5 Quick Ways with Lobster and Crab
The entertaining season seems to be particulary rife with seafood dishes. One of our favourite treats – often saved for a celebratory New Year’s Eve – is lobster. Another holiday treat is crab. In fact, crab and lobster should not be reserved for holidays and entertaining. You should indulge whenever you feel like it. After all, you’re worth it, n’est-ce pas? Bien sûr!
1.Lobster and Corn Chowder
Cook a 1-1/2 lb. lobster in boiling salted water about 10 minutes. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, remove the lobster meat from the shell and cut it into chunks. Reserve. Put the shells and carcass into a large pot with 2 c. half-and-half and 2 c. white wine. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve. Melt 4 T. butter in a soup kettle and add 2 potatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice, 1 onion, minced, and 2 c. corn kernels. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Strain the lobster cream over the vegetables and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lobster meat and cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer just until the lobster meat is hot, then serve sprinkled with snipped parsley and chives. Stir in a slug of brandy if you like. You like. Serves 4.
2.Chopped Vegetable and Lobster Salad
Cook a 1-1/2 lb. lobster in boiling salted water about 10 minutes. Remove, and when cool enough to handle, remove the lobster meat from the shell and cut it into chunks. Reserve. Chop or slice your favourite salad vegetables – such as Belgian endive, fennel bulb, cucumber, red/yellow/orange bell pepper, radishes, red onion and avocado and toss them into a large bowl along with chopped romaine lettuce. Make a chipotle mayonnaise dressing by mincing chipotle chiles in adobo and whisking into mayonnaise along with good squeezes of lemon juice and salt and pepper – to your taste. Thin the mayonnaise dressing by whisking in some olive oil. Add the lobster to the bowl of veg and toss everything with the dressing. Serve topped with chopped, toasted walnuts, almonds or pecans.
3.The Only Way to Cook Whole Lobsters
Allot a 1-1/2 lb. lobster to each person. Cook the lobsters in boiling salted water about 5 minutes. Remove them and, when they are cool enough to handle, cut through the underside of the tail and crack the claws to expose some of the meat. Preheat your grill to medium. Drizzle the tail meat and claw meat that is exposed with lots of good extra-virgin olive oil. Lay the lobsters on the grill back side down first. Cover and grill about 5 minutes, then turn the lobsters over so that the exposed meat will get nicely grilled, about 5 more minutes, maybe less. Oh-My-God good. Serve with good bread and drawn butter, if you must. But these babies don’t need any more embellishment, huh-uh.
4.Crab Cocktail in Endive Spears
For your holiday entertaining. Whisk 2 egg yolks with the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Slowly drizzle in 1 c. extra virgin olive oil, whisking until the mixture is thick and creamy. Gently whisk in 1 t. Dijon mustard, 2 t. minced tarragon and 1 T. tomato paste. Break up 2 c. claw or lump crab meat with your fingers, leaving some fairly large pieces, gently fold in the dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Separate the leaves of Belgian endives and spoon the crab onto each one. Top with a dash of Tabasco and serve. (Find good Phillips brand claw crab meat at Costco.)
5. Crab Cakes the Way They Should Be
It’s not rocket surgery… making great crab cakes. It’s letting the crab be the star by not adding 14 other ingredients. Try this: take 1 lb. of claw or lump crab meat and dump it into a bowl. Add a bit of minced red pepper for colour, a bit of minced scallion for colour and flavour, about 1/4 c. bread crumbs or panko (Japanese bread crumbs), 1 egg, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper. That’s ALL. Mix everything together gently – you want to maintain crab meat texture. Form into whatever size crab cakes you want, put them on a plate, and let them firm up in the fridge for a while. Heat a little oil and butter in a nonstick pan, coat the cakes in panko, then fry them until golden. Keep them warm in a low oven. Serve with this tartar sauce: stir minced cornichons – tart little French pickles – into mayonnaise with minced shallots and minced parsley. Add prepared horseradish to taste. Serve with coleslaw.