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“No, it’s not your traditional backyard barbecue,” said Russ Parsons in the Los Angeles Times. But wood-scented sweet lobster, accompanied by a crisp white wine and a gathering of friends, makes for “a wonderful meal on a warm summer night.” Rather than reinventing the wheel on this summertime favorite, we’ve just given it “a gentle twist” to make it seem fresh and new.
Recipe of the week
Grilled Lobster With Shallot Butter and Cucumber ‘Noodles’
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1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tbsp minced parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
2-1/4 lbs cucumbers, preferably hothouse
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced dill
2 tsp Champagne vinegar
3 (1-1/2 lbs) live lobsters
Put butter in small mixing bowl. Roughly beat in minced shallots, parsley, lemon juice with fork. Form butter into rough log, about 5 inches long, on sheet of wax paper. Roll tightly to form log into smooth cylinder, twist ends to seal. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Peel cucumbers, removing tough green skin. Then continue peeling, shaving long thin strips like pasta noodles. Do this with cucumber resting on cutting board, leaving one end of cucumber unpeeled for better grip. Keep rotating cucumber so you’re peeling around seedy center without cutting into it. When you get to seeds, stop. Discard center with seeds. You should have about 4 cups of long strips about 1/2-inch wide.
Heat grill over medium-hot fire. In small saucepan, melt half of shallot butter over low heat. On sturdy cutting board using heavy, sharp chef’s knife, kill and halve lobsters lengthwise. First, drive point of knife down through head of lobster where base of head joins body, bringing knife all the
way down to split head in two lengthwise; this will kill the lobster. Continue cutting lobster in half lengthwise. Remove vein that runs along top of tail (as with shrimp), as well as sac near head. Using back of heavy chef’s knife or flat side of kitchen mallet, give claws a good crack.
Brush lobster meat with melted butter, place halves meat-side down over medium-hot fire. Cook just until flesh is marked and starting to firm, about 2 minutes. Turn lobsters over, cover grill, continue cooking until meat is firm and starting to pull away from shell, about 5 to 7 minutes. Brush
occasionally with any remaining melted shallot butter. When lobsters are done, remove from heat to platter and keep in warm place.
When almost ready to serve, sprinkle cucumbers with salt, dill, vinegar; toss to combine. Do not season cucumbers in advance or they will wilt and become mushy. Cut remaining chilled butter into 6 coins and place one on top of each lobster tail. Serve immediately with cucumber strips alongside. Serves 6.
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