Our last post promised word on the outcome of Lori’s semi-frightening recipe for steamed lobsters. We followed her instructions in spirit and almost to the letter. Live lobstahs go for $6.75 a pound here, which gave us the courage to try cooking them The Mainer Way, which goes like this.
“Walk down to the beach and collect a gallon of clean seawater (at Reach Knolls it is a clear as Lake Superior: no problem there.) Gather a couple of pounds of seaweed, any kind. Take your cooking water and seasoning back to your kitchen. Put an inch (I had to use two) of seawater into this two gallon pot. Add a few bay leaves, a sliced onion, a tablespoon of crushed black pepper, and bring it to a boil. Drop in the lobstahs and close the lid, but don’t remove their clawbands just yet. After a few seconds you can safely remove the clawbands, but even if you don’t they won’t melt. Meanwhile, boil your corn and/or new potatoes in the rest of your seawater. Make drawn butter by mincing a few cloves of garlic into the molten beurre. Find a nutcracker or raid your toolbox for lineman’s pliers, and enjoy.”
Kat and I enjoyed Lobstah Rolls at the Bagaduce Lunch. These are a wonderful toasted bread, mayo, and butter casing for smallish bits of the big crustacean. You will pay $9 for one at McDonald’s, or $12 at Bagaduce Lunch. All I can say is “Outstanding!” We had clam chowder and lobstah bisque in the ancient town of Castine, home of the nation’s oldest continuously operating post office. Clam chowder was run of the mill, and I found the bisque a tad acidic, but Kat loved it.
In Mississippi your neighborhood Kroger vends wild salmon filets for $20 a pound. In Tuscaloosa you will pay $41 a pound for sashimi grade yellowfin tuna. In Blue Hills, ME wild sockeye goes for $12, beautiful tuna for $14, and incredibly fresh swordfish for $15.
We rubbed the swordfish with olive oil, peppered it heavily with a blend of freshly ground black, white, and red peppercorns, and then fried it on black iron over a feisty hot fire. Our side was latkes, and on some days I rate this higher than our steamed lobstah.
Kat had some cedar planks (buy cooking grade: you don’t want any preservatives in the wood) and charred one over a big charcoal fire, then added the salmon after coating it with garlic and brown sugar. The verdict: quite good, but not in the same league as lobstah and swordfish.
Fresh is the thing. We used simple recipes. The results were incredibly good. Kat says we must have lobster and swords again before we leave Maine. I totally agree.