Anonymous

How Do I Cook Lobster Tails?

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Bernie Zuccarelli Profile
This is an easy one.  Get a good sharp knife.  Cut the lobster tail right down the middle with the shell still on.  You can ask the fish-monger where you bought the tails to do this for you.  He will most likely do it gladly.  If you decide to do it yourself, go ahead...be brave   ;-)  Just don't go all the way through to the end of the tail...you know, that part that sort of fans out.  Lift up the meat...but don't pull it all the way out.  You don't want to break the back end of the lobster meat away from the back end of the shell.  You want it to stay connected.  Fold the split shell back together, lay the meat over the split, gently pull the meat apart a little, and gently press the meat down to flatten it out just a bit.  Lay the tails in a baking dish or shallow roasting pan - depending on how many tails you are cooking and how big they are - brush with a little olive oil or melted butter, and season to taste.  You can fan out those little fan parts at the end of the shells.  It will give the finished tails a little fancy look.  I would take some slices of sweet onion, some garlic, some pats of butter, and lay them in the pan around the tails.  Add a little white wine, a little salt and pepper to taste, and bake uncovered at about 350F until the shell is completely red and the meat has turned an opaque white.  By the way, "oh-PAKE" means that you can't see through it.  When the lobster was raw, it was sort of transparent...like shrimp is before you cook it.  It doesn't take long for lobster tails - or any other shellfish - that long to cook.  Don't worry about the clock.  Trust your eyes and fingertips to tell you when the tails are done.  Don't overcook them.  You actually should never overcook any kind of fish.  Cook it just until the flesh feels firm to the touch.  There is a very narrow window of opportunity between the time you have tender succulent lobster tails and big chunks of rubber.  Remember:  Cooking time is way less important than what the food looks like.  When you are satisfied that the tails are done, take them out of the oven, set them aside, and let them rest for about 5 minutes.  The tails will continue to cook a little longer because of the fact that they are still hot, so it is better to pull them out of the oven a little on the early side than a little on the later side.

While the tails are baking, melt a good amount of butter on the stove.  This is for dipping as you eat.  Don't use margarine for this.  You splurged a little on the tails themselves - they weren't cheap, were they? - so splurge a little on real butter.  There may be some foamy stuff on the surface of the butter.  Skim this off and discard.  The butter you pour into the serving bowl should be yellow in color and fairly clear.  Put the bowl on the table where everyone can reach it, or put the butter into individual little bowls or cups, it's up to you.  Those handle-less Asian tea cups would look nice if you go the individual route.

If you are *really* feeling brave you can actually *STUFF* the lobster tails.  After you have split the shells and laid the meat down over the shell, pull the meat gently apart and flatten it a bit.  You can get prepared seafood stuffing in the fish department of your store, or get a recipe and make your own.  Seafood stuffing is pretty much the same as the stuffing you use for Thanksgiving turkey.  The process is pretty much the same.  The differences that come to mind is that the bread part of the mixture is chopped a little more fine, you would use different spices, and you would use crabmeat and fish broth instead of turkey giblets and chicken broth.  You would also not make quite as much at any given time.  I don't believe I've ever seen a 16-pound stuffed lobster tail.  ;-)  Keep the herbs and spices to a minimum, and keep them more on the delicate side than the strongly savory side.  Just press a generous handful of the stuffing - enough to just cover the exposed meat - right onto the meat.  Sort of make a mound with the cupped palm of your hand.  This will make the tails look very pretty when you serve them.  Sprinkle with a little paprika for color, and bake according to the directions I just gave you.  It would be a good idea to baste the tails every few minutes while they are baking so that the stuffing doesn't dry up and the paprika doesn't burn.

Serve the tails with whatever side dishes you, your family, and your guests like, along with a nice crisp
white wine.  A chardonnay or a pino grigio would pair up very well with
your beautiful lobster tails.

YUM!!!!

Glad I could help.

Bernie

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