Maine or North Atlantic lobster is one of the quintessential proteins that foodies turn to when they want to cook to impress for a dinner party. Of course the classic preparation is to dunk the lobster in hot water until its red and serve with a cracker and a ramekin of melted butter. While this is a delicious, gourmet preparation it none the less lacks in creativity.
Stuffed Lobster takes the classic North Atlantic lobster to the next level. Of course one of the tricky parts here is that classic breaded stuffing is not very paleo friendly. Of course you can turn to the same mushroom and sweet potato stuffing from our book “Paleo for Real people” and have a fine meal. However, with a little extra time and care you can re-purpose the meat from the claws as the bulk of a seafood stuffing.
When working with this kind of lobster dish you should always source fresh, live lobsters from a tank. Frozen rock lobster tails might come at a discount price but they also lack in quality.
This recipe calls for 2 medium to large size lobster to feed 4 diners.
Bag of ice
2 live North Atlantic lobsters
4 tablespoons of butter
½ of a medium red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ of a green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
½ cup of baby Portobello mushrooms, cut into quarters
½ teaspoon of fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ teaspoon of fresh thyme
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
½ teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
How to make a paleo-friendly stuffed lobster
Step 1: Place the lobster in the refrigerator for a half hour before you plan to start cooking. Cooling them down like this before you start cooking will put them in a dormant mode. This is considered to be a more humane method of dispatching a lobster, rather than tossing them active and alert into a pot of boiling water.
Step 2: Fill a medium stock pot with warm tap water. Salt the water heavily and place it over high heat.
Step 3: Once the water is boiling and the lobsters are dormant dip them into the water for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the lobsters from the pot one at a time and place them in a large work bowl. Cover them immediately with ice. This will shock them and arrest the cooking process.
Step 4: Allow them to sit in the ice bath for 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 5: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step 6: Place a clean tea towel on a cutting board to give it extra traction. Then remove the lobsters from the large work bowl and place them on the cutting board with the belly side down.
Step 7: Work with one lobster at a time. Cut the lobster in half from tail to head by placing your hand on the back of your chef’s knife.
Step 8: Remove the green digestive tract material. This stuff is called tomalley.
Step 9: Carefully remove the legs and claws. Then set the lobsters in the roasting pan with the cut side up.
Step 10: Crack open the claws and remove the meat. If you want you can also use a rolling pin to squeeze out the meat inside the tiny legs. This meat will add to the stuffing so you don’t want to waste any.
Step 11: Place 3 tablespoons of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When it melts add the onions, mushrooms and chopped bell peppers. Toss the vegetables occasionally and allow them to sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions start to turn translucent. Then add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic takes on a light golden brown color.
Step 12: Add the claw and leg meat to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Toss occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the fresh herbs, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
Step 13: Carefully spoon the stuffing mixture into the body cavity where you removed the tomalley. Then brush the tail meat with the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Step 14: Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tail meat is white and opaque.
Step 15: Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Use a tongs to carefully remove the lobster from the pan and plate immediately.
I like to serve this with a side of ghee and lemon wedges. Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are two good wine pairings. Generally this is a dish that stands alone as an entrée in a multi-course meal. If you wanted to give it a simple side dish I like to turn to sautéed cherry tomatoes in a small bed of fried zucchini noodles. The cherry tomatoes bring acidity that cuts the richness of the lobster.