Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Perfect Saturday Night Menu... Grilled Lobster Tails & Strawberry Tart!

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 Let's face it, not everyone has access to Maine lobster tails.  That is a fact that my daughter and I have had to adjust to living here in the South.  That and not being able to grow lilacs has been perhaps the biggest adjustment we have had to make since we moved here; but then again,  we have other things.

Yes, we have had to sacrifice the lilacs for jasmin, camellias, gardenias, magnolias, wisteria, and honeysuckle, which grows wild everywhere, and Maine lobster for catfish!  On balance, the flowers have it, hands down. Now in Florida, the fish had it big time for all I had to do was go down to the docks and wait for the boats every afternoon, loaded with red snapper, yellow tail, or grouper.  Sometimes we would get the Florida lobsters which Floridians claim they like better than Maine lobsters but to me that is a cop out.  Let's face it guys, there is nothing in the world better than a fresh Maine lobster.  Admit it and get on with it!

If you shop around you will find lobster tails at the Fresh Market, Whole Foods, and Costco.  Read the labels carefully for the country of origin.  Some will say Brazil, South Africa, or Thailand.  They are kind of greyish, or maybe its my eyes, and they taste quite different from Maine lobster.  At the Publix here in town we have live ones from Maine but my daughter thinks they look sad so we don't buy them.  Who would ever think of cooking a sad lobster...

Last weekend my daughter went to Costco by herself for she claims that my coming along always ends up costing her more. So she came back with two of the biggest lobster tails I have ever seen for a hefty price she wouldn't admit to.

Now one thing I have had to learn the hard way is that you do not cook this kind of lobster the way you would the ones from Maine.  The latter you steam and enjoy with lemon and melted butter.  These ones require a little more creativity.  We argued exchanged ideas all afternoon about how best to cook them and since it had been her idea (and expense) I thought it best she tackle them herself.  And that she did, in spades!  It is by far the best way we have found to prepare this kind of lobster.

The menu that night was simple and unexpectedly elegant:  There was no planning, just pulling together a few things from the fridge such as a box of fresh strawberries I had bought for making preserves.

Grilled Lobster With Herb Butter
Cherry Tomatoes With Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar And Basil
Strawberry Tart

 If you made the watercress soup like I did a couple of nights before, all you had to do was serve it in chilled demitasse cups.  The tart came together when I realized there was nothing for me to do except watch someone else make the dinner.  That frustrates me to no end.   The recipe for the dough is from Julia Child and it was a cinch to make while enjoying a chilled glass of Sancerre.   Oysters on the half shell would be perfect if you want to splurge and impress your guests.  You can always throw them on the grill.

It is the perfect menu for when you are having special guests on a hot summer evening.

Grilled Lobster Tails With Herb Butter


1 stick salted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (7-ounce) lobster tails
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Chive sprigs
Special equipment: 4 metal skewers

Preheat your grill to direct medium-high heat.

In a small bowl blend butter, chives, tarragon, minced garlic, hot sauce, and black pepper with a rubber spatula. Blend thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve.

Using kitchen shears, butterfly the lobster tails straight down the middle of the softer underside of the shell. Cut the meat down the center without cutting all the way through. Insert a metal skewer down the lobster tail so the tail stands straight. Brush the tails with olive oil and season with salt, to taste.

Grill lobsters cut side down over medium high heat about 5 minutes, until the shells are bright in color. Turn the tails over and spoon a generous tablespoon of herb butter onto the butterflied meat. Grill for another 4 minutes, or until the lobster meat is an opaque white color.

Remove lobster tails from the grill and serve with more herb butter and lemon wedges. Garnish with chive sprigs.

Recipe from The Neely's, Food Network
Photos Lindaraxa



  1. Excellent choices to serve with the lobster. I had no idea some of the lobster came from anywhere but Maine. Thanks for the heads-up.

    1. Sam,

      Even though these lobsters are flash frozen they taste different. Kind of a rocky taste and they are not as juicy so you have to make up for that with plenty of butter. This way they were pretty good.

  2. It is a perfect meal. I love grilled lobster when I've had it in visits to the islands and never make it myself up north.
    You inspire me to try!

  3. Great advice on the lobster. I had given up after a couple of expensive disappointments. You and I may be in the minority in the South for chilled soups; I do enjoy them in the summer. And of course, you are right about the flowers, there are so many other wonderful varieties in abundance, I should not miss the lilacs TOO much.

    1. You may be right about cold soup in the would think they would be having it left and right with this heat. I love them. Have a few ears of corn for tomorrows cold cream of corn soup. Can't wait.

      Well I have had to make up for the smell of the lilacs with lilac scented candles. You should see the gardenias this year. The house smells like a whorehouse...I have them all over the place. Too bad they only last a few days inside.

  4. "You should see the gardenias this year. The house smells like a whorehouse...I have them all over the place. Too bad they only last a few days inside."

    Hilarious! From the sublime to the bawdy. That's what I call the perfect menu.


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