After a spirited and enjoyable discussion regarding lobsters on the General board, I talked my husband (it wasn't hard) into picking up some lobsters for one of his favorite dishes - baked stuffed lobster. I've been using this recipe for about 10 years now and really feel it's the best one we've ever had. So I thought I'd share:
It's from my favorite lobster cookbook "Lobster at Home" by Jasper White. It's full of information, cooking tips, times, guidelines, and diagrams in the Lobster Primer section taking up the first 40 pages - everything you need to know. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good lobster cookbook. It has all the classic recipes from lobster stew to New England lobster rolls (including a recipe for making the classic split-top rolls) to Lobster Newburg, but also contributions from various chefs like Robuchon, Puck, Bayless, Kinkead, Boulud, etc. For you Bostonians - it even has the recipe for Lydia Shire's (Biba) fantastic lobster pizza. That, along with Gerald Clare's Lobster Pad Thai, are tops on my to-do list.
I've probably made half the recipes from the book, and they've all been winners. He's pretty specific in his recipes, so they've always come out perfect.
Here is the basic recipe at this link:
But with these variations and tips:
He says Ritz crackers are the best (and that's what I use) - or oyster crackers or New England common crackers, 3 ounces crumbled, instead of the cornbread. Bread crumbs won't stay crispy. Always mix the stuffing at the last minute so it doesn't get soggy, do it gently, and don't pack the stuffing tightly or it will affect the lobster cooking evenly. If using cooked lobster and/or crabmeat instead of raw scallops or shrimp for the stuffing, let onions and herbs cool before adding. We've used all the variations but most often (like last night) 4 oz of the Phillips lump crabmeat from Costco since we always have a can in the refrigerator. Another tip is to use 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 lobsters since smaller overcook and larger cook unevenly. Lots of butter, but I wouldn't cut down - it's one of the reasons it's so good, and the brushed butter on the tail and claws keeps them from getting dried out. Even without parsley or tarragon last night (I used some fresh chives), it was delicious as always. I served it with Green Goddess Salad from "Sunday Suppers (link below), and we cooked our 2-1/2 pounders exactly 30 minutes.
If you follow the exact baking times, they always come out perfectly cooked.
1-1/2 17 minutes
1-3/4 20 minutes
2 lbs 24 minutes
2-1/2 30 minutes
Green Goddess Salad: