Vail Colorful Cooking column: Corn lobster salad
VAIL CO, Colorado
Lobsters in Maine are currently $3.99 a pound. There was no sticker shock when the register rang in the pound and a half, live lobsters I recently purchased while there on vacation. My taste buds rejoiced as we steamed, grilled, baked, scrambled, poached, chopped and dipped the tender, chewy meat into melted butter, tarragon and lemon sauces. It was extravagant, filling and fun eating!
Simple, steamed lobster with a sauce of equal parts lemon juice, wine and butter is my favorite way to enjoy a lobster feast. At camp, which is what New Englanders call the lake house, we cook the lobsters outside on a gas burner. Fill a pot with about six inches of water, add some salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add lobsters and cook about 12 to 17 minutes, depending on the size. The lobsters turn from green to bright red and you have to let them rest for a few minutes before ripping them apart. My method is to pull the tail off, let it cool slightly, crack open one of the claws, eat it, eat tail, eat last claw and pick around if still hungry.
Leftover lobster is not something I usually have to create recipes for but with the prices so reasonable and a family that loves to eat well, we actually cracked open all of them and were too full to finish. A breakfast of lobster, scrambled eggs, chives and goat cheese is scrumptious and a wonderful way to kick off a day at the lake. This corn lobster salad was a perfect way to get rid of the leftovers and incorporate some garden fresh veggies. Any way you crack it, lobster enhances most meals.
Lobsters are 10-legged crustaceans that live on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. There are also spiny lobsters that live in warmer water, but they don’t have the large, edible claws that Atlantic lobsters are prized for. The largest lobster caught on record was caught off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada and was 44 pounds and 3-and-a-half feet long. They estimated that lobster was 100 years old; on average a lobster life span is 50 years.
Lobsters shed their shells in order to grow. Sometimes, you will be asked if you want a soft or hard shell lobster. If you are shipping a live lobster to Colorado, you want to order hard shell, the soft are more perishable. The soft shells are easy to break into and some argue that they are the sweeter of the two varieties. In my opinion, both hard and soft shelled are delicious and any size tastes great, too, just don’t overcook them. For more lobster recipes, visit http://www.colorfulcooking.com.
Cool corn lobster salad
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cooked
1 cup raw zucchini, diced
1/4- 1/2 pound lobster meat, cooked
3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, diced
2 limes, for 2 teaspoons lime zest and 1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Husk 4-5 ears of corn. Heat a large pot with boiling water. Add corn, cook 5 minutes. Place corn in bowl of ice water and let cool 4 minutes. Wipe corn dry with paper towels and cut kernels off with a sharp knife. Split avocado, remove seed and cut into cubes. Place corn in bowl, add zucchini, avocado, cilantro, green onion, salt and pepper and stir carefully. Zest limes, add to salad. Juice both limes and add to salad (about 1/4 cup juice). Slice lobster meat and add to salad.
Makes 4 cups.
Tracy Miller adds fruits and veggies to all of her meals. She teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and shares recipes Thursday morning on TV8’s “Good Morning Vail.” To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to colorfulcooking.com.