I killed a lobster.
When I set off to make Lobster Chowder, I knew this would happen. I read the instructions. However, I forgot that I actually had to do it. When it came time to complete step 1 (see below), I screamed like a pre-teen girl and stumbled backwards into the garbage can. It wasn’t exactly the lobster scene in “Julie and Julia,” but comparable. I’m not sure how I expected to react, but frankly, I expected more of myself. I mean, I’ve climbed Everest (sorta)! I survived Hurricane Katrina (sorta)! Surely I could cook a lobster like a pro.
Despite the above mentioned trauma, the chowder came out good. I don’t typically lean towards chowder because I try to keep things light, but this was creamy without using cream and perfect for an early fall evening. Taking the extra time to make a lobster broth for the base of the soup was key and really added that extra layer of flavor, and I suppose if I’m going to go all out and cook with lobster, I’m going to suck all the flavor that I can out of that little crustacean.
Would I make it again? I’m not sure, but since part of this project is to try new foods and techniques , I think I can safely check that off the list.
- 1 live lobster (1 ½ pounds)
- 1 ½ TB unsalted butter
- ½ large leek, half coarsely chopped and half thinly sliced, kept separately and washed well
- 1 ½ cups fresh corn (from about 2 ears), cobs reserved and halved crosswise
- ½ TB flour
- ½ zucchini, diced
- ½ summer squash, diced
- ½ cup basil
- Salt and pepper
- A bit of tobacco (HB addition)
- Fill a large stockpot ¾ of the way with water. Boil, add salt and plunge the lobster in, headfirst into the water. Boil uncovered until bright red, about 10-15 minutes. Remove lobsters with tongs and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Working over a colander set in a large bowl, snip the tip of the lobster claw to release the juices into the bowl. Separate lobster meat from shells and cut into bite-size pieces. Reserve meat and shells separately. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve.
- Melt 1 TB of butter in the same stockpot over medium high heat. Add chopped leek, corncobs and reserved lobster shells. Cook for 4 minutes. Add reserved lobster liquid and simmer gently 20 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
- Puree ½ cup lobster broth with ½ cup corn kernels. Melt remaining butter in a large pot over low heat. Cook sliced leek, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over leeks, stirring 1 minute. Stir in puréed corn mixture and cook until broth thickens, about 2 minutes. Add remaining lobster broth and bring to a simmer. Add zucchini and squash and remaining corn and cook until squash is tender, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in reserved lobster meat and heat until warmed through, not too long to not over cook the lobster. Season with salt and garnish with basil. Tabasco optional.