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Thread: Whole lobster versus lobster tail? Which to make?

  1. #1
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    Whole lobster versus lobster tail? Which to make?

    I have never made lobster before, and I'd to make it for New Year's Eve dinner (we're staying home). Can anyone make a recommendation whether or not I should cook whole lobsters? That's what I had in mind, but it dawned on me that maybe all I need are lobster tails. Also, any recipes you'd like to recommend would be greatly appreciated. I think I got inspired by my reading of the Julie/Julia book.
    TIA
    TKay

  2. #2
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    Tails, definitely. Whole lobster is too much mess and by the time you have cleaned it and are ready to eat, it's cold. I also recommend roasting over boiling.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  3. #3
    Personally, I stick with just the tails - it's a lot less work and the claws are the only other thing on the lobster you can eat besides the tail anyway - most of the meat, and the best meat, is in the tail. We have cooked whole, live lobsters before, but I made DH do it as I was too squeamish. I think we only did it once and have only done tails ever since..........

    I think the best way to cook it is to just steam it along with some good garlic butter for dipping. Yum!

  4. #4
    I just noticed you're in CA where you might have grilling weather, so here's a really good recipe for grilled lobster - it's delicious!


    * Exported from MasterCook *

    GRILLED SURF-AND-TURF WITH SPICY GARLIC-SHALLOT BUTTER

    1/2 cup butter -- (1 stick) room temperature
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 large shallots -- quartered
    4 large garlic cloves -- halved
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    6 8 to 10-ounce New York strip steaks (each
    about 3/4 inch thick)
    3 10-ounce uncooked lobster tails -- thawed if frozen, cut lengthwise in half


    Combine first 7 ingredients in processor and blend until almost smooth. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon seasoned butter over each side of each steak and over each lobster half. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Transfer remaining seasoned butter to small saucepan.

    Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Set pan with butter at edge of barbecue until butter is melted and warmed through. Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side. Grill lobster, shell side down, 5 minutes. Turn over and grill until meat is just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer steaks and lobster to plates. Serve with warm seasoned butter.

    Source:
    "Bon Appétit, July 2001."

  5. #5
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    It never occured to me to grill the tails. What a great tip. The recipe looks good and dh is a steak lover, so that would work out nicely. Thanks, Lindrusso. Thanks to both of you for the tails recommendation. I'll stick with tails, for sure.
    TKay

  6. #6
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    Curiosity, we must have been posting at the same time. Boo hoo, wah wah! I can't believe they're supposed to be bad luck. How can something so yummy be so bad for your new year? Ah, well. I may take the risk anyway and see what the universe has in store for me. Interesting though.
    TKay

  7. #7
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    I think the claw meat is as good as the tail. You don't get as much of it, but it's much more tender. And if you really know your lobster, you can pick enough out of a couple bodies after eating the best stuff to make a nice little lobster salad the next day.

  8. #8
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    Also, if you use whole lobsters you can make stock - I've heard the heads are really good for stock.

  9. #9
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    I see that Curiosity's post about lobster being bad luck is now gone. Thanks for the ideas about the whole lobsters. I'm going to check the local fish place and see what they've got on-hand. I'm wondering about buying today and not cooking until tomorrow? I'm guessing that's not wise with whole lobster, but what about the tails?
    TKay

  10. #10
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    We are also having steak and lobster tomorrow evening but I'm doing only the tails. DH will be grilling! Thanks for that recipe Alysha as I normally roast them but that looks wonderful and since DH will be outside anyway...
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  11. #11
    Perfect topic for me. We're doing our seafood feast tomorrow, and the neighbors requested (and bought) lobster tails. I've never made lobster tails before, but the grill recipe sounds delish ... shouldn't be too cold for them to stand outside tomorrow for a few minutes.
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  12. #12
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    We're also having lobster tails tonight....I paid more and bought the cold water tails. I didn't know that warm water tails can get mushy and smell like ammonia...anyone know that? The fish monger told me that. I like the sweeter, white tails, so I'm glad he pushed me in that direction....at $30 a pound!

    Anyway, all I do is cut down the back of the tail with kitchen shears and gently pull the meat out and lay on top of the shell. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika, and bake in a 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes, till they're firm to the touch. Very easy!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JellyBean22 View Post
    Anyway, all I do is cut down the back of the tail with kitchen shears and gently pull the meat out and lay on top of the shell. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with paprika, and bake in a 375 oven for about 15-20 minutes, till they're firm to the touch. Very easy!
    Exactly how I do it except I add crushed garlic!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TKay View Post
    Curiosity, we must have been posting at the same time. Boo hoo, wah wah! I can't believe they're supposed to be bad luck. How can something so yummy be so bad for your new year? Ah, well. I may take the risk anyway and see what the universe has in store for me. Interesting though.

    TKay, I deleted my post because when I reread your original post you were talking about NYE and what I was reading was about NYD. So, I think your safe too.

    Enjoy and Happy New Year!
    A well rounded person is perfectly pointless. - Carrie

  15. #15
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    I didn't see the original post about bad luck but all I could think of were the line of people at the lobster pool with me yesterday. They were having a speical on 1 1/4 pounder's at $5/pd. I got 4 of them and some weighed a little under 1 1/4, yet they were all over 1 lb and the guy only charged me $20! There were so many of us there buying the lobsters that I was thinking that maybe it is a regular thing for many to serve lobster on NYE.

    Yesterday I cooked (w/ DH's help) and cleaned them and made the stock. Today I will finish making the CL Lobster Bisque recipe. I can't wait for dinner!

    By the way, the favorite part for me is the claw meat. Growing up in New England we are used to cooking the whole lobster -- I don't know if I've ever even seen just the tails around here.
    Sarah

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah2397 View Post
    I didn't see the original post about bad luck but all I could think of were the line of people at the lobster pool with me yesterday. They were having a speical on 1 1/4 pounder's at $5/pd. I got 4 of them and some weighed a little under 1 1/4, yet they were all over 1 lb and the guy only charged me $20! There were so many of us there buying the lobsters that I was thinking that maybe it is a regular thing for many to serve lobster on NYE.

    Yesterday I cooked (w/ DH's help) and cleaned them and made the stock. Today I will finish making the CL Lobster Bisque recipe. I can't wait for dinner!

    By the way, the favorite part for me is the claw meat. Growing up in New England we are used to cooking the whole lobster -- I don't know if I've ever even seen just the tails around here.
    Wow Sarah! That is great. How could anyone not buy lobster at that price.

    Enjoy the bisque. It truly sounds delicious.
    A well rounded person is perfectly pointless. - Carrie

  17. #17
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    That IS a phenomenal price. Wow. I was going to buy the three tails for the recipe posted above (we decided the surf and turf was an excellent idea). When I saw the guy weighing the tails and the price was reading over $100, I thought, well, maybe two tails are enough. JellyBean, I've not heard that about cold water tails before. Truthfully, I'm not sure what I got. Never having made them before, I didn't know to ask! This is a trusted fish restaurant with a fish market attached, so I know the quality will be good whatever they are. Thanks for the additional recipe. I'm going to keep it for next time. Sounds easy--and delicious!
    TKay

  18. #18
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    What? Someone said lobster on New Year's Eve brings bad luck? I hope not! So far so good over here....knock on wood!

  19. #19
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    Curiosity Hears posted about something she read online that lobster was bad luck on New Years Day, not New Years Eve. So she deleted her post. We were going to have it anyway.
    TKay

  20. #20
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    Thanks TKay....was planning on "good luck" roast pork loin & sauerkraut for New Years Day anyway

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindrusso View Post
    I just noticed you're in CA where you might have grilling weather, so here's a really good recipe for grilled lobster - it's delicious!


    * Exported from MasterCook *

    GRILLED SURF-AND-TURF WITH SPICY GARLIC-SHALLOT BUTTER

    1/2 cup butter -- (1 stick) room temperature
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 large shallots -- quartered
    4 large garlic cloves -- halved
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    6 8 to 10-ounce New York strip steaks (each
    about 3/4 inch thick)
    3 10-ounce uncooked lobster tails -- thawed if frozen, cut lengthwise in half


    Combine first 7 ingredients in processor and blend until almost smooth. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon seasoned butter over each side of each steak and over each lobster half. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Transfer remaining seasoned butter to small saucepan.

    Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Set pan with butter at edge of barbecue until butter is melted and warmed through. Grill steaks until cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side. Grill lobster, shell side down, 5 minutes. Turn over and grill until meat is just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer steaks and lobster to plates. Serve with warm seasoned butter.

    Source:
    "Bon Appétit, July 2001."
    I just wanted to report that I ended up making this for myself as my NYE meal. I ate alone - it was FANTASTIC!!! It was a great meal to have before going out to whoop it up with a couple of friends.

    This is definitely going to be my go-to surf and turf from now on!!!
    Terri _A
    “I'm anal retentive. I'm a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I'm a control freak. That's why I'm not married. Who could stand me?” -Madonna

    Read my ramblings about food and my nutty life on A Girl in the South!

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