Broiled with garlic, butter and seasoning, the less pricey small tails are easier to handle and cook in just a few minutes.
If you’re a lobster fan like me, I am sure you’d eat it more often but it’s not readily available for us that don’t live on the coast or in large urban centres. And then there’s the cost, that makes it even more restrictive for some of us. But it wasn’t always like that.
On a trip to the maritimes a couple of years ago, I visited picturesque Peggy’s Cove and historic Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Our knowledgeable guide explained how in the past, prisoners in the local jail were fed a regular diet of lobster, as it was one of the least expensive sources of protein and readily available. That was because, fisherman of the era found little market value for the lobster that was mixed in with their catch of cod and other prized North Atlantic fish. In fact, prior to lobster becoming chic in the mid 20th century, it was relegated to the poor and institutionalized or even used as fertilizer.
Man, have times changed! With its about face in popularity, prices have skyrocketed and now most of us only have lobster on special occasions. When you go to order lobster at a restaurant, it is normally down at the bottom of the menu and often sold at fair market price which fluctuates seasonally. The best prices are normally found in spring and fall when maritime lobster is in season. If you’d like to save yourself a bundle, try to buy some smaller lobsters at your local market when they’re on sale in season and cook them yourself.
Before heading out to by your lobster you should know that there are at least 20 species of lobster that are fished commercially. There is the maritime lobster, as it’s often called in Canada, or American or Maine lobster as it’s called in the US. These are highly prized large clawed cold water crustaceans that are best eaten fresh-caught in fishing towns along the New England and Canadian Maritime coast. Then there are several species of clawless spiny or rock lobster found in both cold or warm water around the world. Many connoisseurs prefer the maritime lobster for its tender sweet tail meat. Of course, this recipe can be made with all species of lobster.
Broiled Lobster Tails
- 8 small lobster tails (about 4 oz each)
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- ½ lemon cut into wedges
- With a pair of kitchen scissors, cut a slit, lengthwise in the top side of the tails
- Arrange the tails on a broiler pan, top side up
- Carefully spread the tail open slightly along the slit to expose a little of the meat
- Heat garlic and butter, covered in microwave oven for 1 minute
- Spoon the melted garlic butter along the slits in the tails
- Sprinkle the slit side of the tails with the seasoning
- Set your oven to low broil and use the middle rack for the tray of lobster
- Cook small tails for about 5 minutes, larger tails up to 10 minutes. They are done when the meat is white and opaque.
- Garnish with lemon wedges