Need an excuse to indulge in lobster?
Um, not me. But maybe you do and that’s okay – it really isn’t something you typically eat every day. Maybe you need a special occasion. So how about National Lobster Day? Yep – today’s the day. Okay, twist my arm.
You know another good reason? When a brand new Whole Foods opens close to you and has lobster tails on sale! Yeah Whole Foods – who would’ve thought?!
Anyway, back to the story at hand. Since it’s National Lobster Day, I thought it would be interesting to dig up some facts on this crustacean. I mean it’s true, it’s typically thought of nowadays as a special occasion food, right? But guess what? It wasn’t always. Back in the day – and I’m talking days of the first settlers – lobster was so plentiful and cheap they were used as fertilizer (!) and considered a poor man’s source of protein. A poor man’s source of protein?! In fact, it was so cheap it was commonly served to prisoners!
Can you imagine?! Well times have sure changed haven’t they?
Okay, so maybe you think of lobster as being decadent and rich. And maybe you’re thinking – isn’t it “fattening”? Well, no. No, it’s not. But when you drench it in melted butter then it becomes calorie laden. I know, I know – what’s lobster without butter, right? Just don’t go overboard, remember a little can go a long way. Got it?
Lobster’s actually a great low calorie protein choice. And in addition to being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s very good source of the essential vitamin B12. What do I mean by essential? It’s essential because our bodies can’t make it. It’s found in animal proteins naturally. Occasionally you’ll find it in plant foods but that’s only because they’ve been fortified. But you’re best bet is to get it from animal proteins because the body absorbs it much better.
Now maybe you’re saying- I don’t eat shellfish because I have high cholesterol. Well, guess what? Research has shown that consuming dietary cholesterol has no significant relationship with the cholesterol found in your body. What does that mean? Eating foods with cholesterol does not mean you’ll increase the cholesterol in your body. What? Yup, it’s true – would I lie to you?
Or maybe you’re a little intimidated with the thought of cooking lobster? No problem, it’s easy – especially if you get the tails. Really, it is. The most challenging part may just be getting the meat out of the darn shell but after a couple times you’ll get the hang of it. And while this meal is certainly worthy of a special occasion, Broiled Lobster Tails with Sauteed Spinach and Garlic Risotto, it’s comes together rather quickly. So maybe, just maybe, it’ll make it to the table any day of the week.
Do you cook lobster at home?
- 4 - 3oz lobster tails
- ½ tablespoon butter, cut into 4-8 small pieces
- paprika, salt & pepper to taste
- 5oz baby spinach
- 2 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- red pepper flakes to taste ( or omit)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- ¾ cup Arborio rice
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat broiler.
- Remove meat from the shell by cutting the top of the shell down the middle with kitchen shears. This will allow you to split the shell slightly and remove the meat from the inside. You then want to rest the meat on top of the shell.
- Place tails on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper.
- Top each tail with the little pieces of butter.
- Broil for 4 minutes.
- Heat vegetable stock in saucepan. Keep warm the whole time the risotto cooks.
- Heat olive oil in large pan. Add shallots and garlic. Cook for about a minute, then add the rice.
- Add the paprika, oregano and basil. Stir to coat the rice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Start to add the warm vegetable broth one ladle at a time. Stir the rice constantly and don't add more broth until all of it's been absorbed.
- Keep adding the broth until the rice is cooked and begins to become creamy. This whole process will take about 20 minutes.
- Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Once cooked, remove bacon and set aside on a paper towel to cool.
- Add the shallots to the pan and cook a minute to soften.
- Add the spinach, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook over heat until the spinach starts to become wilted. Then turn off the heat. The spinach will continue to cook. for a few minutes.
- Serve topped with bacon.
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