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A Lobster Lover in August at the Jersey Shore

This article is dedicated to my father who was a lobster lover, a lobster chef and a lobster connoisseur.

James F. Brighton  July 4, 1943-August 18, 2012

James Brighton

Summer in Jersey: sun, fun and lobster

I would love to eat lobster everyday. But risk getting tired of eating lobster? No way.

Here writing this article, I am actually dreaming of lobster. Seriously reminiscing about these bright red sea creatures, served hot and whole on the plate, delicately opened and the meat dipped in a butter sauce. If you have had the privilege of eating fresh cooked lobster you also know how a lobster lover can dream about the taste and fun of enjoying a lobster dinner. Each summer here at the Jersey Shore we make it a point to have one lobster meal together.  But this summer we actually ate lobster twice. The hardworking lobster farmers up in Maine had to work around the clock this summer to make a living, the lobstermen getting practically nothing per pound for their catch. And for the consumer the lobster was so cheap we could have eaten it almost every day. The lobster fishermen were getting $1.35 a pound for their catch, so for us it was a bargain at $4.99 a pound for live lobsters.  And we took advantage of this.

We ate so much delicious food over our vacation, but our lobster meals were super high on the memory list

There is this ceremony with sharing a lobster meal. Cooking these live crustaceans, sitting around the table with each person presented with a live lobster to open. And the opening of the lobsters? An art and pure fun. The taste? Unbelievable. Especially if you like to dip each hot piece of lobster meat into the ramekins filled with a buttery lemon sauce. There is the opening of the lobster claw and watching the water drip down the plate. Pulling some meat out and dipping it in the sauce. And did you know that the meat in the claws taste different from the meat in the tail?  Each person has their own taste preferences on tail or claw meat, but I love it all!

The recipe redux challenge and the theme of a most memorable vacation meal

Year after year our lobster memorable meals add to our memory bank of some great vacation meals together. So when I read the theme for this month’s recipe redux challenge, I knew I had to write about lobster. The challenge was to describe our most memorable vacation meal with a recipe to go with it. I use a recipe from a lobster lover from Boston who explains how to boil and eat lobster. You can also steam or grill them. My recipe is below and if you would like to see some pictures with explanations on how to open a lobster, read this article: “How to Boil and Eat a Lobster”

Nutritional value of lobsters

Lobster not only taste delicious, it also has health benefits that are hard to find in other foods. When choosing lobster, it should be from fresh unpolluted waters. The lobster we ate was caught in Maine, coming from the cleaner parts of the Atlantic Ocean. I trust that Maine lobsters will be on the lower side for the environmental toxins that we see in some shellfish and fish.

Lobster is also high in lean protein and low in fat. That is why it is okay to dip fresh lobster meat in a light butter sauce! The sauce adds that flavor and keeps the meal still healthy. Lobster contains heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids and these other vitamins and minerals:

  • High in zinc, an immune boosting mineral
  • High in phosphorus which helps to strengthen teeth and bones
  • Contains vitamin B-12, important for red blood cells and nerve cells
  • Contains copper, a protector against disease such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis
  • Contains selenium, which protects cells against oxidative damage from free radicals

Dipping lobster meat in a light sauce is optional, but it sure tastes good

Lobster is high in lean protein and low in fat. It is one of those “once in a while” foods. If you love to dip your lobster meat in a melted butter sauce, go ahead. If you want to just stay au natural this is okay too. The version I like is to melt butter and mix it with some extra virgin olive oil. This makes the taste still “oh la la” yum but also adds an extra healthier touch with using olive oil which is high in monounsaturated fats and is heart healthy. At the table I squeeze fresh lemon into my butter-olive oil sauce and then dip ‘away’. I used to be an au natural girl but have since moved into luving to dip!

What a pleasure and privilege to enjoy a meal like this.

Enjoy my healthy lobster recipe!

Freshly Cooked Lobster Served With A Lemon Light Butter Sauce

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Shellfish
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Website Simply Recipes
Freshly boiled Maine lobsters are easy to make and fun to eat. A lobster dinner is a 'must do' during the summer on the East Coast.

Ingredients

  • 1 Live Lobster per person
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon per lobster)
  • 1 Large Pot of Salted Water (Depending on quantity of lobsters, may need 2 pots)

  • 1 tablespoon Melted Butter (1 tablespoon per lobster)

Note

The light dipping sauce is optional. Some prefer their lobster au natural. But don't feel guilty dipping into this lemony sauce, lobster is high in lean protein and low in fat and using olive oil makes it heart healthy! Watch the cooking time carefully, under or over cooking lobster can ruin it.

Directions

Step 1
Prepare the pots to cook the lobster. You may need to use two pots or use a large lobster/crab pot to cook all the lobsters at same time.
Step 2
Fill pot(s) 3/4 of the way full with cold water.
Step 3
Add approximately 1 Tbsp of salt to each quart of water. The water should be salty like ocean water to cook the lobster.
Step 4
Bring salty water to a boil.
Step 5
When water is boiling vigorously, get live lobsters ready.
Step 6
Individually pick up each lobster, remove or cut off the elastic bands off the claws.
Step 7
Holding the lobster by its body, plunge it upside down and head first into the boiling water.
Step 8
Continue to do this until all lobsters are in the pot(s).
Step 9
Cover the pot(s) and allow water to come to a boil.
Step 10
Time the cooking carefully. When the water has started to reboil, cook lobsters 12-25 minutes longer, depending on size. 12-15 minutes for 1 lb lobster, 15-20 minutes for 1 1/2 pound lobster, 20-25 minutes for 2-3 pound lobster.
Step 11
The lobster should be bright red when finished cooking.
Step 12
While the lobsters are cooking, prepare the individual ramekins of the lemon dipping sauce.
Step 13
Melt butter on the stove on low heat, depending on the quantity of persons eating. Melt approximately 1 Tablespoon of butter per person.
Step 14
Cut lemon slices to serve next to each plate.
Step 15
In each ramekin, put approximately 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom.
Step 16
Right before lobster is finished cooking, place 1 Tablespoon of warm melted butter in the olive oil ramekins and mix with a spoon. Put ramekins next to each plate.
Step 17
Remove lobsters from pot and place individually on each dinner plate.
Step 18
Taking the fresh lemon slice, squeeze lemon juice into the ramekins.
Step 19
Each person opens their lobsters, dipping their meat into the light lemon butter sauce.
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8 Responses to A Lobster Lover in August at the Jersey Shore

  1. Meme @ Living Well Kitchen August 24, 2012 at 06:33 #

    What a great way to remember your father!
    Lobster is, hands down, my favorite meal. And you are right about it being a ceremony. Everyone is somehow involved in the preparation/eating of the lobster. It is such a fun experience with your family!
    I have always squeezed lemon all over my lobster {we all have to have one to ourselves 🙂 } and then dipped it in butter. There really is nothing better that that!
    I love your idea of combining the olive oil and the butter, and your step-by-step directions & pictures are wonderful. Everyone should know how to enjoy a wonderful lobster meal, and you do a great job showing your readers exactly what to do

  2. ~ The Lady in Red ~ August 23, 2012 at 14:23 #

    Funny, you are so right about some people preferring the tail and some craving the claw. My daughter is a claw person. She doesn’t care much for the tail. Me – I’ll eat it all!

    I love your idea of combining the fresh lemon juice with the butter sauce! I always felt I had to choose one or the other – squeeze fresh lemon on my lobster, or take the plunge into butter. I’m going to try this next time!

    You bring up a very interesting point. I find salting the water heavily for most shellfish when cooking results in a more flavorful meat. I do this for shrimp, too.

    Question for you, though – is there a reason you add olive oil to the butter sauce? Or is that just a taste preference of yours? Do you think it would work just as well without the addition of olive oil?

    • mbrighton August 23, 2012 at 15:59 #

      Ah! Lady in Red…You sound like such a good cook and know the essentials of a true yum lobster meal :)!
      You also bring up a valid point and oversight on my part. I didn’t explain the reason behind adding olive oil to the lemon butter sauce. But mixing the fats the sauce ends up healthier. The olive oil is a healthier choice over butter as it contains monounsaturated fats. The butter, (still okay in small quantities) is high is saturated fat, a less healthy choice. By mixing the two fats in the sauce you get a tasty option that is healthier. I wouldn’t advise giving up the butter, the taste of the butter with the lobster is a very good combination.
      The lemon juice put directly in the sauce is great too, as I mentioned.
      Thanks very much for your comment! Happy cooking.

  3. Emma Stirling August 23, 2012 at 13:35 #

    I’m very sorry to realise your father has recently passed away Wendy. You write about his and your lobster passion beautifully. In Australia we call them crayfish and they are a treat. One year my hubby and I holidayed at a remote seaside town and were taking out on the cray boat at 3am! We had cray for breakfast, lunch and then with waves of sea sickness I was done!

    • mbrighton August 23, 2012 at 16:11 #

      Hi Emma, Thanks very much for your comment. Seafood dinner have such memories for many of us. Yet it is a food that some can’t eat due to allergies or don’t like.
      We have crayfish also here in the SE parts of the states. They are freshwater crustaceans and are smaller than the ones found where you live. In fact, reading now on Wikipedia they note that Australian crayfish can grow up to 11 lbs! I would love to taste the difference between Maine lobsters (who live in salt water) to your crayfish (from freshwater lobster).
      Thanks very much for your comment! You really make me want to visit Australia!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Robyn Flipse - August 22, 2012

    Great lobster story as a lifelong New Jersey shore girl & lobster lover. http://t.co/D0Qn0ZsC

  2. Mary Brighton - August 22, 2012

    Each month on the recipe redux challenge health and food bloggers from around the world publish tasty and healthy… http://t.co/Rykuxwu1

  3. Suzanne Saxe-R, Ed.D - August 22, 2012

    RT @mbrighton66 A Lobster Lover in August at the Jersey Shore: A summer at the Jersey Shore wouldn't be the same… http://t.co/A83ORl1q

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