steam them for me, as it would save time and I did not have anything special planned, just eating it. I figured I would pull the meat out and my son and I could just dip it in butter and go mmmmmm. This was not for Valentine’s day – but just taking advantage of a low price on fresh live Maine Lobster and a chance for a surprise.
So, when I get home, I pull all the meat out, and sampled as I went (who wouldn’t) – melt in your mouth and no butter necessary. I put it aside and started cleaning the shells because the next best thing to lobster meat is making lobster stock. My son comes home from school and I thought I would give him a good surprise and I said – Hey if you are hungry for an after school snack – I have fresh lobster for you. I thought I would get a “Wow Great!”. Not the case, I got a “not hungry and not in the mood for Lobster”. WHAT? I gotta shake my head here. This kid gets too much good food that he doesn’t realize how good he has it. Who turns down Lobster? I guess for him, it’s time to start making baloney sandwiches. 🙂
Then it dawned on me, perhaps he did us all a favor, Why don’t I make a Lobster Risotto using the fresh stock? And even better, I can turn them into risotto balls and freeze them to share at a later date. It makes a great nibbling for when the family gets together or for a party as an app or lunch.
To my son’s over stimulated teenage palate – THANK YOU for not eating the Lobster.
Cooking the Lobster (if you do it at home)
If you decide to bring the live lobster home, here is how you cook them. It is more ideal than having the store steam them for you since you can control how “done they get”. I got lucky on this one from the store where they turned out perfect. I have had other times they were over done. If you do ask the grocery store steam them for you, open the bag to allow the steam to escape so they don’t over cook by the time you get home.
In a pot larger enough to hold the two lobsters (or bigger if you are doing more than two), heat about 2 – 4 inches, of water and add 1 TBS of sea salt and bring to a roaring boil. Add the lobster, head down and steam for about 10 – 15 minutes depending on size. It is done when it is bright red.
Remove and plunge into an ice water bath (ice + water) to stop the cooking process.
Remove the meat from the claws, knuckles, tail and small legs (if desired). Don’t worry about breaking up the shells, you can still use all little pieces for the stock. Dice up the meat into small pieces. You can still sample. I did.
Making the Lobster Stock
To save time – buy it. Otherwise, this turns out a good stock.
Claw, tail, leg and top of body (pull the armor off the back of the lobster) shells of the lobster, smashed
2 large carrots, sliced
3 stalks of celery, washed and sliced
1 large onion cut into 8 wedges
5 garlic cloves smashed
3 sprigs ea: Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Parsley
2 – 3 bay leaves
2 TBS peppercorn
1 TBS olive oil
- In a large stock pot, add the olive oil and heat on med-high heat for about a minute.
- Add in the onions, celery, carrots, and peppercorn. Let sauté for about 3 – 5 minutes, until the carrots start to get soft.
- Add in the garlic, herbs, lobster shells, bay leaves, and sauté for another 3 – 5 minutes.
- Fill the pot with water short 1 inch from the top. Bring to a simmer.
- Let simmer for 3 – 5 hours.
- Strain the liquid into a bowl, discard everything but the liquid. Rinse the pot and add the stock back into the pot.
- Keep warm if using same day. Else, refrigerate for up to 3 days if you made this in advance.
Making the Rice:
2 TBS butter
2 TBS olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup leeks, cleaned and sliced and diced
5 cups Aboro rice
12 – 15 cups stock
2 cups dry white wine
Making the Rice Better:
meat from 2, 1.5 LB lobsters
1/2 pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup cream
1.5 cups shredded or grated parm
- Bring the wine to room temp and heat the stock to just above room temp.
- In a large stock pot (6 – 8 qts) or a very large (16in) sauté pan with deep sides, add the butter, olive oil, onions, leeks, pepper and sauté over med heat until the onions start to become translucent.
- Add in the pepper and rice. Saute, stirring often until the rice starts to become translucent and you can see the “eye” of the grain clearly.
- Add in the wine. Let it absorb. Stir constantly.
- When the wine is absorbed, start adding 1 – 2 cups of stock at a time. Let each addition of stock absorb until adding the next. (if you run out of stock, you can use warm water, or warm up some low-fat/low sodium chicken stock).
- Repeat step 5 about 5 or 7 more times, until the rice is cooked. You can check by tasting. If it has the right texture for you and tastes good, with a tiny bit of bite back, you are done.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add in the lobster meat, cream cheese, cream and parm cheese. Stir until all is blended. Taste. Does it need more? Is it too thick (add more cream or a lithe bit more stock). If it is to thin, cook it down a bit more.
- You can serve it now, or let it cool to make the balls.
MAKING the BALLS (Arancini)
If you want to serve this as finger food, this is the way to do it. They can be frozen and reheated at 375 for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the center is hot and the cheese is melted. This recipe makes about 75 – 85 golf sized balls.
3 – 4 cups vegetable oil (enough to fill the fryer)
If not using a fryer, you can fill a deep saute pan with oil to come up 2/3rds of the way of the pan.
2 – 3 eggs whisked as if making scrambled eggs
2 cups Italian seasoned Panko Flakes (Or Breadcrumbs)
1 large fresh mozzarella ball, diced into 1/4 in cubes
Fresh Basil, chopped
toss the two together
- Put the eggs in a bowl and the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
- Take 2 TBS of risotto and form into a ball (this will get messy – I use those thin latex gloves you can find in the first aid section of CVS, makes it less messy).
- Press a small amount of the mozzarella and basil mixture into center and close around the mixture to form ball.
- Roll the ball in the egg, shake off excess, then roll into the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet to set until you are ready to fry them.
- To fry, place a few balls into the fryer at a time. Be sure to turn them so all sides reach a golden brown. If using the stove top pan – place the balls into the pan (do not over crowd) and turn once the bottom half reaches a golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels or a rack. Serve immediately or cool down before refrigerating or freezing.
Other Stuffing Ideas/Substitutions:
Sun dried tomatoes: (minced), basil (minced) goat cheese
Sautéed vegetables: diced very small: Asparagus, Broccoli, Zucchini, Eggplant, Summer Squash, Peas, etc..
Roasted Tomatoes: Slice a plum tomato into 3rd, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano – bake at 350/375 until shriveled about 30+ minutes; remove cool and mince.
Herbed Cheese: Goat cheese mixed with fresh herbs, Feta cheese mixed with fresh herbs, Boursin, flavored cream cheese, Blue Cheese, etc..