Mattapoisett REALLY in L.A.! - Pt. 2: Cookin’ Biggie the Lobster
When confronted to the Lobster tank at the 99 Ranch in Hacienda Heights, SO made a face and asked me just one thing...
“Does you mom have thick rubber gloves?”
The tiny Asian Woman clutching a Chanel Bag (REAL) in front of us had just picked out her Lobster. The Giant weighed in at almost 6lbs. I was in awe. SO was scared...
“I dunno... perhaps”... I re-assured him of his born in New England lobster cooking skills and how we’d place the lobsters in the freezer so they wouldn’t be feisty at cooking time anyway. Besides, I pointed out the 90lb soccer mom in front of us didn’t seem afraid of her Lobster.
He still had a face. So I told him, we’d get two 3 pounders instead of a monster 6lb. And so it was our turn.
I asked the Lobster Guy for two 3lb lobsters. This time, HE made the face and looked straight at SO
“No, only 4 1⁄2 lbs.”
And that is how we ended up with our Biggies. Totaling in at 9lb for 7.99 a lb, it was the priciest 99 Ranch purchase I’ve ever made.
As you can see by the picture, my Mother DID, in fact have Rubber Gloves. Which did ease some of SO’s worry, but now that we had our Lobsters in possession and in the Freezer, a new worry began, how long to steam our biggies...
He read the transcript for Alton’s Lobster Episode. Although we used lots of his advice, he really didn’t talk about steaming large lobsters...
We checked out several Lobster Steaming Guides... although they all said pretty much the same thing, the steaming time of 45 minutes was still a bit too long in SO’s mind...
Finally, our last hope, a call was made to New England for Aunt Lizzie, the Lobster Master... but we got her answering machine...
With the clock ticking, we decided on a 40 minute steam time. We took out our big stock pot, put in a bit of water, sea salt and seaweed knots (produce dept at 99 ranch) and stuck in the Lobster. To our shock, one Lobster BARELY fit! So Mom had to take our her Tamale Pot, and so we ran the two pots side by side:
Once the cooking time was over, we dunked them in a ice bath in the sink to STOP the cooking and bring out that lovely Lobster RED!
Once cool the touch, we began to dig out the meat!! This time, SO was in complete control. He showed my mom the rolling pin trick to get the leg meat, he snapped of the tail with little effort. The only time we had a bit of trouble was with the ULTRA thick claws of one of the biggies. Dad came to the rescue this time with his heavy-duty hammer... LOL!
It turned out the cooking time was a little long, the meat although not dry and stringy, was a bit more firm than creamy as SO liked it. Aunt Lizzie did call us back (Almost immediately after we had taken out the second lobster :/) and she recommended that NEXT time we steam for 35 and hold in the pot for the remaining 40-45.
So we picked our biggies completely. And had LOADS of meat to which to start the final leg of our journey... the making of the Lobster Rolls...
--Dommy & P.
We steamed an 8lb lobster last New Year's Eve. It took about 45 minutes and was one of the best lobster feasts I've ever enjoyed. I used my giant canning kettle - no idea what capacity it is but you can process 8 quart-sized Mason jars at a time in it. The lobster fitted nicely with the claws tucked in.
My first thought was, "Yup, lobster's pretty big all right"...and then I noticed how he was towering over that roll of paper towels! Yikes! Did you rent a truck to get him home?
Great pictures. Dang, I wish I'd been there...but now I have yet another reason to get me one of those big tamale steamers!