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Old 09-29-2006, 08:36 AM   #1
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Stuffed Lobster

I usually experiement with three or four recipes a week. This has been an expensive week trying out stuffed lobster recipes...

(Experimenting with Rice Pilafs is much more cost effective by the way...)

Anyhoo, I'm gatheirng up various recipes, combining various ingredients/techniques, and trying to develop a recipe that has everything I'm looking for. I'd love to hear what you guys/gals do for this dish.

I just picked up three more 1.5lb bugs this morning to try some more recipes out with. Let's see those recipes! (please ) I'll post what I came up with this Sunday. Hopefully by then I'll have it just right.

I picked up The French Laundry cookbook awhile back, and fell in love with the succulent butter poaching technique Keller describes (it's usually how I cook lobster now). I cheated the mission with a couple of the bugs yesterday...

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Old 09-29-2006, 09:08 AM   #2
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I really like the flavor of fennel with lobster, i don't have a specific recipe to share because i usually make up as i go, but tarragon or fennel is good with it in my oppinion. PS, love the signature, i remember that episode.
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
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If you have Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen, try making the stuffing recipe for Cajun Devilled Stuffed Crabs, sub out the lobster innards for the crab, and use that mix to stuff the bugs with. You may have to tone down the peppers, as it's really hot, and might overpower the bugs.

I also have a recipe for a Shrimp and Ham cheese stuffing mixture for mushrooms that might work out good for lobster. Never tried that angle, though. I usually made the cheese mixture up, left out the shrimp, and used the cheese mix for cheese toasts that were unbelievable.
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Old 09-29-2006, 10:20 AM   #4
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The very best stuffed lobster I've ever eaten was at Locke-Ober in Boston. They still make it there, every day. It is SO rich, and SO delicious!

I googled "Lobster Savannah," and it brought me to this link: http://homecooking.about.com/od/shel.../r/blsea92.htm I would have copied and pasted it here, but for the copyright laws, and for the difficulty they make in copying their pages.

If you make this, I can almost certainly guarantee you will not be sorry. It's fabulous!

PS I souldn't sub a thing!
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
I picked up The French Laundry cookbook awhile back, and fell in love with the succulent butter poaching technique Keller describes (it's usually how I cook lobster now).
thanks to tk, i also poach my lobsters in butter and even my shrimp... also poach my tuna in evoo when i want it cooked throughout for use in italian recipes
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:36 PM   #6
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I adore lobster, and prefer it in its' most natural state - unstuffed. Although, I did have a crab stuffed lobster that was pretty good. Alton Brown had a seg on cooking lobster... sure you can find it on Food Network. The bf was a scuba diver and brought them right to my front door - LIVE -- asked me for a wire hanger, & I left the room. He put them in a pot of boiling water, as I recall. I like em fresh with a little drawn butter. If I had plenty of lobster hanging around - I'd make lobster salad on a crusty roll.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:50 PM   #7
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I'm trying to figure out the best combination of cooking methods. There seem to be a bunch of different ways people go about it...

1. Raw halves directly under the broiler.
2. Raw halves baked at low temps of 300-350F.
3. Raw halves baked at high temps of 400-475F.

Then some steam/boil for 2-7min before undergoing the above cooking methods (almost every recipe it seems).

I'm not squeemish when it comes to dispatching a lobster, so I figured going directly into the oven raw would maximize the flavor (in halves, not whole crawling around... ). I've found that doing so causes the tail muscle to seize up and lift up almost to a 90 angle to the pan even at 325F after just a couple minutes. I think steaming or boiling first allows the tail to contract parallel to the body so that when the bug is halved it will be flat.

Next I'm going to try steaming for a couple minutes, shocking the lobster, and then splitting/prepping.

Thomas Keller and McGee both say that cooking lobster with violent heat causes the tail to toughen. Roasting at 325 and pulling the halves when the tailmeat hits 140F has yielded the most tender results thus far (but no where near what you get with butter poaching!). I give the claws a 5-10min head start so they finish at the same time.

Haven't found a perfect stuffing yet either. The CIA's stuffing with dry breadcrumbs is terrible, although I like their finely minced onion/celery/red bell pepper base. I want something that can absorb all the lobster juices/butter while not becoming a paste (and of course I like a crispy top layer). I'm trying to keep it simple. I add the chopped leg meat into it for extra flavor. I think I'll try some stale (but not dry) "fresh" breadcrumbs with the "trinity" base, chopped leg meat, butter, chives, S&P.

I like everything from scratch, so the popular Ritz Cracker method doesn't excite me either.

I have a lot of recipes that call for a 2min parboil and then 15min in a 450 oven with a 1.5lb bug. Well that equals rubber in my kitchen - not quite sure how they do that. I'm also thinking of a good steaming, and then a quick broiler pass to brown the stuffing, but that won't give the stuffing the really good flavor it gets by cooking it slow and having it absorb the juices.

Lots of variables here - trying to figure out how they move independently to one another as I change things.

Anyhoo, thats where I'm at. Got one bug left for today.
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:57 PM   #8
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I wouldn't stuff the lobster. No reason to, especially when poached in butter as mentioned above. Makes an outstanding lobster.

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Old 09-29-2006, 01:21 PM   #9
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Yeah, I ate two lobsters yesterday that were poached in butter. It's definetly the way I like to go when I eat 'em. I steam them for just a few minutes so the meat comes away from the exoskeleton cleanly (it's still raw), and then I poach the pieces as Keller does.

I read the CIA's textbook cover to cover (very carefully), and made a list of recipes that I grew up with or wanted to make to learn new skills. I also have seven or eight books on American regional cuisine I did the same with. Stuffed Lobster came up on the list this week for experimenting with.

I really want a classic traditional version, but I need to get the combination of cooking methods, temps, and time figured out (along with a great stuffing).
-----
Oh, I just had some great fun a few minutes ago after wiping down my board and knocking a full cup of minced green bell pepper onto the floor...

Thats the first and last time I'm ever doing that...
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:06 PM   #10
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I have that Alton Brown episode on Stuffed Lobster (I bought the big DVD pack). Great info, but he uses the shortcut Ritz Cracker stuffing, and recommends an ungodly amount of time in an extremely hot oven. I tried his recipe the other day and didn't think it came out too great.

Oh well.

Off to my last lobster for the day.
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