So Good is part of the Foodbuzz blog network, and one of the cool things they offer members each month is something called 24X24, where Foodbuzz picks 24 bloggers and provides them with a stipend to throw a dinner party or have an otherwise interesting or memorable meal. So Good was fortunate enough to be picked this month, and the meal we proposed was to grill up fresh, Maine lobster, a whole lobster for each person. Having never cooked lobster before, and certainly having not grilled them before, I was curious to see how it would turn out.
After grabbing live lobsters at the fish market it was time to do something else important: make a cocktail for the party. The unbelievable heat in DC this weekend reminded me of a refreshing tropical drink I discovered last summer on a boat in Puerto Rico called a Painkiller.
It’s quite a simple drink actually. 4 parts Pinneapple juice, 1 part dark rum, (Jamaican or Carribean style rum of some nature, it’s frequently made with Pussers), 1 part orange juice, 1 part cocunut cream. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker or bowl and shake or whisk/stir vigorously to give the drink a frothiness. If you don’t do this and you put it in a really cold glass full of ice, the coconut can separate and harden a bit, giving you a drink with chunks – which is no good! After a few drinks it was time to throw the lobsters on the grill:
The most common method for grilling lobster is to cut the entire thing in half down the middle. However, due to limited grill space, we split the lobster open to better allow heat into the tail and body, but didn’t split it completely. This allowed us to keep the lobsters intact and fit 4 on our two grills at once. When we flipped the lobsters to expose the tail meat, I would brush it with a lemon tarragon butter (melted butter, lemon juice, chopped fresh tarragon, chives). The lobsters each ended up being about 1 3/4 pounds, so by the time they came off the grill they were spilling off our plates:
We also had a bevy of side dishes, including a tossed salad, a cucumber & tomato salad, corn on the cob, grilled asparagus, sourdough rolls, and, thanks to some confusion about who was bringing what, 4 different types of potato salad. However, no one had room on their plate for sides, so we spent the first 30-40 minutes just breaking down and attacking out lobsters for the claw and tail meat. The table got messy and cluttered fast.
For several people at the party it was their first time eating a whole lobster, so that made for a fun experience. Others had eaten steamed lobster in restaurants, but never cooked it in person or at a party, and hadn’t had it grilled before. Grilling the lobster was fine – I prefer a perfectly steamed lobster, as I think grilling it tends to dry out the meat a little more, but it’s still lobster. Dip it in a little butter, give it a squirt of lemon and it’s delicious. Thanks Foodbuzz for a fun meal!