Written by: Lisa Tower and Renee Paul, Culinary Arts student at KU Sarasota

It is now summer time and that means red lobster season!  You can get lobsters year round but they are more sought after in the summer because they yield a softer shell and are sweet and tender. Lobsters grow by molting their shells each year and you will sometimes hear them referred to as new shell or “Shedders”.  When their new shells harden, they are known as hard shell lobsters.

Cooking with lobster can be intimidating for most, especially when you see them walking around in a tank at your local grocery store!  Before we get to our delicious lobster recipe, let’s talk about a few things to help overcome the intimidation factor when it comes to handling and cooking lobster.

If you have live lobsters, you don’t want to keep them for more than day out of water as they are perishable, so ideally you would want to cook them the day you receive them.  Keep them in the refrigerator covered with a damp cloth until you are ready to cook them.

You want to kill a lobster humanely and that means fast.  The best and surest way to do that is by taking a chef’s knife, holding it vertically with the tip of the blade over the shoulder/neck area with the blade of the knife facing the head and with a stroke of confidence, plunge straight down with the tip of the knife and quickly bring your knife blade down and slice through the head.

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The easiest way to cook a lobster is by boiling it which is generally about 9 minutes for a one pound lobster, but let’s talk about doing another technique if you want to grill your lobster meat or use it in a recipe.

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Fresh lobster meat is very difficult to remove from the shell, so the easiest way to remove meat is by blanching lobsters first.  Submerge your lobsters in boiling water and when they turn red, wait about another minute and remove them from the water and shock them in an ice bath.  You can now proceed to remove the meat from the shells with ease for your recipe.

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Don’t throw away your leftover shells and bodies of the lobsters; you could make a delicious lobster stock!  Just cut the bodies in half and spread some tomato paste on the inside for color.  Grab a pot and add onions and clarified butter and sear the lobsters for about a minute and deglaze the pot with some white wine and add water or stock, any spices you would like and simmer for about an hour. Voilà, lobster stock!

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Make sure to stay tuned for Friday’s post. We will be sharing a delectable lobster mac and cheese recipe that is to die for!

STUDENTS: Please email your submissions/questions/comments to the ELSE Student Editor, Kayla Bianchi at: k.bianchi@student.keiseruniversity.edu