There are few secrets to cooking and reheating seafood properly, and we don't want to keep them from you. Take a look through our recipes and cooking instructions for some good ideas. If you have recipes you would like us to add, send an email to us...
Oh...and by the way... Lobster is pretty good for you as well. Take a look.
For the health conscious, Maine lobster is a dieter's dream. It's low in fat, calories and cholesterol - lower than skinless white meat chicken or turkey.
When: Best from July until mid-September. For thin or new-shelled lobster, or for any recipe that requires partial precooking.
Advantage: The easiest and quickest cooking method. Produces meat that lifts easily from the shell.
Disadvantage: Large pots are difficult to handle and messy. Unless you boil lobster in fresh sea water, boiling diffuses the clean, distinct ocean taste.
How: Use a pot large enough to allow three quarts of water for each pound and a half to two pound lobster. Use fresh ocean water, or add Kosher or sea salt until the water tastes distinctly salty. Add the rockweed in which the lobster is usually packed. A one-pound lobster requires eight minutes: two pounds, 15 minutes, three pound, 25 minutes.
When: Best from mid-May to late June, and mid-October through December, when lobsters are hard shelled. For lobsters two pounds or less; larger lobsters char, dry, and toughen on the grill.
Advantage: Grilling ads a slight smokiness to lobster meat. Grilled shells impart a deep, full flavor, and the lobster is not wet and messy to eat.
Disadvantage: Each lobster requires a square foot of grill space. There is no set cooking time.
How: Build a large coal fire, and allow it to burn for about 15 minutes. Split, but do not quarter the lobster. Remove the head sack and intestines. Using a knife, crack the claws on the side that will not be exposed to the heat. Brush the claws, carcass, shell and exposed meat with butter or olive oil, and place over medium coals. Cover the claws and carcass with an inverted shallow pan or pie tin. Do not turn the lobster. A pound and a half lobster takes 8 to 10 minutes. The meat should be firm and completely opaque.
When: Best from mid-May to late June, and mid-October through December, when lobsters are hard shelled and a butter sauce or flavored oil is desired.
Advantage: A tasty butter or oil can also revive the flavor of the softer, watery lobster at other times of the year.
Disadvantage: Without assiduous basting, meat can dry. The natural flavor of the lobster can be overpowered by the flavor of the butter or oil.
How: Split the lobster lengthwise, remove the head sac and intestines. Use a knife to crack the claws on the side that will not be down. Baste every part of the lobster with butter, oil or the sauce of your choice. Place lobster on a rack six to eight inches below a preheated broiler for five minutes. Remove the lobster, baste well and return to the broiler reversing the rack position. Boil until tender. A pound and a half lobster takes 10 minutes; two pounds, 13 minutes.
When: Best in late summer, when lobsters have thinner shells and will benefit from added substance and flavor. Or any time you want to sacrifice pure lobster flavor for buttery crisp stuffing. Lobsters of a pound and a half to two pounds are best.
Advantage: With stuffing, less lobster can feed more people.
Disadvantage: Stuffing can obscure the taste of the lobster.
How: Split the lobster; remove the head sac and intestines. Crack the claw shell. For two lobsters, make one to two cups of seafood stuffing. For added richness, use shrimp, crab or chopped scallops and Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs. Put the stuffing in the cavity of the lobster. Brush the stuffing and the exposed tail meat with butter, and bake at 425 degrees. A pound and a half lobster takes about 17 minutes; two pounds 24 minutes. Serve half a lobster for each person.
How to Re-Heat Lobsters
Lobsters that are cooked and wrapped in foil should be placed in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes in the foil. We recommend placing the lobsters on a cookie sheet or in a pan to prevent dripping.
Ingredients: - Serves 6
6 live lobster, each 1¼ pounds
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
12 each new potatoes, peeled, boiled, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup mayonnaise
2 heads bib lettuce
¼ cup oil-and-vinegar dressing
3 each hard-boiled eggs, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, quartered
12 each black olives
Steam the lobsters for 20 minutes and remove the meat from the shell, keeping the shell of one of the lobsters as intact as possible. Cut the lobster into bite-size pieces. Add the potatoes and gently fold in the mayonnaise. Brush the reserved shell with vegetable oil to make it shine. Weight its tail beneath a heavy object so it stays straight.
Toss the lettuce leaves with the dressing and arrange the leaves in a strip along the center of a large serving platter. Place the lobster mixture on top of the lettuce. Nestle the reserved lobster shell on top of the lobster meat. Arrange egg slices and tomato pieces by alternating them along on side of the platter. Garnish with black olives.
Ingredients: - Serves 4
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
4 large potatoes, diced
1/2 cup water
2 to 3 cups cooked lobster meat
4 cups whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion in butter until soft.
Add potato with about 1/2 cup water. Then boil gently until tender or about 10 minutes.
Add lobster pieces and milk and heat thoroughly, but do not boil. Use part cream, if desired.
How to STEAM Seafood
1. Choose a broad, shallow pan with a steaming rack that fits snugly. Be sure you also have a lid that will fit snuggly over the steaming pan.
2. Arrange the seafood on a heatproof plate that fits into the steamer. Sprinkle the seafood with seasoning and aromatic vegetables as called for in the recipe.
3. Bring the water to a boil in the steamer. Set the plate of seafood on the steamer rack, put the rack over the boiling water and cover tightly with the lid.
4. Steam the seafood until it is opaque through the center of the thickest part. Transfer the seafood and vegetables to individual plates and serve.
* All fish fillets or steaks (avoid meaty fish such as tuna)
* All shellfish
* Whole fish (as large as the steamer can accommodate)
For steaming, seafood is set on a rack, not touching the boiling water in a covered pan. The steam circulates around the seafood and evenly cooks it with moist heat. No added fat is needed, making this one of the most health-conscious cooking methods.
How to BAKE Seafood
1. Preheat the oven. Arrange the seafood in an even layer in a lightly oiled or buttered baking dish, folding the ends under for even cooking.
2. Sprinkle the seafood with the seasoning, coating, vegetables or whatever is called for in the recipe.
3. Bake the seafood until it is opaque through the thickest part. The time will vary, but 10 minutes per inch of thickness is a good rule of thumb.
4. Transfer the seafood and vegetables to individual plates. Spoon any remaining cooking juices over the seafood and serve immediately.
* All fish fillets or steaks
* All shellfish
* Whole fish (as large as the oven can accommodate)
Baking is so versatile that everything from thin fillets to oysters on the half-shell to large whole fish can be baked. Smaller fillets or fish pieces should cook at a high temperature (425 F) so that they can cook quickly and retain moisture. Large pieces and whole fish should be cooked at a moderate temperature (350 F) so that the heat can penetrate to the interior without cooking the exterior.
How to BROIL Seafood
1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish and stir to mix. Add the seafood and turn to evenly coat. Or lightly season with salt and pepper.
2. Set the oven rack 3-4 inches from the top and preheat the broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil and lightly oil. Take the seafood from the marinade. Arrange the pieces on the prepared broiler pan.
3. Broil the seafood for a few minutes, as directed in the recipe. Turn the seafood and spoon on any reserved marinade, if using.
4. Continue broiling until the seafood is just opaque through the thickest part (cut to test). Transfer to individual plates and serve.
* Fillets or steaks 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick
* Shrimp, scallops, squid (preferably skewered)
* Whole fish (as large as the oven can accommodate)
Baking is so versatile that everything from thin fillets to oysters on the half-shell to large whole fish can be baked. Smaller fillets or fish pieces should cook at a high temperature (425 degrees F) so that they can cook quickly and retain moisture. Large pieces and whole fish should be cooked at a moderate temperature (350 degrees F) so that the heat can penetrate to the interior without cooking the exterior.
How to Poach Seafood
1. Combine water and seasoning in a broad, shallow pan, checking that the liquid is deep enough to cover the seafood.
2. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat so that the liquid actively moves, but no bubbles break the surface. Add the seafood.
3. Poach, uncovered, until the seafood is opaque through the thickest part. Transfer the seafood to a plate, cover to keep warm and set aside.
4. Ladle some cooking liquid through a strainer into a small pan and boil to reduce by half. Season as directed. Spoon the sauce over the seafood and serve.
Scallops, shrimp, squid, and shucked oysters. Whole fish as poacher size allows. Fish fillets and steaks. Avoid tuna, swordfish, and shark.
In poaching, seafood is submerged in hot liquid. The liquid can be plain water, or it can be mixed with seasonings, herbs, fish stock, wine or other flavorful additions. The best pan for poaching is broad and shallow, rather than narrow and tall, so the seafood can lie flat in an even layer. It’s important to remember that “poaching” is not the same thing as “boiling”. Boiling can damage the seafood, breaking it into pieces and cooking it unevenly. Remaining cooking liquid, especially if it contains herbs or fish stock, is delicious and can be strained to use as a soup base or boiled and reduced for a sauce.
How to Sauté Seafood
1. Lightly pat the seafood dry with paper towel to reduce splattering during cooking. Dust with coating and pat to remove excess.
2. Heat the oil or butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the seafood and cook over medium heat until browned.
3. Turn the seafood and continue cooking until well browned and opaque through the thickest part. Cooking time is about 10 minutes per inch thickness.
4. Transfer the seafood to plates, cover with foil to keep warm and make a quick sauce in the skillet. Pour the sauce over the seafood and serve immediately.
Whole trout or small catfish. Fish fillets under 1 ¼ inch thick. Shucked oysters, large shrimp, and scallops
Sautéing is a less active cooking method than its cousin stir-frying. Sautéing is done over moderate heat, browning the seafood on one side, then turning it over to finish cooking on the other. Very thin fillets are tricky to sauté because they become fragile as they cook; consider steaming them instead. To create a nice crisp coating when sautéing, first dust the seafood with a light coating of flour, fine cornmeal, breadcrumbs or finely chopped nuts. Because sautéing requires the use of fat (oil, butter, margarine), you can’t avoid the added calories, but if you use a skillet with a non-stick surface you can get away with using a minimum of added fat.
How to Deep-Fry Seafood
1. Fill an electric fryer or heavy, deep pan about 1/3 full of vegetable oil and preheat to 375 degrees. Coat the seafood with seasoned flour; pat to remove the excess.
2. Dip the seafood quickly in milk, then thoroughly cover with the outer coating. Pat to remove excess and set aside on a plate.
3. Gently add the seafood; the oil should bubble actively around the seafood, indicating it is the correct temperature.
4. Fry until evenly browned, gently turning once or twice for even cooking. To check if done, cut into one piece to see if it is opaque through. Drain on paper towels before serving.
Deep-frying requires careful attention to avoid fire, or other accidents. Never fill a fryer more than 1/3 full of oil. Keep handles and cords directly toward the back of the work area to avoid tipping the fryer. Take care that no water comes in contact with the hot oil or it will splatter violently. Keep an open box of baking soda on hand for small flare-ups. Every kitchen should be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
Most types of seafood can be deep-fried, though some are better than others. Among the best are shrimp, scallops, oysters, squid and white fish such as cod, halibut and sole. The seafood pieces should be equally sized to ensure even cooking. The most important part of successful frying is thoroughly coating the food before placing it in the hot oil. This forms a protective barrier between the food and the oil, sealing in moisture and reducing splattering. Coatings range from flour to a variety of batters.