Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I love lobster. Apart from diver scallops, it may be my most favorite food in the world. Unfortunately, we are more than just land-locked where I live, we are downright secluded.

Enter: Tyler Florence Fridays. I have been in such a rut the last year or so with my cooking. See, this is how our home life is. The husband is a union Boilermaker, spending his days inside (and outside) of power plants. Long hours, extreme temperatures, and often unable to leave the job site to get lunch, even if there was somewhere local to go.

So...I cook. Every night (with a few minor exceptions), I cook. I make a Boilermaker-hearty meal, and I generally double every recipe so that there is enough for the three of us, plus enough leftovers for him to take at least one meal, if not more, to work the next day. Many times, he'll take all the leftovers, in individual containers, and feed his welding partner, or some unfortunate soul who is in between wives, or mortgage payments, and treats them to a home cooked meal. He has already been asked to leave me to a buddy of his in his will. (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not! I'm pretty sure there is a guy out there that thinks he's going to "inherit" me if anything unforeseen should befall my husband.)

Now, if you know anything about the trades, it is that the work is usually seasonal. They get paid well, but they are usually off work in the dead of winter and the dog days of summer, so I am used to getting large chunks of "cooking vacation". The last couple of years, there have been a few "big jobs" going on, or new units being built, and the hubs has been working without a break for over two years. Don't get me wrong, you know I love to cook, and I love cooking for my man, but when you do it night after night, and it is not even usually food that you enjoy eating, it gets, well.....tedious.

Yes, there, I said it! I get BORED with cooking! I always look forward to entertaining, or just having a good friend over who enjoys food as much as I do so I have an excuse to make something fun or new. Well, I no longer feel like I have to wait that long. Tyler Florence Fridays gets me going and motivates me to try something new every week, and I love it!

Now, with that in mind, and my previous statement about loving lobster, there is a recipe in Tyler's Stirring the Pot (and then, again, in his blog) that I have been dying to try, and this weekend I decided it was time.

Please meet my friend, Friedrich:I know, I know, I'm a crazy woman. I don't know what to say, I took him out of the bag from the store, and I asked him, "What should we call you?", and I swear to God, he said "Friedrich".

If you know anything at all about where I live, you're already thinking to yourself, "Where in the blankety-blank did she find a live lobster?" Well, you're right, not anywhere near MY house. I actually drove an hour north of here to the closest store with a lobster tank, walked up to the counter and said, "I need a lobster, please." Ty wasn't too sure about the "monsters" crawling around behind the glass, but he went along with it anyway.

Ok, next confession. I have never cooked a whole lobster. Never killed one. I assumed that being a deer hunter, I would be able to pull it off. And, thanks to Tyler's very detailed instructions on quickly and humanely killing the little critter, I was able to do it! (don't get me wrong...there was a moment where I wavered when the little guy didn't stop moving when I expected him to, but I did it.) And I'd do it again!

Why? Because it was SO. DAMNED. GOOD.

In the book, Tyler pairs the lobster with chips, which is fun, but I was in the mood for surf and turf, so I seasoned up a lovely filet mignon and cooked it to a nice medium rare,and tossed together a bright little caprese salad with the fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil from my garden, along with a light balsamic-lemon drizzle.It was almost too pretty to eat....almost.The breadcrumb topping seals in all the moisture in the meat, and it just comes out tender, juicy and delicious. I only made a couple of tiny changes to this one. One, because I forgot to pick up Panko, so I used regualr breadcrumbs. Two, the hubs and I don't care for thyme, so I pulled some oregano from my garden, along with the parsley, and it was fabulous.

If you've ever wanted to try something like this, I highly recommend it. (But if you have a queasy stomach....I'd have someone else do the butchering.) I'd be happy to come over and long as you're making some for me!


Yield: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

2 live lobsters (about 2 pounds)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
1/2 stick melted butter
5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and gently smashed
1/2 bunch, chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, cut into large wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place lobster in freezer to kill humanely then begin preparing the bread crumb topping. In a food processor add fresh parsley, thyme, raw peeled garlic, melted butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Process until well combined then stop, add the panko and pulse a couple of times just to combine. Set aside while you prepare the lobster.Using the tip of your knife, split and cut the lobster right through down the middle. Discard the insides and tomali then place the halves flesh-side up in a roasting tray (I'll spare you the pictures of this part). Drizzle with a little olive oil so the panko will stick then pack on the crumb topping.Bake in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Now, I really, REALLY need to get a light box in my kitchen so I can get better shots....this was just so amazing, the pictures don't do it justice. But don't take MY word for it, try it yourself!
Really....isn't it gorgeous?I can hardly control the urge to dunk a piece of that lovely white flakiness in that cup of butter...Can you?


Kim said...

It all looks absolutely beautiful. Love the colors in the salad and the plating of the whole dish. This is a great post! I made the beef brisket and mentioned you in my post. It was awesome, just like you said.

ARLENE said...

I just had breakfast, but I'm salivating over your surf and turf. I think about making a light box all the time, but I'd need a place to store it. I, too,sometimes feed "the buds." I even get comments delivered home when SO wants a PB&J sandwich and his friend comments on whether we're waiting for my pension check or I was too busy to cook.

Ty'sMommy said...

Kim - thank you!!! I saw your briskey yesterday and it looks WONDERFUL! And thanks for linking to me!

Arlene - think I'm just going to have to break down and do it. I'm going to have to have a light box. There is just no way around it. Ad I'm glad I'm not the only one who feeds the guys - I was beginning to wonder how these big burly men get by on lunchmeat alone!

heatherisathome said...

Great presentation! I love the way you plated the dish. It looks delicious.

Michelle said...

Absolutely gorgeous dish! Love your presentation!

Can't wait to try it!

Jenny said...

That is fabulous looking. And inspirational - my birthday is next month is my birthday and I may have to treat myself.

karen said...

that's a cute story about your husband's co-workers. this meal sounds so wonderful. we've made lobster at home before but my boyfriend did all the work - honestly, i had to leave the room. i'll have to get him involved again and try out this version.

Joanne said...

That is a beautiful dish. I love all the variety. If I had to cook every day, I would get bored of cooking as well. I like that I only have to think of 2-3 dishes a week and then get to enjoy the leftovers. At least there's TFF to keep you inspired!

Debinhawaii said...

Very brave of you to cook the lobster. i have yet to cook one! ;-) It looks really delicious.