Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daily Catch

Hello dear readers, I am back from the abyss that is moving! Sorry to ignore you for so long, but with most of my things in a box and a bare refrigerator in my new place, I haven't been able to cook anything fresh or exciting. I've been eating out of the pantry for the most part (carbs here I come!) and out with friends. But, I have a fabulous new kitchen that is big by New York standards, anyway, and although I have no internet access yet, I have a nice surprise. Please help me welcome Rob, the Olive Tree's first guest blogger!

Rob and his fiancé Diana are dear friends of mine, and we have shared many a homemade meal together in each other's homes. We met in London (many moons ago) where good food was scarce, especially on a student's budget, so we often cooked for each other in our tiny flats on Newman Street. Since then, Rob has moved from New York to Maine, where he will soon become Doctor Rob. In between studying and going to class, Rob has continued to enthusiastically cook at home, no doubt taking full advantage of the culinary bounty that Maine has to offer. And without further ado, I turn today's blog over to Rob (I look forward to blogging about cooking in Hell's Kitchen tomorrow):

For those of you who are frequent readers of Laura’s blog, I am a good friend of hers from college, and have known of her passion for food for as long as I have known her. When I found out about this blog I offered to make a submission, as I too am a self proclaimed foodie, currently living on the coast of Maine. Upon moving here two years ago I was utterly amazed at the bountiful food scene, especially in Portland, where there are constantly new and creative chef’s making a name for themselves at such restaurants as Four Street and Hugo’s.

For my submission I thought I would begin with what made Maine famous – LOBSTER. This past Saturday night my fiancĂ© Diana and I were deciding what to do for a belated Valentine's dinner, and were walking along the small piers of Portland peering at the day’s daily menus at many of the restaurants. We decided to walk into a lobster pound and see what the going price was for live lobsters (as it is off season). Pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the day’s freshly caught lobsters were, we decided to bring two 1 ½ pounders home and boil them. To complement the lobster we stopped by one of the many local bakeries and picked up a freshly baked olive and rosemary marinated dinner roll. Needless to say, by the end of the night we knew we had made the right decisison!

Traditional Boiled Maine Lobster:

1¼ to 1½ lb live soft shelled Maine lobster (soft shell have sweeter meat than the hard shell and tend to be a bit cheaper)
Lobster pot (Large stock pot)
½ stick butter

1. Fill lobster pot about ½ way with water, or enough to submerge the entire lobster –-very important!

2. Add 2-3 Tbsp salt to ensure lobster tastes fresh and of the sea, and bring water to a roaring boil, covered.

4. Place lobster (head first) into the boiling water and rapidly return to the boil. For a 1 ½ pound lobster takes 8-10 minutes to complete cooking (depending on the size of your pot you may want to cook lobsters one at a time).

5. While lobsters are cooking melt butter in a small bowl for dipping.

6. Remove lobsters using tongs and place on a large plate for serving.

Serving suggestions:

Serve with nice crusty bread, fresh vegetables, and a glass of chilled white wine!
Make sure when eating your lobster that you don’t leave meat behind. Don’t be afraid to suck the meat from the small legs or break apart the inside cavities to pull the chunks of sweet meat from their hiding places. Lobster is not a neat food, but it sure is fun and delicious to eat!

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