Over the weekend, I said some not so nice things to someone I love.
It wasn’t intentional, these kind of things never are, but it stung, the way these kind of things tend to do and I walked away feeling lousy.
Later, at the nail salon, I reflected on what I said and knew that the corrective action was an apology.
And that’s where Lobster comes in.
As much as I hate getting my nails done, once again, the nail salon came through with an idea of what to cook.
I swear I have some of the best moments of clarity there.
That’s how I decided on the Iceberg Wedge Salad I made a couple weeks ago.
Oh! And before you start giving me shit again, here’s what my nails look like.
Took it just for you so let’s just get that out of the way.
Right, like I was saying, I left feeling lousy.
I didn’t need to say the shit I said but I did anyway, because I’m a moron.
You know how it is, when you say dumb stuff, you need to apologize.
When you say a lot of dumb stuff, you get Lobster.
I picked up two, 3lb live lobsters and an additional 3, big ass, lobster tails.
Yes, I said a lot of dumb shit.
But now here’s the thing with me and lobster.
I have what I believe the experts would call, lobster- phobia.
Like I would rather be attacked by a bear on land than pick up a lobster.
You ever see a bear kill someone?
It comes up with that violent big slap, fucking breaks your neck, that’s it.
Me handling a live lobster?
That’s an all day dilemma for me.
I hate rodents and wiggly things in general and this fucking thing looks like a g*ddamn genetic mutation between the two of them.
These fucking things. Lobsters are what you’d get if the mother of all roaches and the queen of all scorpions had a baby underwater.
I’m not fucking touching that.
But back to the story, let’s get back on track here.
I was planning on making the big apology later that night so when I got home with the lobsters, I immediately put a big, big pot of water on to boil.
I knew it would take for fucking ever to boil and since it’s best to keep the lobsters wet, the plan was to empty them into the sink, and let them float around or whatever the fuck lobsters do, until the water was ready.
So gently, gingerly, I lifted up the bottom of the bag they were in and shook them out into the kitchen sink, leaning as far away from the sink as I could without breaking my fucking arm.
Immediately they start wriggling around and immediately I yelp and slam back into my shelf of glasses.
I looked down and saw 2 freshly wet, sweat soaked pits under my arms.
I looked back into the sink and no wonder they’re squirming around.
Both of the lobsters are on their back.
Which means I have to turn them over.
I poured 2 big shots of Bourbon in the effort to man up and I have to tell you, I did feel a little better.
That liquid courage thing, whoever came up with that was onto something.
As the tongs settled on either side of the the first lobster, immediately its tail snaps back and it really starts shaking around.
I shoved myself backwards into the shelf again, crashing into the row of martini glasses.
I was so fucking hot by now I was either going to pass out or melt.
Sweating profusely I opened all the windows in my apt.
Who gives a shit if it’s 14 deg outside?
Handling lobsters here people.
I took several deep breaths and again, I advanced forward.
Right when my tong began to clasp around the upper mid-section of the first one, the one next to it started spazzing out and I peed myself a little.
That’s when I said FUCK IT, it’s time to get help.
I went downstairs and knocked on my neighbor Jonathans door.
He opened it, peering out curiously behind a face mask.
Jonathan, I need your help!!
Whoa, what’s wrong? What’s the matter Dana?
How are you with Lobsters???
Can you handle..wait, why do you have a face mask on? Do you have the flu or something?
Yeah I think so. Either that or a really bad cold, I’ve been down since the day of the blizzard.
Dude but can you handle LOBSTERS??
Wait, ok…wait, calm down Dana.
I have lobsters upside down in my sink and I just need your help turning them over and possibly putting them in the pot for me, Jonathan please!!
Ok ok ok, just relax. Let me put some shoes on.
He asked me if I was ok to cook them and I assured him I was fine.
Now that the lobsters were actually being steamed, the threat was gone.
So he took off and I took it from there.
Dana was back in control.
Not only was my apology accepted but I now have Lobster Chowder on deck baby!
So before we get into it, some small things:
The lobster stock really sets the stage for this dish. Make it exactly as I say.
Nah, I’m kidding – when it comes to the stock, the real key is having the shells in there. It really infuses the lobster flavor into the chowder so put as many shells as you can in there.
This can be a one-pot meal.
After the lobster is cooked, you can use the same pot to make the stock, then rinse that and use the pot again to make the chowder.
Not a big deal, just pointing out an opportunity to be efficient here.
Have a soft, freshly cooked loaf of bread nearby.
You will want bread with this, trust me on that.
Topping with bacon bits is mandatory.
They give it that wonderful, wonderful crunch that perfectly compliments the rich and creaminess of the chowder.
Do not skip this.
Lastly and crazy as it sounds – this chowder even better the next day.
What I Used
1 cup Heavy Cream (or Soycream in my case). 2 3lbs Lobsters. 3 Large Lobster Tails. 2 Large Celery Stalks (diced). 3 cups Diced Potatoes. 2 cups Diced Bacon. 3 large Leeks (chopped and green parts separated from white parts). 1 cup White Wine. 3/4 Corn Cobbs (shaved). ½ Lemon. 1 cup Roughly Chopped Cilantro. Olive Oil. Salt. Pepper.
What I Did
Cooking your lobsters live:
Bring a large, large pot of water to boil.
When it’s nice and bubbly, put in the lobsters, however you manage it – head first.
Cover and let cook for 10 mins or until the entire lobster is bright red.
Remove the lobster from the water and bring the pot back to boil again.
When the lobster is cool to touch, break it apart.
Place the front claws back in the boiling water, to cook for another 10 mins.
The claws take the longest to cook and because you don’t want to EVER overcook lobster, you get the cooked parts out first and put the claws back in to finish cooking.
When the claws are also bright red, turn off the flame, preserving 10 cups of the lobster water.
When the lobster is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the shell over a large bowl so you collect all the juices.
This is where those nut crackers come in handy and not the ones that have you making this in the first place.
Reserve the shells.
Create the lobster stock:
Add the leeks (green parts), reserved shells, collected juices from those shells, 10 cups of the lobster cooking water and the 1 cup white wine to a large stock pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 40 mins.
While the stock is simmering, roughly chop the lobster meat then set it aside.
After 40 mins, strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve.
Make sure it’s all stock, nothing else.
Heat a large pot over med-high flame.
Add in the roughly chopped bacon.
When the bacon starts to brown, add in the white leeks and celery.
Shake in some black pepper and stir frequently for about 1 min.
Dump in the diced potatoes.
Stir frequently, for about 3 mins.
Pour in the strained lobster broth.
Simmer for 12 mins or until the potatoes are tender, stirring periodically.
When the potatoes are tender, add in shaved corn.
Bring back to a simmer and let cook for about 3-4mins.
Then add in the lobster chunks and cream.
Stir and let simmer for another 3-4 mins.
Note: If the chowder isn’t thick enough, add in small pinches of cornstarch, strirring after each pinch until the thickness you want is achieved.
Squeeze in half a lemon and stir.
Edit seasoning with salt & pepper, as needed.
Mix in the chopped cilantro.
Stir and remove from heat.