The Lobster Trap

Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

by The Lobster Trap Executive Chef Mike McCarty

Raw Oysters (8)
Cooking Oil
Watercress (1 bunch)
Chopped Garlic (1 Tbsp)
Chopped Shallot (1 Tbsp)
Pernod Liquor (1 shot)
Bread Crumbs


Egg Yolks (6)
Warm Water (1/4 cup)
Lemon Juice (3 Tbsp)
Soft Butter (1/2 lb.)
Cayenne Pepper (dash)

Have all of your ingredients in place before bringing your oysters out of refrigeration. Wash the watercress under cold water and dry it with a clean towel, set aside. Heat a large saute pan with cooking oil at a medium temperature and add chopped garlic and chopped shallot. Sweat and add your watercress and sauté for approximately 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat and add your shot of Pernod. Once alcohol is cooked out (about five seconds) bring pan back to heat and cook for one minute. Remove pan from heat and lay pan ingredients out over a tray to cool for five minutes. Once cooled, transfer watercress to a cutting board and with a chefs knife carefully chop watercress mixture until you can spoon over an oyster.

Now for the Hollandaise:

Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale (this prepares them for what is to come). Set the pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan where the eggs tend to overcook. To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on. (If, by chance, the eggs seem to be cooking too fast, set the pan in a bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then continue). As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat. By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed.

Now that you have your two biggest contributing ingredients in place and ready to use, you can prepare your Oysters Rockefeller. Shuck you oyster of choice, spoon a dollop of the watercress mixture over the raw oyster, then add the Hollandaise and bread crumbs and place under the broiler. Cook just until the Hollandaise and bread crumbs begin to brown. Serve immediately.

Chef Mike’s Grilled Lobster

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


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


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.


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.

Lobster Trap Shrimp & Grits Recipe

Note: The grits used by The Lobster Trap are an heirloom corn from Peaceful Valley Farms.

For the grits:

3 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of water
1 cup of grits
1/4 of whole butter, unsalted
Salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp:

1/2 pound of 31-35 size shrimp sustainably caught from a specialty market. Shell on or peeled and divined depending on preference.
1/4 pound of of cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
3/4 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of smoked bacon cut into small dices
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of chopped shallot
Salt and pepper to taste


For the grits, combine cream, water and butter in pot and bring to boil.  Once at a boil add grits and reduce heat to low and whisk frequently for 20 minutes until grits are tender and thick.  Keep grits warm.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and set aside in fridge.

In sauté pan add oil, enough to coat the bottom and heat at medium heat for approximately 45 seconds.

Add bacon and render out fat for about 30 seconds then add shrimp and cook turning over after about 10 seconds on each side.

Add the garlic, shallots and tomatoes and cook for approximately 45 seconds.

Take the pan off the heat and pour the white wine, once wine is poured replace pan back on stove.

Reduce the wine in pan by half

Once wine is reduced, turn heat down to low and add the butter.

Whisk butter until completely incorporated and dissolved.

Spoon grits into bowl and pour shrimp over and serve.  Garnish with chives or green onion.