Making the Most of a Shellfish: One Golden Lobster, Three Ways

I know I should have walked away from it.

Maybe it was the hot sun that burned only half my face. Maybe it was the joy of a Mariners win (and not just any win, a Yankee whooping with a seventh-inning five-run salvo). Or maybe it was the beer we had during the game.

But by the time we hit the Pike Place Market to grab some goods before the ferry ride home, I was feeling pretty giddy and indulgent.

As I walked past the stalls, I grabbed a $1 bag of basil, two ears of sweet corn for $1.75, and a $5 bouquet.

And then I saw the seafood. And there, curled into crushed ice was a giant lobster tail as big as my forearm (minus the hand). The prices had been erased from the board, but I figured it at $30 or $40 (knowing nothing about the price of lobster, of course). I’ve never actually purchased fresh lobster, live or in the store. My only real experience with it is cooked and in a restaurant so, I really have no idea why I thought I could expect it would cost less than $40.

And even that is pretty steep. I mean, my husband and I are journalists, and while we do OK financially, our life runs a little less “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” than it does to “y’all come back now, y’hear.”

I gave a nod of approval as a fishmonger picked up a tail and passed it to the back for wrapping. When they brought it back up to the counter, a man reached out his hand and announced that it would be $57.

Like I said, I knew I should have just walked away, $57 richer. But pride kicked its way into the fight and won, sending me digging in my wallet for more cash.

Yeah, I’m gonna go with blaming the beer on this one. Never mind that I only had one.

New lesson: always ask “how much” before your buy and that as lobster gets bigger, the price apparently goes up exponentially.

But with Golden Lobster in hand as we headed home, I vowed that not a shred of it would go to waste.

To start it, I cut off the large chunk of meat hanging from the tail for use later. I basted the tail meat itself in butter and parsley and grilled it.

Lobster broth
Lobster broth

We each ate about a quarter of the tail (it was that big and pretty filling) and saved the shells.

With the shells, I made a lobster broth with a recipe I found on The Splendid Table’s website. That recipe also could probably work with shrimp if you aren’t quite as inclined to buy your own Golden Lobster.

And I decided to use the remaining meat for a pasta. In my search, I learned that August is Maine Lobster month and hit the Maine Lobster Promotional Council for the following lobster linguine. I was able to use tomatoes fresh from my garden and pinot grigio left over from dinner the night before. The sauce ended up sweet and blended nicely with the lobster. I skimped a little on the lobster meat and added in some crab meat I had. I also used extra mushrooms just because I could.

In the end, the two of us had three solid meals for roughly less than $25 a meal (including the pasta and other ingredients) and I still have some broth for a future recipe in the freezer.

Maine Lobster Sauté With Linguine

Source: Recipe Courtesy of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council
Number of Servings: 4

3 each 1 1/4 lbs. Maine lobsters (about 2.5 pounds of just meat)
1 pound linguine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups fresh tomatoes, peel/seed/dice or canned, pasta-ready tomatoes
1/2 cup lobster broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or yogurt
1/2 cup scallions, cut 1/2″ long
2 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 pinch Old Bay seafood seasoning to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Steam lobsters (1 per every 2 persons), in one inch of water for 8-10 minutes. Remove, and let cool. Reserve 1/2 cup of liquid (lobster broth). After lobsters cool, pick meat out of the shells and dice in large pieces. Carefully extract claw meat and leave whole.

In a large skillet, sauté garlic and onion in butter for 5-8 minutes until onions are soft. Do not allow to brown. Add mushrooms and cook water out of them, then remove and reserve. Add wine and reduce by 1/2. Add tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes. Add lobster broth and cream or yogurt and reduce by 1/4. Bring to a boil, simmer and add lobster and scallions, parsley, reserved mushrooms and Old Bay or seafood seasoning. Add Parmesan cheese to thicken.

Toss 1/2 of sauce with cooked linguine. Arrange on plate, pour remaining 1/2 of sauce over each serving. Top each serving with the whole claw meat.

5 thoughts on “Making the Most of a Shellfish: One Golden Lobster, Three Ways

  1. Now…children, don’t make me separate you two.

    Thanks Angela, that recipe sounds wonderful. I will be trying it this weekend. I will admit I will be going a cheaper route, I currently have (2) petite lobster tails in my freezer from the Albertsons 4.99 each sale about a month ago. Not quite as much flavor there as you had, but for us more garlic covers a multitude of sins when flavor is slightly lacking.

    And thanks to Vince and his wallet for “aking one for the team”so we can all benefit from the experience.

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