Welcome back, my friends – ready to enjoy lobster, wine, and maybe another “adult beverage” or two with me? Great!
As I mentioned when I first brought up June food holidays, I’ve been enjoying lobster since childhood. (It wasn’t as uncommon, or luxurious, in New York then as it is in California now.)
Even today, I sometimes find amazing bargains – and when I do, I pounce. One of my local chain grocery stores has “$5 Friday” sales, which often include 4-ounce lobster tails.
I usually buy two days’ worth that are already thawed, plus some frozen ones to stash in the freezer.
Remove any dark matter from the raw flesh. Pat the pieces dry and sauté in butter, turning once or twice, until shells turn red and flesh turns creamy white.
(Optional: Add fresh ginger, grated or cut into tiny matchsticks, to the hot butter).
Unlike the tails I just described (which come from warmer Pacific waters), these tasty claws come from the true “Maine” (Atlantic) species, Homarus americanus.
I keep planning to get a big batch and make risotto – first cooking the shells with butter, onion, saffron, and white wine for a flavorful broth – but somehow I always wind up just trotting out a nutcracker and some melted butter, and working my way through the pile of claws.
On one lucky visit, I scored the biggest lobster I’d ever eaten. Rather than being alive in the tank, though, my 5-pound crimson Goliath was already cooked, packaged, and chilling near the sashimi.
Though he was plenty big enough for four people, two of us managed to polish him off in one (admittedly long) sitting.
Check out the way my behemoth sprawls across that huge platter, with his claws and tail hanging over the edges!
Although the mouth-coating texture of the saké sort of pushed the lobster over the top, it felt like a luxury sushi bar experience. Maybe some rice to break things up would improve the match.
For my taste, the sparkling wine was just right – I loved how the bubbles played off the buttery richness (that’s the “Contrast” non-rule of pairing wine and food – Click Here for your free PDF of my “5 Non-Rules”!)
My crisp, chilled rosé also cut through the rich, butter-bathed lobster.
Interestingly, my lunch buddy drank a tangy citrus-laden cocktail, which basically did the same thing.
And so did the local microbrews that the guys at the next table were enjoying.
So you can see that there isn’t always (or, I might argue, ever!) just one good match for any given food – and it doesn’t even have to be wine. And that’s just one reason to keep exploring and experimenting, so you can find out what suits your taste best!
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