As we approach May 12th, many of us question: ”How will I please my Mom on this day?”. Cooking something special, festive and not complicated sounds like a good idea to me. Lobster Grill comes first to my mind. There’s something deliciously retro running in my family about this classic Canadian party food. My Mom used to serve it to Grandma whenever she would visit around this time of the year, and I thought I should give it a shot this year for the Mom’s day. Fresh lobsters have just arrived to our city of Jazz, so why not support our fishermenand buy their amazing catch at a fraction of the world’s cost?
I skip the lobster boil step as this experience brings me to Annie Hall
meets Julie & Julia
lobster killing scenes I am not yet ready to perform. So I bought freshly store-boiled lobsters (they were still warm) for as little as $5.00 to $7.00 each. The final dish was as tasty as the one my mother used to make from a live lobsters. For those of you who are still willing to live through ”Annie Hall/Julie & Julia” moment, I am including instructions on the lobster boil below.
First and very important step: get some SMOKE in your BBQ. Soak a few handfuls of wood chips in a cold water for about 15 minutes or more. Wrap them in aluminum foil, pierce with the knife and place in the corners of your BBQ grill. Keep them there while you warm up the grill up until your lobsters are done. Once the chips start to burn, they add a special smokiness to the grill. You can get Bar-B-Q Mesquite, Apple or Cherry smoking chips in any garden section including Walmart, Home Depot, even Canadian Tire. I did not have any chips handy this time, so I used some bark and chips from fire wood, which also worked very well.
Next step: start the BBQ and, while it is warming up, cut the lobsters lengthwise and stuff them with the mix of chopped parsley, garlic, butter and chilli flakes. Cutting lobster might seem to be difficult, but a sharp Santoku knife makes it ”easy like Sunday morning”. Put the lobster flat on its back on the cutting board, position the tip of the knife where the tail connects to the body, press to crack the shell slightly and cut in one move all the way down to the fins in the back. Repeat the same move through the middle of the underbelly until the lobster is cut in two. Use the poultry sheers if you don’t have a good sharp knife in your possession.
Do the parsley, garlic, chili, butter mix and stuff your lobster halves with it gluing the parts of the lobster together with this mix. Once the grill is medium hot and your chips are smoking, place the lobsters carefully and grill them for about 8-9 minutes, turning once after the first 4 minutes. It’s optional, but for a special ”flambé” effect and additional taste, spray the lobsters with a shot of whiskey or brandy at the end of grilling.
While your lobsters are grilling you have time to set the table. Cover it with some old newspapers to create a rustic yet eco setting, which will not only provide a neutral background for the colorful dish, but will greatly help the later cleanup as the bits of shell will invariably fly everywhere during this party. Yes, lobster digging is messy and sloppy for almost everyone I know, but who cares? There is no right or wrong technique of breaking lobster claws: one way or another you will get it.
Once the lobsters are ready, serve them immediately and let your Mom select hers first – she will be happy, you will be happy, and you both will remember this party for a long-long time. Isn’t it a fantastic way to celebrate your Mom?
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mamas out there! Our Mothers are the most important part of the family and they deserve to be praised on this special day! T
GRILLED LOBSTER WITH GARLIC CHILI BUTTER
3 live or freshly cooked lobsters
1/3 cup unsalted butter, plus some extra melted butter for dipping
bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
pinch of chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
lemon and lime quartered
In a largest pot you have bring to boil about 2 gallons of water. Add two-three tablespoons of salt. Add one live lobster at a time and cover. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove the lobster with the tongs and return water to boiling. Add 2nd lobster. Cook for 3-5 minutes and remove with tongs. Repeat the same with the 3rd lobster. Technically, you can boil all three lobsters at the same time, but it will be messy, especially if your pot is not large enough.
Turn lobsters upside down and cut lengthwise from the tip of the tail through the head. Use a sharp Santoku knife or poultry sheers to cut the tail portion of the shell. In a small bowl mix butter with finely chopped garlic, parsley, chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mix inside the lobster halves. Save some of the mix for the dipping. Place lobsters on the medium hot grill, cover the grill and cook for 8-9 minutes. Serve with melted butter added to the parsley garlic mix in the ramekins and lots of lemon and lime wedges. Cheers!