It’s Mother’s Day and in recent years fishmongers have been giving us the opportunity to celebrate the queen of our family with the king of shellfish, lobster.
As an etiquette expert I can assure you, no noses or pinkies should be up in the air to host and eat this treasure of the sea. Lobster is a convivial meal to be served and eaten without fuss or pretension. It is perfect for easy-going memory making.
Buy it the same day, alive and dashing: folding its tail and showing its claws. Male or female? The small hooks between the tail and the thorax will tell this. Small, flexible and soft? It’s a female and its tail will be enlarged. Big, hard and whitish? It’s a male. Either or, the taste is the same.
Let everyone flavor their own meal: offer parsley, chive and tarragon sprigs in vases, lemon wedges and limes in bowls, and minced garlic or garlic flower in ramekins.
Casual, but chic: each guest has a bib and a heating ramekin. After the feast, present finger-rinses (small bowls of warm water with slices of lemon and mint) accompanied by towels.
De-Shell lobster 101
1) With the lobster scissors, cut the elastics and the tip of the claws. Drain the water.
2) Detach the tail, the claws and joints, as well as the legs, by turning from the body.
3) Detach the thumb of the claws, with your hands. Break the shell with the lobster claws. Disjoint the lobster with the rounded end of the lobster fork. Remove the flesh with the pointed end. Discard the cartilage.
4) Crack the tail length-wise with your hands on each side, as you would when you open a book. The tail in the palm of one hand, the lobster fork in the other, prick its base. Gently push up. The tail will detach itself in one smooth movement. Yay!
5) The eight legs as well as the tail can be kept to nibble on and to suck out the meat.
Two optional tastings: in the lobster chest, green and creamy is the tomalli, the liver. In females, at the base of the tail is coral, the eggs. To eat or not to eat, the choice is yours!
- Seaweed or rocks to cover the bottom optional
- 4 lobsters of about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lb
- 4 cobs of corn cut in half
- 2 red onions in quarters
- 12 whole new potatoes
- 1 lb. chorizo cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb. melted unsalted butter to be poured into the ramekins
- 5 teaspoons of sea salt
All lobster accessories and decor are from Stokes