I am not one of those people who love lobster. However, I am someone who loves a good deal and two 1.5 lb lobsters, baked potato and corn on the cob for $24.00 is a good deal. I am not alone in my thriftiness as there are literally lines around the block at Sunwaters in Hampton Bays, the infamous restaurant that offers this Lobster special on Monday and Tuesday nights
Recently Sunwaters moved to a neighboring location and a new restaurant, Sundays at the Bay took its place offering the same Monday and Tuesday night specials. We decided to give this newcomer a try.
At first, we were regretting our decision. No air conditioning (in the summer!), slow service and a young inexperienced staff led me to vow to never return. After waiting for what seemed like eternity, our lobsters finally arrived. I was pleasantly surprised upon observing that one of the lobsters was steamed and the other one was broiled. As a long time customer of Sunwaters (the previous restaurant), I had become used to my lobsters steamed as that was the only way they were served, however I always prefer my lobsters broiled. Steaming is easy. Broiling is hard.
I once tried broiling lobsters at home years ago, a task I will NEVER EVER do again. As mentioned in my last post, you need to cook all shell-fish alive. When I called my dad, a professional chef, to ask how to broil lobster, he gave me specific instructions on how to split the live lobster open, pry the chest cavity open with toothpicks, stuff it with chopped garlic, butter, parsley and breadcrumbs then place the lobsters under the broiler until the shells were bright red and meat was tender.
Easier said than done. Although he stressed that the lobsters need to” fresh”, he did not mention to me that these poor creatures would be alive, wiggling and writhing in agonizing pain. I tried to do what I needed to do, taking a deep breath, approaching my victim with knife in hand. I donned my two oven mitts and raised my recently sharpened Henckel to the underside of the lobsters belly and…..screamed to high heaven until my poor husband came running into the kitchen. “What the hell is wrong with you!” he yelled as I sat cowering in the corner. “It moved!” is all that I could stammer out in between hysterical gasps for air. “Gimme that!”, as he grabbed the knife out of my trembling hands.
He confidently approached the lobster and at the point of incision, yelped “Oh my god!” and jumped back. After gaining his composure, he bravely forged on and completed the dirty deed. My hero! We dined on broiled lobster that night but that was the last time that we ever cooked it again.
I am not the only one who has problems cooking lobster. The 1970’s classic “Annie Hall” featured a very freaked out Diane Keaton and an even more freaked out Woody Allan trying to boil lobster. More recently in the Oscar nominated Julie and Julia, there was a similar freak out scene with the heroine Julie played by Amy Adams having a serious meltdown trying to cook these popular crustaceans.
The problem is that these poor suckers need to be alive and literally kicking (if they still have legs) to be cooked. You can not eat an already dead lobster. The meat turns mealy, mushy and inedible.
Until we find another way to prepare seafood, I will continue to seek out the bargain restaurant offering to “off” these creatures at minimal cost. I will happily pay a premium to avoid the ridiculously horrific method of preparation and that is why I will absolutely go back again.
Chow for now!