I never buy live seafood, but a recent $13 lobster roll experience made me realize that I need more lobster in my life, and I need to do it in the most budget conscious way possible.
This month's Cooks Illustrated has a recipe for New England style lobster rolls (served cold with mayo and bibb lettuce, as opposed to the Connecticut warm/drawn butter variety).
Since those buns are impossible to find in LA, I went ahead and purchased their recommended New England style hot dog bun pan. The "USA Pan’s New England Hot Dog Bun Pan" that comes "highly recommended". (That's right, I'm making my own!) A great extra perk is that CI's review of the pan says the included recipe made better tasting buns than is what available commercially.
The recipe itself is essentially a cold lobster salad, made with mayo, minced celery, lemon juice, chives, cayenne, salt. I love that the recipe included very detailed instructions on how to extract every last bit of meat from the shell, including the legs. (Use a rolling pin or dowel to squeeze out the meat from the top of the leg). It's copyrighted paywall content that Chow won't allow me to reprint here, but it's really informative read if you feel like splurging (or getting a free 2 week trial membership).
So, this leaves me wondering-- since I never buy live seafood, what is the absolute best price you've ever seen for Maine lobster, and what is the best price you've seen recently (and where?) I'm guessing the live tanks at 99 Ranch would be a good first choice, or maybe Assi in Koreatown. The recipe calls for 1 lb of lobster meat to make 6 lobster rolls. How big would my lobster have to be to get 1 lb of meat from it?