Luxurious lobster: Recipes for Florida's spiny crustacean

The traditional cold water lobster salad from M Waterfront Grille is served over organic mixed greens,
tossed with lemon, celery, fresh chervil,
chive and seasoned mayonnaise. It is
topped with crispy potatoes and leeks with a
roasted shallot-honey mustard vinaigrette. David Albers/Staff

Photo by DAVID ALBERS // Buy this photo

The traditional cold water lobster salad from M Waterfront Grille is served over organic mixed greens, tossed with lemon, celery, fresh chervil, chive and seasoned mayonnaise. It is topped with crispy potatoes and leeks with a roasted shallot-honey mustard vinaigrette. David Albers/Staff

M Waterfront Grille

4300 Gulf Shore Boulevard North, Naples, FL

Sea Salt

1186 Third Street South, Naples, FL

Steamers of Naples

5317 Airport Pulling Road North, Naples, FL

— For a couple of days every July, the waters of South Florida teem with boats in search of Florida spiny lobster.

The savory crustaceans are big business for professional lobstermen during the winter, but for hobbyists, today and tomorrow offer a great chance to catch and enjoy this local delicacy.

But what do you do with the lobster you just pulled up from the briny deep? A lot of folks will pull over to the closest sandbar, fire up the grill and cook those lobsters then and there.

While that is certainly a delicious option, especially with a crock of melted butter at the ready, the Florida lobster is a versatile shellfish that lends itself to a lot of excellent preparations.

We asked three local chefs who know a thing or two about seafood to give us some of their favorite recipes.

Note: All of the following lobster recipes call for pre-cooked meat. If you are cooking a whole lobster alive, then the best way is probably boiling them for about 13-15 minutes depending on weight. If you have tails only, try splitting them down the middle and broiling them for about 6-10 minutes until the meat has turned a nice opaque white.

Florida lobster salad

From Brian Rolland, executive chef of M Waterfront Grille

Ingredients

12 oz celery

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 oz chervil

8 oz mayonnaise

1/2 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz Marsala wine

1/2 oz brandy

3 1/2 pounds cooked Florida spiny lobster meat

1/4 oz chive

Preparation

Drain and chop the lobster meat.

Dice the celery into 1/4 inch cubes.

Mix all the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl, then fold in the lobster meat last.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Mix well and serve over mixed greens with seasonal fruits or vegetables

Lobster risotto

From Frabrizio Aielli chef/owner of Sea Salt

Ingredients

3/4 pound pre-cooked lobster meat

1 tablespoon garlic olive oil (see method below)

1/2 white onion, chopped

11/2 cup carnaroli rice (available at specialty food stores and high-end grocers. Can substitute Arborio rice)

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 to 5 cups vegetable broth (or lobster stock)

2 roasted plum tomatoes (see method inside)

1/2 cup marinara sauce

10 pieces basil leaves, finely cut

1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped, and extra for garnish

2 tablespoons white truffle oil (optional)

salt and black pepper to taste

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation

Cut the lobster meat into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, warm the garlic olive oil. Then add the onion. Sauté the onions on medium-high heat. Take care not to brown. Remember to continually stir throughout the whole process.

Add the rice. Cook the rice, stirring, for about two minutes. Add the white wine and stir constantly until the wine is absorbed.

Add the vegetable broth (or lobster stock) about a half-cup at a time, stirring constantly. Continue adding a half-cup of broth at a time, once the broth in the pot has been absorbed.

Then begin to add the roasted tomatoes, the marinara sauce, basil leaves and the lobster meat. Remember to stir.

Let the mixture cook for another four minutes. Then add the butter, Italian parsley, the optional truffle oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to make sure everything is well combined. Serve warm. Garnish with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese if you wish.

Chef’s note: Add another cup of vegetable broth if the risotto is too dry.

Garlic-infused olive oil

Ingredients

3 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper

Preparation

Place the garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan over the gentlest heat possible. Leave for 1 hour for the garlic to become very soft and infuse the oil.

Roasted tomatoes

Ingredients

2 medium-sized plum tomatoes, cut in half, lengthwise

pinch of salt

pinch of dried oregano

olive oil

Preparation

Place the tomato halves in a colander. Season with a pinch of salt and dried oregano. Let the tomatoes sit for two hours. This will help remove the moisture from the tomatoes and bring out the natural taste of the tomatoes.

Pre-heat oven to 125 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the tomatoes with the cut side down on the baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over the tomatoes. Let them roast for about 3 to 4 hours or until tomatoes are slightly shrunken and appear cooked and concentrated but not yet dry.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about five minutes before handling.

Lobster Casserole

From Barry LeBlanc, chef at Steamers of Naples

Ingredients

8 oz. fresh cooked chilled lobster meat

2 oz. onion - finely chopped

2 oz. margarine

2 oz. cooking sherry

3 sprigs parsley - finely chopped

8 oz. Ritz crackers - crushed

Preparation

Saute onion and margarine at medium heat until onion is translucent

Add sherry and cook for 5 min.

In a bowl, toss parsley with Ritz crackers then add onion mixture

Arrange lobster meat in a lightly (non stick) sprayed casserole or baking dish

Place stuffing on top of lobster meat

Bake for 15 minutes

Serve with melted butter

Connect with Jonathan Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jonathan_foerster

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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