Monday, December 28, 2015

Gotta Eat! Mad Max Lobster Roll

Part of my Christmas weekend was spent cleaning up the house, organizing and putting together one of those giant IKEA shelves. The Swedish furniture store was down by a 99 Ranch Market, a great place for Asian fare and cheap seafood. Lobster was running $10.99 a pound so I picked a couple crustaceans up for a nice holiday meal. Remember that summer a couple years ago when Maine Lobster was cheaper than bologna due to colder water temperatures leading to an abundance of the claw and tailed tastees? While California never got $5.00 lobster, I did see it for $9.99 once. Of course you want a lively lobster because if it's already dead or cathartic, it won't taste as good and you can have bacteria forming in dead ones. The two medium guys I took home didn't move at all on the ride home but when I grabbed one and set him on the counter, he immediately started moving around and looking at me with his little beady eyes. This kind of freaked me out because you really never slaughter your own food in this day and age. And like Van Damme said, "animals have eyes, eyes they have a soul" and this one must have realized what was going to happen because he started thrashing a little bit and backing away from me. I named this guy Max Lobatansky a la Mad Max Rockatansky for some reason.

I read up on humane ways to kill lobsters although most chefs and experts agree that the hard shelled creatures are essentially giant bugs and you wouldn't feel bad for killing a mosquito, right? So using a big knife I punctured the top of the lobster's head and sliced down, supposedly destroying the nervous system. But the tail and extremities keep moving so it's a little unnerving. I've always been conscious of the fact that animals have been slaughtered for my consumption so I do my best not to waste food or take it for granted. To prep Max, I put a pot on to boil and added salt, butter, onion and some herbs. After killing Max, I snipped the rubber bands on his claws then submerged him into the pot for 15 minutes until bright red and ready to eat. Setting him on a chopping board on top of some cardboard ensured less of a mess as I broke, cut and cracked my way in with a side of melted butter with some garlic shavings mixed in. When eating, be mindful of removing the intestinal tract in the tail. While there is some potential danger of eating the tomalley or internal organs due to the fact that pollutants could accumulate. I went ahead and ate the green stuff and was fine. For the second lobster who went unnamed, I did the freezer trick where you let them chill in the ice box for 30 minutes so they're desensitized. Then use your knife and do the head splitting action. This worked quite well as nameless didn't struggle and hopefully did not suffer. I removed the meat from this one and realized just how little comes out. You basically have the tail and claws, a little in the knuckles, a little in the abdomen then with a rolling pin, a fraction in the legs. I think jumbo shrimp is the easier way to go, similar taste and texture with less shell and work.

Stay shiny and chrome, little Max Lobatansky, I witnessed your deliciousness...

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