A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How to kill a lobster

This is one of few moments in a home cooks life when they will actually have to kill their food. Most meat comes in pretty little packages from the market. Eventually, if you cook often, you too will have to deal with the lobster “issue”. There are a few options- I am not going to tell you which one you should choose, that is up to you. My aim is simply to provide details. I will say though, dealing with a live lobster in your home will give you a much-needed respect for the origins of most of your food.

The Grandma method- my grandma used to plunge the lobsters in boiling water headfirst. (2 minutes to kill them, then remove them if you plan to cook them again in another fashion). As ledged has it, she would scream every time she put one in the pot. I think of her every time I cook lobster.

The freezer method- some say it is most kind to place the lobster into the freezer for about 30 minutes (it makes them sleepy) before plunging them into the boiling water. I told my butcher of this method once and he though that was quite funny. “Sure, get them nice and sleepy and comfortable before you kill them, that very kind!” – his quote not mine.

Julia’s Method- well, this is the method provided for us in Mastering the Art of French Cooking if you object to steaming or splitting a live lobster- plunge the point of a knife into the head between the eyes, or sever the spinal cord by making a small incision in the back of the shell at the juncture of the chest and the tail. Humm, going at a lobsters hard shell, while its flopping around on your cutting board, using one of your cheapest knifes sounds like a recipe for disaster… but once again, I shall not judge.

The “I just can’t deal with this at all!” method- Lobster tails are sold uncooked and frozen from most fishmongers. I have also seen full, uncooked, frozen lobsters at some gourmet markets for double the price, and I doubt they taste as good. Your grocer might also be able to steam the lobster for you, but if you plan to re-cook the lobster be sure that he/she steams the lobster just long enough to kill it but dose not cook the lobster completely.

P.S- In case you are wondering, and I know that you are, I have never seen the rubber bands around the lobsters claws melt, when left attached to the lobster for only the first 2 minutes in boiling water

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