Fresh, sweet lobster reminds me of summer vacations with my family in Maine. The memories are still so vivid that if I close my eyes, I can almost smell the briny ocean as we drove to the lobster shacks along the rocky coastline, my mouth watering and my anticipation building with each passing moment. We made a pact to try a different shack every day, and although I can’t remember my favorite place, I vividly remember the red picnic tables, the bright blue sky, and the pure unfettered delight of slurping that sweet lobster meat right out of its shell.
These days, especially in summer, I prefer to devour a butter-drenched steamed lobster in the privacy of my home, where I’m not embarrassed to surgically dig out every last morsel of the exquisite snowy white meat. While steamed lobster in the summer always hits the spot, I started thinking that it needs to be enjoyed more than once a year.
That’s why I asked some of my favorite chefs for their best lobster recipes. Like me, they believe that something extraordinary doesn’t really need a zillion ingredients or complicated steps to make it sublime. The Truffled Lobster Macaroni and Cheese from Steve Corry is a perfect example. A luscious, silky-smooth cheese sauce lightly coats the lobster without overwhelming its delicate flavor. Finished with a modest drizzle of truffle oil and a few truffle peelings, it’s luxurious without going overboard.
For a refreshing take on lobster rolls, try Ginger Pierce and Preston Madson’s version with just the right ratio of lobster to chopped salad—the brioche bun adds a touch of sweetness and absorbs the tasty mayonnaise dressing without getting mushy.
Emily Peterson offers up a unique and utterly delectable dish called Lobster Poached in Gewürztraminer and Pear Nectar. The surprising combination of ingredients delivers sophisticated flavor and is easy to make. And last but not least, a show-stopping Lobster Benedict from Matt Jennings will make any weekend breakfast or brunch truly memorable.
You can simplify all of these recipes by purchasing cooked lobster meat, but it’s pretty easy to prepare for yourself. Besides, when you cook the lobster yourself, you can steal a few bites in the kitchen—plate and napkins optional.
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–Chef Diana Andrews
- photographs courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine
- photography by Scott Phillips
- food styling by Ronne Day