Chef Mike’s Grilled Lobster

Grilled Lobster
by Executive Chef Mike McCarty from The Lobster Trap in Asheville, NC

INGREDIENTS

Live lobster (1 to 1 1/4 lbs.)
Butter
Salt & Pepper
Lemon

METHOD

1. Start with a double broiler and wait until the water is boiling and a strong steam is going. Place live lobster in the double broiler and steam cook for five minutes. The purpose of this process is to partially cook the lobster and remove the meat from contact with the shell just enough so as to reserve the integrity of the meat and keep it from shrinking on the grill.
2. Turn off the heat, remove the lobster with sturdy tongs and place on a cutting board. With a dry towel hold the lobster in place and straighten out the tail. With a large chef’s knife (preferably 8″) point straight down with the tip of the knife at the base of the lobsters head. While still holding the lobster in place with your other hand and the edge of the knife facing the opposite direction of the hand holding the lobster, push through the shell with the knife going all the way down until contact with the cutting board is made, then bring the edge of the knife down cutting through the lobster all the way. Now, rotate the lobster 180 degrees while making sure the claws are extended out, bring the blade of the knife back to the base of the head where the initial cut was made and cut through the remainder of the uncut head rendering the lobster completely cut in half. Gently wipe the meat of the lobster clean with a towel (you’ll find you may need more than one).
3. Remove the tomalley and reserve if desired or discard.
4. Remove the rubber bands from the claws of the lobster.
5. With your grill already fired up, hot and ready place both sides of the lobster shell side down first and grill for approximately four minutes.
6. Flip the sides of the lobster to meat side down on the grill. Cook for another three and a half minutes or until the meat is bright white and pronounced grill marks are present.
7. Remove from the grill, brush with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Optionally serve with charred lemon.

CHARRED LEMON

Cut lemon in half and place on the grill, rotating once until a dark char is achieved (approximately six minutes). The char gives the lemon a nice flavor of caramel, mellows out the acidity and looks great.

Why is Lobster So Much Cheaper in Maine?

“I was in Maine last summer and paid $7 for a lobster”, a customer tells the bartender on a busy Saturday night at The Lobster Trap in Asheville, NC.

Understanding why folks can buy a $7 lobster during the summer in Maine requires a little bit of background on lobster biology. Lobsters grow by shedding their shell, a process known as molting. Typically, around the beginning of July when the water temperatures in Maine start warming up, lobsters migrate to the coast to shed the hard shells they’ve been carrying all winter. Over 75% of the lobsters caught in Maine during the summer are “soft shell” lobsters.

“I can peel open a soft shell lobster with my bare hands”, says The Lobster Trap owner Amy Beard. “The meat is tender, but only a fraction of the size of the shell. Soft shell lobsters are abundant during the summer months and they can’t be shipped so they are at a much lower price point than hard shell lobsters. The lobsters have been late to migrate this year because of the colder water temperatures on the coast but the soft shells should start hitting the market soon.”

Unfortunately, soft shell lobsters are fragile and can’t survive a trip to the mountains of North Carolina. Hard shell lobsters might be harder to come by in Maine during the summer, but the sweet, delicate flavor of hard shell lobsters are always available at The Lobster Trap located in the heart of downtown Asheville, NC.

Employee of the Month for June

Congratulations to David Carson aka “Bookie” for being selected The Lobster Trap Employee of the Month for June!

The entire staff enjoys working with David. Starting as a dishwasher 5 years ago in the back of the house, he has moved to the front of the house as a busser and you might also see David working behind the bar. David is known for his dedication, hard work, and one of the best laughs in town. His smile is highly contagious for both the staff and every customer that walks in the door. His favorite thing to eat at the lobster trap are the crab legs. He always says he can never get enough of them. When David is not at work he loves to hang out with his friends, dance the night away, and play basketball. If you decide to play him in basketball, you must watch out for his three pointer. We are very fortunate to have David on our staff and we all look forward to watching him grow at the Lobster Trap.