Lobster can be served simply steamed, broiled, or baked, with its meat dipped in melted butter. To add a note of class, blend its delicately sweet meat into everything from macaroni and cheese to a lobster and corn chowder. Here are some of our favorite ways to prepare this luxurious summertime staple.
Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile Butter
Rich, herbal cilantro butter spiked with chiles is the perfect dressing for elegantly simple grilled lobster.
4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp. minced cilantro
4 Fresno or Holland chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 lime, zested and quartered
2 2-lb. live lobsters
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a small bowl, stir together butter, cilantro, chiles, and lime zest; set aside. Using a heavy cleaver, split each lobster in half lengthwise through its head and tail. Scoop out and discard the yellow-green innards and cut off the claws. Transfer the lobster halves, shell side down, to a baking sheet; crack the lobster claws and transfer them to the baking sheet. Drizzle lobster halves and claws with oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a 12” cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.) Place lobster halves (flesh side down) and claws on grill and cook for 5 minutes. Turn over lobster halves and claws and spread each with some of the cilantro–chile butter; continue cooking until cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Serve with lime wedges.
Here is Jacques Pepin’s French twist on New England’s classic lobster roll—sans mayo, but bathed in warm butter with lots of fresh tarragon.
8 tbsp. butter
2 split-top hot dog rolls
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 (1½-lb.) lobsters, cooked and chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Brush insides and outsides of hot dog rolls with some of the butter; brown on both sides in a skillet over medium heat.
2. Add tarragon and lemon juice to saucepan, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and add lobster meat. Heat until just warmed through.
3. Tuck 2 lettuce leaves into each roll, fill with lobster, and spoon butter on top.
Spaghetti all’Astice (Spaghetti with Lobster)
One of our favorite ways to showcase fresh lobster is in this simple Venetian dish, where it’s tossed with garlic, fresh ripe tomatoes, and white wine.
1 (1-lb.) live Maine lobster
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup tocai friulano or other dry Friuli white wine
4 ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
12 oz. spaghetti
4 sprigs parsley, trimmed and chopped
1. Plunge a sharp knife into top of lobster’s head just behind its eyes (to kill it quickly); chop into 8–10 pieces.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lobster and any juices and garlic; cook, stirring and turning the lobster pieces, for 1 minute. Add wine and cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking tomatoes down with the back of a wooden spoon, until sauce gets smoother and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until just tender, 11–13 minutes. Drain, add pasta to sauce, stirring well, and cook a few minutes more. Serve garnished with parsley.
Lobster and Corn Chowder
Fresh sweet summer corn and lobster are on display in this creamy New England chowder, subtly spiced with cayenne and black pepper.
2 (2-lb.) live lobsters
1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
¼ lb. salt pork, diced
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1½ lbs. red potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 ears)
3 cups half & half
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add lobsters and cook for 8–10 minutes. Remove lobsters, reserving cooking liquid, and run under cold water. Remove meat (discard tomalley and coral) and cut into small pieces. Return shells and 10 cups reserved cooking liquid to pot.
2. Add celery, carrot, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns to cooking liquid, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1½ hours. Strain broth through a sieve into a large saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 6 cups, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
3. Cook salt pork in a large pot over medium-low heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove, drain on paper towels; set aside for garnish. Cook onions and garlic in rendered fat over low heat until translucent, about 20 minutes.
4. Add potatoes, corn, and reduced broth to onions, increase heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in half-and-half and a dash of cayenne and return to a simmer. Add lobster meat and simmer (do not boil) until heated through, 3–5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with reserved salt pork.
Lobster and Avocado Salad
Sliced ripe avocados add a silky bite to an elegant salad tossed with lobster and juicy grapefruit segments in a recipe from chef Jeremy Marshall of Aquagrill in New York City.
1 beet, peeled, trimmed and cut into wedges
½ cup plus 1 tsp. canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (1-lb.) Maine lobsters
2 tbsp. champagne
2 tbsp. champagne vinegar
¾ tsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp. finely chopped shallots
6 cups mesclun greens
3-4 ripe avocados, such as hass, pinkerton, or macarthur
1. Heat oven to 350°. Toss beets with 1 tsp. of the oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap in a foil package. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Chill beets.
2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add lobsters and cook until bright red and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool lobsters, then twist off each tail, gently crack the shell, and remove the meat in one large piece; chill. Repeat process with claws. (Reserve knuckle meat and remaining lobster for another use.)
3. Whisk together champagne, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, shallots, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. While whisking constantly, drizzle in remaining ½ cup of oil to form a smooth dressing. Toss greens with some of the dressing; arrange in center of 4 plates. Arrange chilled beets, some grapefruit segments, and 12 avocado slices around each portion of greens. Divide lobster tails and claws between plates. Drizzle each salad with remaining dressing.