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Lobster has long been a favored food by many. This easy to cook, sweet meat is delicate enough for salads and bold enough to stand on its own as a main course.

HARD OR SOFT SHELL?

As a lobster grows, it drops its shell and goes in search of a new one to accommodate its larger size. Once a suitable shell has been found, the lobster crawls in and waits for it to harden. This process usually takes about 2 months, during which time the lobster is vulnerable to fisherman and natural predators.

Typically, large shelled lobsters have more meat than the softer shell variety. Many people prefer the sweeter tasting soft shell lobster however. Soft shell lobsters are easier to prepare, cut and eat.

TIPS

When buying lobster to transport, remember that time is a big factor. If your lobster was shipped live, your catch has already been out of water for more than 24-hours. Live lobster is very perishable. Cook immediately upon receiving your order.

Always purchase live lobster. Raw seafood that is no longer living is subject to huge amounts of bacterial growth.

Once cooked, refrigerated lobster will remain fresh 3-4 days. Lobster can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

The biggest mistake people make when purchasing live lobster is to try and keep them alive in a tub or sinkful of water. If you do this, the lobster will die immediately, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

Lobster is fully cooked when the 2 front antennae pull out easily, the meat is white, and when the outer shell has turned to bright red. Uncooked lobster has an almost watery consistency.

Never overcook lobster. Overcooking tends to make this meat hard and rubbery.

BOILED LOBSTER

Fill a large kettle with water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt for each quart of water. (Allow for 2 quarts of water per lobster.) Bring water to a boil. Place one live lobster into the pot, head first, and allow the water to boil again. Cover and simmer 15 minutes for each pound of hard-shell lobster.

Stuffing Ingredients
2 Stacks crackers
1/2c Water
2T Mayonnaise
1/2t Salt
1/4 lb. Butter


Crush crackers in small bowl, adding 1/4lb. butter. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Place lobster belly up and split the lobster from head to tail. Remove all internal tracks. Place on baking pan, with lobsters still lying on their backs. Add stuffing. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350-degrees.

LOBSTER BAKE-NEW ENGLAND STYLE

INGREDIENTS
4 Lobsters
4 Sweet corn ears
2 Onions, small
2lbs. Clams
12 Red potatoes, small
3c Water
Tin Foil
5lbs. Rockweed (If desired)

Pre-cook potatoes and onions. Sucks husks of corn, but leave on the inner layers, closest to the ears. In a large roasting pan, spread out a 1 inch layer of seaweed (Rockweed). Place live lobster on seaweed. Position corn, onions and potatoes around the lobsters. Add clams. Cover with seaweed and add 3 cups of water. Coverpan tightly with tin foil and cook on medium high heat 15 minutes from when steam is apparent. Remove, and set aside covered for 5 minutes. Garnish and serve with butter and lemon wedges.

LOBSTER CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS
1-2c Cooked lobster meat
1/4c onion, chopped
8 Mushrooms, sliced
1 can Water Chestnuts, sliced
1 Egg yolk
1/2c Sour Cream
1t Dry mustard
1c Mayonnaise
1c Cheddar cheese, grated
3 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2c Sherry
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. In a medium sized frying pan, place lobster meat, pepper, onion, water chestnuts, sherry and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender. Spoon mixture into casserole dish. Combine egg yolk and sour cream in a saucepan and cook 5 minutes. Add mustard and mayonnaise to the saucepan, stirring mixture well. Combine with casserole. Top dish with grated cheese and bacon. Bake for 15-20 minutes.