How to Cook Maine Lobster
The two most common ways to cook
lobsters are steaming and boiling:
To steam lobsters, put about 2 inches of salted
water in the bottom of a large kettle. Bring the water to a rolling boil and
put in the live lobster, one at a time. Cover kettle, return water to boiling
and begin timing. Allow 18 minutes for 1 to 1¼ pound hard-shell lobsters.
To boil lobsters, fill a large kettle ¼ full of
water. If sea water is not available, add two tablespoons of salt for each
quart of water. A good rule of thumb is to allow 2½ quarts of water for
each lobster. Bring the water to a boil. Put in the live lobsters one at a
time and let the water boil again. Cover kettle and simmer about 15 minutes for
1 to 1¼ pound hard-shell lobsters.
If the lobster is a New Shell Maine Lobster with a soft shell, reduce
boiling or steaming time by three minutes. When the antennae pull out easily,
the lobsters are done.
A Traditional Maine Lobster Bake
The following recipe for a traditional Maine Lobster Bake serves four.
4 Maine Lobsters (1-1¼lbs. each)4 ears sweet corn2 small boiling onions2 lbs steamer
2 lbs. mussels (cleaned)12 small red potatoes2 cups water5 lbs.
seaweed * (preferably Maine Rockweed)
* If seaweed is unavailable, simply add 2 teaspoons of salt to
cooking water and put down a layer of crumpled aluminum foil to raise the
lobsters off the bottom of the pan.
In a large roasting pan (about 12" x 16"), place a one inch
layer of seaweed. Parboil onions and potatoes. Shuck corn except for
innermost ears. Place Maine Lobsters on the seaweed; arrange corn and
onions between the lobsters and the sides of the pan. Place clams, mussels
and potatoes gently over the Maine Lobsters, keeping the top of the Bake
level. Cover with remaining seaweed and add water to the pan. Cover tightly
with foil and place on the stove or a preheated grill to cook. (If using a
grill, make sure the coals are very hot.) Starting the timing of the Bake is
when you first see steam. Cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat,
but leave covered for 5 more minutes. Serve with lemon, melted butter or
margarine, or your favorite lobster accompaniment.
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