Monday, March 03, 2008

Preparing Baked Lobster

Lobster Tail General Handling Directions:

Wild Ocean Seafoods Lobster Tails are shipped to you frozen, usually overnight. Immediately put the tails in your freezer if you do not plan to use them right away.

If you plan to use them a day or so after arrival, you can order them 2 Day Air. They will arrive in a semi frozen state, and will thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If we ship on Wednesday, you will have them on Friday and can eat them that night or Saturday.

Do NOT run tap water over the thawed tail directly. It will break down the outside of the tail meat.

Preparing the Lobster Tail for “Steam Baking”
Tools you will need to prepare your Lobster Tails for cooking:
A good, non slip cutting board.
A Sharp Chefs Knife, preferably a FORGED knife for better control. We recommend an 7-8” blade for all around use.
A foil lined baking pan, or Pyrex® casserole dish (my favorite)
A Basting Brush
Butter (Unsalted is best), Olive Oil and Smoked Paprika or Ancho Chile Powder.

Splitting the Lobster Tail
Make sure that the Lobster Tail is mostly thawed before proceeding.
Place the Lobster Tail on the cutting board sideways. (I am right handed, so the tail fin is on my LEFT). Place it the other way around if you are left handed.
Press the tip of you SHARP, FORGED, chef’s knife into the tail approximately ¼ inch above the tail fin, with the sharp end of the blade towards the rest of the lobster tail.
Assuming you have your right hand on the knife handle, place you left palm, with FINGERS extended away from the knife blade. Slowly push down and to the right in a rocking motion, cracking the shell a little more with each push. Remember to keep the knife blade point in the tail where you started in step 2.
After splitting the shell completely along the top, make a slicing motion thru the lobster meat about half the thickness thru the front of the tail.
Repeat steps 2 thru 4 with the other Lobster Tails.

Placing the Tail Meat on Top of the Shell:
1. Put the knife out of reach. (I have dropped it on the floor off the cutting board, but so far have avoided any major injury)
2. With your left hand on the tail near the tail fin, insert your right hand inside the shell and slowly separate the Lobster tail from the shell.
3. Lift the Lobster Meat out of the shell from the front, hopefully leaving the small portion of Lobster Meat still connected to the tail.

The Olive Oil & Butter:
In a small pan or microwaveable dish, place 1 tbsp of olive oil, and ¼ cup of butter. Heat, remove the foam with a spoon, and then stir the butter. The purpose of the olive oil is to keep the butter from burning. Save the remaining butter and add additional butter for the table dips.

Prep Time is Almost Over!
Place the Lobster Tails in your Baking Pan or Pyrex® Dish, alternating the heads & tails. If you have more than 2 tails, placing them at a 45 degree angle in the pan works well.
Using the Basting Brush, coat the exposed lobster tails with the butter & olive oil mixture.
Sprinkle the tops of the lobster tails with either Smoked Paprika or Ancho Chile powder. This is mostly for presentation, so don’t overdo it!
Pour one or two cups of water into the bottom of the pan with the lobsters. Do not put the water ON the lobsters. Make sure the water level in the pan does not come up to the lobster meat. A good guide is about 3/8th inch of water in the bottom of the pan.
Cover the pan with an aluminum foil tent.

Pre-Heat Oven or Barbeque to 400F
Place Covered Lobster Pan on a center rack in Oven, or to one side on the Barbeque.
Cooking Times:
8-9oz tails will take 10-12 minutes
10-12oz tails 12-14 minutes
12-14oz tails 14-16 minutes
What we want to see when we peek.
Look for the tail meat to turn white with red accents
The center of the lobster will have a small opaque line about 1/8th inch wide when they are ready.
The lobster tails should be removed at that point and the cover removed. They will still be cooking so they will be perfectly done when they reach the plate!



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