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Lobster for Labor Day

by Rona Berg

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Nothing speaks to summer like a Maine lobster. If you are lucky enough to have had your fill of lobster rolls, lobster salad, or plain old steamed lobster, and you are looking for something different, try these delicious lobster-centric recipes–Nobu lobster ceviche, yum!–that we pulled together from chefs around the country. Think of it as a great complement–or substitute!–for the traditional Labor Day  burgers-on-the-barbecue.

Lobster pairs beautifully with a dry white wine. We liked the mineraly, flinty 2013 Sigalas Santorini Assyrtico and the aromatic 2013 Tselepos Montinia Moschofilero. See the recipes below for additional wine suggestions.

For additional info on lobster, consult the experts at lobsterfrommaine.com. Bon appetit!

Maine Lobster Ceviche with Avocado Lemon & Lime

Courtesy of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu Restaurant

In this Asian riff on ceviche, Maine lobster is cooked, and then marinated in a soy and ginger dressing that gets a little heat from chile paste and garlic. Serve it with glasses of chilled Albariño from the Rias Baixas region in Spain; the wine’s crisp citrus notes will match the yuzu in the dressing.

(Makes 4 Servings)

1 2-pound Maine lobster
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon chile paste
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 pinches salt dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon yuzu juice (can substitute 1 teaspoon lemon or lime) 2 teaspoons soy sauce
12 very small Bibb lettuce leaves
½ small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
3 cherry tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
3 sprigs fresh cilantro, minced, plus 12 fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare a large ice-water bath. In a very large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the lobster until it turns bright red, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, plunge the lobster into the ice-water bath for 2 minutes.

Remove the lobster from ice water bath, twist off the tail and claws, and remove the meat. Remove and discard the intestinal vein that runs the length of the tail. Cut the lobster meat into ½-inch pieces, and pat dry. Transfer the lobster pieces to a strainer set over a bowl, and refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.

Whisk together the garlic, chili paste, ginger, pepper, lemon juice, salted water, yuzu juice, and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Add the lobster meat to the dressing and toss to combine.

Arrange 3 of the lettuce leaves on each of four chilled salad plates. Divide the lobster meat among the lettuce cups. Place a small tangle of onions and 1 tomato quarter on top of each serving of lobster. Spoon a little of the dressing over the top of the lobster and into each lettuce cup. Mince the cilantro sprigs, sprinkle on top of onions and tomatoes, and then top with cilantro leaves.

Maine Lobster & Roasted Corn Chowder

Recipe courtesy of Chef Thomas McBreen, Sebasco Harbor Resort

Sweet seasonal corn on the cob is roasted in this take on classic Maine lobster chowder; sautéed bacon and pancetta add savory, salty and smoky notes. Serve chowder in small bowls, with Saltines or oyster crackers, and a glass of rich, buttery white Burgundy or Chilean Chardonnay.

(Makes 8 servings)

2 live Maine lobsters
2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for corn on the cob 12 ounces bacon, diced
1 ½ cup onions, diced
4 slices bacon, diced
3 slices pancetta, diced
½ teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ cup dry sherry
1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream
1 12-ounce can creamed corn
2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
4 ounces salted water (reserved from potatoes)
4 ears corn on the cob
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil lobsters in heavily salted water for 10 minutes. Remove them from water, set aside until cool enough to handle, and remove lobster tail and claw meat, reserving shells.

Sauté onions, bacon, and pancetta in 2 tablespoons butter until golden brown and translucent. Add the Maine Lobster meat, parsley, salt, white pepper and paprika, and stir to combine. Pour sherry to deglaze the pan, and remove from the heat.

In a separate pot, boil potatoes in heavily salted water. Remove from heat when potatoes are al dente, and strain out water, reserving 4 ounces. Place potatoes back in the same pot in which they cooked, and stir in the heavy cream, creamed corn, evaporated milk and salted water. Place on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the grill to medium. Husk corn on the cob, and add butter, salt and pepper. Roll each ear on a hot grill, moving constantly to avoid burning, for 7 minutes. Remove the corn from the heat, let cool, and with a sharp knife, remove the kernels and as much liquid as possible.

Add corn, its juices, and the reserved shells, to the Maine lobster mixture. Bring the pot to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove from heat, and discard the shells. Add potatoes and serve.

Grilled Maine Lobster Mango Tango with Mojo Cubaneau Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Larry Hogdson, Beach City Grill, San Pedro, CA

Maine lobster heads to Cuba in this dish, where lobster skewers are served over salad greens with plantains, mangoes and a zesty mojo sauce. What to drink with them? Regular (or mango) Mojitos, naturally.

(Makes 2 servings)

1 ½-pound Maine lobster
Mojo Cubaneau sauce (see recipe) Mesclun salad greens
Mango vinaigrette (see recipe)
1 mango, sliced (reserve shell for serving) Plaintains, thinly sliced and fried in oil

Bring a stockpot of water to a boil, add lobster, boil for 2 minutes, remove immediately and place in an ice water bath. When it’s cool enough to handle, split the lobster, reserving the shell. Remove tail meat (which will be partially raw), cut into bite-size pieces, and divide equally among 2 metal skewers. Remove part of the claw shell to expose the meat.

Heat grill to medium heat, and cook lobster tail skewers and claws until barely opaque. Remove from grill, and brush with Mojo Cubaneau sauce.

Toss greens with mango vinaigrette, and divide equally on 2 plates. Top each with a lobster skewer and a claw, mango slices, and crisp-fried plantains. Serve extra Mojo Cubaneau sauce on the side, in a hollowed out mango shell.

Mojo Cubaneau Sauce

1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 mango
Zest from 2 oranges and 2 limes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
1 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon Asian chili paste (or more to taste) Salt and pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender, process until smooth. Heat sauce in a small saucepan to thicken slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mango Vinaigrette Dressing

1 whole mango
Juice and zest from 1 orange Juice and zest from 2 limes 1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar ¼ cup canola oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Add all to a blender, and process until smooth.

Connect with Rona @RonaBerg 

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