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.
Lobster’s change of fortune
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. The best seafood restaurants will carry live lobster that is cooked when ordered just minutes before being served to their diners. This luxury comes at fair market price which fluctuates according to the lobster season. As the fishery is regulated to maintain its sustainability, spring and fall are when the hardy lobster fishers traditionally ply the chilly waters of the North Atlantic in search of their prized catches.
Before heading out to buy your lobster you should know that there are at least 20 different types of lobster that are fished commercially. Most are familiar with the highly prized American and European clawed lobsters of the North Atlantic. Those caught along Canada’s east coast are often referred to as Canadian or maritime lobster while those caught along the New England coast are also known as Maine lobster.
There are several species of clawless, spiny lobster found in both cold or warm water around the world. Depending on the region and language spoken there, these crustaceans may be called rock lobster, langustas, or sea crayfish.
For this recipe we will use smaller lobsters who are clawless or whose claws aren’t big enough to easily extract meat from. After preparing these tails to make them easier to cook and eat, you’ll coat them in garlic butter and sprinkle with seafood seasoning before broiling them to perfection.
Broiled Lobster Tails
- 8 small lobster tails (about 4 oz each)
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp seafood 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