When preparing lobster, don’t brood about the crustacean’s feelings, said Sam Sifton in The New York Times. Get over the guilt and “terminate the lobster.” After all, it’s high summer, you’re barefoot, “the water is boiling,” and you’re hungry. A lobster feast—or two—prepared in your own kitchen need not be nearly as expensive as you might think.
The lobsters in these two dishes are steamed, not boiled. Serve them with corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and “copious amounts of Prosecco.” Save the leftovers for the next day’s risotto.
Recipes of the week
1 tbsp sea salt
5 live lobsters (1¼ to 1½ pounds each)
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Steamed corn (optional)
Baked potatoes (optional)
Fill large lobster pot with 1 inch water. Stir in salt, set rack or large steamer basket in bottom, bring water to boil. Add lobsters, cover with tight-fitting lid, return water to boil. Once boiling, lower heat to gentle boil; steam lobsters until they are bright red, about 10 minutes. Check doneness by pulling an antenna. If it comes off without resistance, lobster is done. If not, cook a few more minutes. Serve with melted butter and, if you choose, corn and potatoes. Serves 4.
After eating, remove meat from fifth lobster; refrigerate for use in lobster risotto. Reserve lobster shells for stock.
½ cup olive oil
Shells from 5 cooked lobsters, rinsed
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
In large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add lobster shells and sauté for 1 minute. Add enough water so pot is 2/3 full, then add onion, bay leaves, peppercorns. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for several hours or overnight. (The longer it simmers, the better.) Using tongs, remove and discard large shells; strain stock through fine sieve twice. Makes 6 or more cups.
About 6 cups lobster stock
¼ cup butter
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cups arborio, carnaroli, or other short-grain white rice
Meat from 1 cooked lobster, chopped
2 tbsp minced chives
½ cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
In medium pot, heat stock and keep warm. In large, wide saucepan, melt butter in oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add large pinch of salt, add rice, and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup stock and simmer, stirring until broth is almost absorbed. Add more stock, a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next. Stir often. Cook until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in lobster meat until heated through; add chives and ¼ cup Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with remaining Parmesan. Serves 4, plus leftovers. Note: For a meatier risotto, add an extra lobster or two.