|Funke Koleosho's Peppered Prawns|
There is something luxurious about eating lobsters and most people tend to serve or eat them on special occasions...
A lot of people I know (including me) love to eat lobsters but the idea of cooking and eating them could be quite daunting for most. The effort required in prepping and serving them also could prove rather challenging, even to the best of chefs/cooks.
So What is my Take on Serving Lobsters
I still remember my first experience of eating lobsters, when my father operated a fishery, many years ago. Brought fresh straight from the fish depot, my mother merely salted and fried it (not having that many ideas of how best to cook it in those days.) I was given one of the huge claws, left with the task of cracking the shell and getting at the chunk of meat in it. It required some effort but the meat tasted so good and different from everything else I had been eating up to the point of my life. I enjoyed it and would usually look forward to my fathers staff coming to the house to deliver the week's supply of seafood.
Over time, lobsters featured less on the menu at home as they became less available to buy in open markets. They became something we had at restaurants on special occasions.
My kids love seafood, crabs, prawns, lobsters etc, so I tend to look out freshly caught ones when I visit the fish market. In my opinion, the best way to eat seafood is when its been freshly caught. The tastes of fresh ones and frozen ones are miles apart, so as much as possible get the fresh ones.
How Fresh is your Lobster?
Appearance: lobster shell has an all over black colour with patches of red/orange spots. When cooked this turns bright orange/red. When fresh, lobsters have their tails curled inward and will move the tail when touched. A dead one will have no movement. Also you will notice whisker movements on a fresh lobster as well as frothing around its head.
Odour: Fresh lobsters have a fresh seaweed/ocean smell. Any foul or rotten fishy smell is an indication of spoilage.
These days, you can get already prepped lobsters sold in fish shops, but I tend to request the fishmonger to prep mine for me. They will usually crack the claws and slice the lobster into two equal parts across its length. All I do when I get home is to remove the gut, remove the tiny legs and wash in clean water with some added lemon juice.
The bigger the lobster the better, this means it has more meat than shell.
All I remember of the way lobsters were cooked is frying them in a shallow pan. I have also seen my mum cook them in okra soups on some occasions, similar to the way crabs are cooked.
Lobsters require little heat treatment because they cook really quickly. I tend to cook them sauté style with some herbs and spices to heighten taste/flavours. Very rarely, I would add to a soup.
In today's post, I show you how I mostly enjoy my lobster at home, grilled and peppered, accompanied with some plantain clusters, served as a starter. Give it a try.
What you need
- Fresh cleaned lobsters (have the fishmonger slice into two equal parts along their length)
- A handful of finely chopped green and red peppers
- A handful of chopped onions
- Fresh thyme
- Chilli powder
- Black pepper
- Pre-made red pepper base sauce (get recipe here)
What to do
- Remove gut from/de-vein the lobsters and rinse thoroughly. Rinse the well in water with a dash of lemon in it. Place clean lobsters on a tray to allow excess water to drain off. Then sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper on the inner parts of the lobsters.
- Heat some oil on a griddle and place the lobsters on the, inner part facing down. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Simultaneously, heat up some oil in a sauce pan and add the chopped peppers, onion, garlic and ginger. Allow to brown for a minute or two, then add 1-2 serving spoons of precooked red pepper base sauce.
- Allow to sizzle for about 3 minutes. Pour sautéed sauce over the grilled lobster and serve with some plantain clusters (get recipe for plantain clusters here.)
|Peppered Prawns served with Plantain Clusters|