

In fact, unless I had to, I wouldn't cook anything in ocean water.


Curious, why not? We summer on a Maine island, and usually steam our lobsters with a mixture of fresh ocean water and seaweed.

#8 threestars

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:56 PM

And garlic butter. When you pinch the crusher claw meat a perfect butter resevoir opens up.


Absolutely! Garlic butter is great! :) Now that is very tempting to look at. Unfortunately, it's a little hard to score a good looking lobster in my area.

#9 Peter the eater

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:56 AM

In fact, unless I had to, I wouldn't cook anything in ocean water.


Curious, why not? We summer on a Maine island, and usually steam our lobsters with a mixture of fresh ocean water and seaweed.


That was a rash statement on my part. I suspect most ocean water is perfectly safe. I was thinking of my own tiny fragment of the Atlantic where I live. Signs recently went up on the Government Wharf telling us to avoid eating the mussels and clams. If there are lots of old homes along the shore it may not be the best place to collect filtre-feeders.

Lobsters are quite different. They are safely harvested from areas of dense human population, such as Halifax Harbour. They're scavengers on the ocean floor but they're also feirce hunters, unlike shellfish.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#10 Mallet

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:46 AM

We often cook our lobster in seawater (unless I do it FL-style). Also, we normally take the rubber bands off first :biggrin:
Martin Mallet
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#11 patrickamory

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:18 PM

Mallet - why take off the rubber bands? Just curious - to avoid rubber off-smells?

Watch out for those claws - they shoot back to almost 180 degrees!

#12 Peter the eater

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:48 PM

Martin, what's FL-style?

I can't imagine wee rubber bands compromise the overall flavour. Those bugs can't taste any better.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#13 Mallet

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:11 AM

The real reason I take the rubber bands off is because that's the way I was taught to do it, but I'll also offer the following made-up reasons. 1) I feel like I can smell rubber in the boiling water: whether or not any of this makes it to the lobster is questionable, I admit. 2) Occasionally when I've seen lobster boiled with the bands on the outline of the band is visible as a discoloration on the shell. It's unsightly.

FL = french laundry. Pour boiling water onto live lobsters (1 cup vinegar per gallon of water, no salt), let steep for 2 min. Remove claws and steep them for a further 5 min. De-shell and extract the meat from the lobsters (bodies are saved for stock, eggs on females (which are a dark green when raw) can be wrapped in plastic wrap and poached. The lobster meat is then poached in beurre monté for about 6 min. I just vacuum-seal the lobster with butter and poach at for 6min to save on butter. It's delicious.

edited to add LINK to rubber band 'taste test'

Edited by Mallet, 14 September 2011 - 09:37 AM.

Martin Mallet
<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

#14 Country

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:41 AM

[*]Plunge the lobsters in head first then cover for 20 minutes


Those PEI and NS lobsters must be tougher than what we have in Maine. The only time I cooked a lobster for 20 minutes (21 actually) was when a friend gave me one that weighed around 12-15 pounds he got dragging for fish. Had to cook it in an old wash boiler it was so big. And, yes, it wasn't legal... :wink:

I take the bands off regular lobsters too. Hold on to the crusher claw and take that one off first.

#15 Mallet

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:07 AM

I've got into many an argument about lobster boiling times....
Martin Mallet
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www.malletoyster.com

#16 Peter the eater

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:04 PM

I've got into many an argument about lobster boiling times....


Twenty minutes may be a bit much -- I'm merely repeating my instructions. Chef Michael Smith from PEI says 15 minutes for a market lobster, no more and no less.

There are plenty of variables. Salt water boils faster and at a higher temperature than fresh water. A recently molted lobster has a very soft and thin shell, as in you can actually squeeze a claw and watch it deform. What else . . . altitude affects cooking time, although I suppose most lobsters get boiled near sea level.

I think the tricky part is not over-cooking the smaller parts before the tail is cooked through. Jumbos lobsters over 5 lbs I would give a knife to the head then bust up the carcass into more uniform chunks, or at least give the big parts a head start in the pot.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#17 Peter the eater

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:07 PM

Those PEI and NS lobsters must be tougher than what we have in Maine.


Canadian lobsters come wearing plaid flannel jackets and a wool toque. :biggrin:
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack