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Lobster Meat: The Maine Ingredient

Nothing adds flavor and elegance to recipes like sweet, tender lobster meat–the main ingredient for many of New England’s signature dishes. Whether you’re at a roadside seafood shack or white tablecloth restaurant, you’ll find lobster meat in regional favorites like lobster macaroni and cheese, lobster pie, Maine lobster rolls, pasta, soups, salads, casseroles and more. The uses for this highly prized meat are limitless. Its versatility, texture and flavor have elevated this crustacean to where it stands today.  While lobster can come from just about anywhere, it is the the cold-water, North Atlantic lobster which is regarded as the best.

lobster meat maine Lobster Meat: The Maine Ingredient

Where Does Your Lobster Meat Come From?
The Atlantic waters are clean with a rocky coast, making it ideal for lobster to flourish here. The cold, pollution-free water produce tender, succulent meat, with a rich, luxurious texture. In cold waters, like that of the northern Atlantic, lobsters grow at a slower rate. It is because of this that Maine lobster meat is firmer and more succulent. The cool temperatures keep the salt water from permeating the meat. This helps explain why Maine lobster has a noticeably sweeter flavor than other species of lobster.

Look for the scientific name: Homarus Americanus, or American lobster, when buying lobster meat. Be wary of cheap imposters including slipper “lobster”, langostino, craw fish and even pollock masquerading as American lobster. Pollock is found in a product called Surimi. It is used to make imitation crab as well as lobster meat. Not too long ago a well known New York grocer was busted for selling faux lobster salad to its customers. It contained craw fish, not lobster! Maine Senator Olympia Snowe have called on the FDA to stop allowing restaurants like Red Lobster and Long John Silver to market langostino as lobster.

The majority of lobster meat processing can be found to in Canada. As much as 70% of the lobsters caught in Maine waters is shipped north of the border to Canadian processors. Maine’s processing industry is still small compared to that in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. However, with Maine’s surging lobster haul new lobster processing plants are springing up. In 2013, the state issued 16 processing licences, according to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.

How is Lobster Meat Processed?traps2 Lobster Meat: The Maine Ingredient
Lobster meat is typically harvested from the tail, legs, knuckle and the large claws. With a little work you’ll find tender pieces in the lobster body or cavity. Lobster meat is most often processed into Tail (T),Claw meat (C), Knuckle (K), Leg (L) and body meat. Lobster meat is also available in various combinations, including: TC (Tail/Claw), TK (Tail/Knuckle), CK (Claw/Knuckle), TCK (Tail, Claw, Knuckle) and CKL (Claw/Knuckle, Leg). Finally you can find lobster meat processed in minced and broken forms. This meat is often used to make soup, stews and lobster bisque.

The latest technology called UHP or ultra high pressure, shucks lobsters raw and vacuum packs them. This process removes the meat from within the shell leaving it whole, raw (tails, claws, knuckles and legs). The UHP process leaves the tender texture and delicate flavor of the lobster intact. The meat can be purchased raw, blanched or cooked. It can also be purchased fresh or frozen.

Frozen Lobster Meat
In the old days lobster lobster meat was first canned in hermetically sealed tins. This made Lobster meat shelf stable and able to to be safely shipped across the USA and even overseas. Incredibly, by 1880 more canned lobster meat was supplied than live lobster. With the advent of modern refrigeration in the 1970s lobster meat could now be frozen in a “cold pack.” Today, there are a number of different freezing methods, including gas, brine, and blast freezing.

Gas or quick freezing is super fast and uses nitrogen (-195.8 c) or carbon dioxide tunnel freezers to produce a super fresh quality taste. Brine freezing involves immersion in a super cold brine. It is not as fast as gas freezing and can leave a slight salty taste. And finally meat is frozen in a blast of cold air.

lobster shipping Lobster Meat: The Maine IngredientHow Much Lobster Meat?
It takes up to 4-5 whole 1 1/4 pound live lobsters to make one pound of cleaned meat. One pound of lobster meat is roughly equivalent to 2 cups. You will need more lobster if you are shucking meat from a soft-shell lobster. Lobsters undergoing molting have softer shells and have lower meat content. Hard-shell lobster contains fifty percent more meat than the same size soft-shell lobster. Hard-shell meat is firmer, while soft-shell meat is softer and tends to have more water. When cooking lobster meat, you can lose anywhere between 5 to 25 percent of the live weight.

Lobster Meat is Good for You
Lobster meat is not only an impressive meat flavor-wise, but offers nutritional benefits as well. It is high in vitamins and minerals, particularly in zinc, phosphorus, and selenium. These essential vitamins are important to maintaining immune system health. As compared to certain types of other meat, lobster meat is lower in saturated fats and cholesterol (without butter, of course!). It also has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids (these are very good for your health).

How to Cook, Prepare and Store Lobster Meat
Cook live lobster according to the general boiling, baking, or steaming directions found on our lobster cooking guide. Lobster meat should be white, opaque and firm to touch. Lobster takes very little time to cook so be careful not to overcook. Rinse with cool water until cook enough to handle. Remove from shell, following directions of How to Eat Lobsters. Walking legs should pull out easily form the body. Tomalley (liver) will be green and firm. Roe from the female lobster will be bright red and firm when cooked, and black if under-cooked. The tail meat can be cut in half lengthwise, left whole, or sliced into medallions.

Cooked lobster keeps for up to two days in the refrigerator, we we recommend using it as soon as you can. Freeze lobster meat in a brine solution of two teaspoons of salt to 1 cup water, in tightly sealed containers with 1/2 inch room on top for expansion. Keep for up to 2 months. Thaw unopened containers in the refrigerators, or if you are in a hurry, they can be set under cold running water. Never thaw at room temperature or refreeze. The lobster meat is best consumed within 24 to 36 hours of thawing.

Where to Buy Lobster Meat
The quality and taste of the lobster meat not only starts with healthy, livelyhard-shell lobsters, but also the processing techniques. Specialized handling maintains the quality, taste and yield. Where is the best place to purchase Maine lobster meat? Maine, of course, but assuming you can’t make the trip out there, our lobster meat is some of the best you will find. Try our specialty dry pack, frozen cooked meat. It makes a luxurious lobster roll or lobster salad. It is processed using the UHP method discussed above. We also sell a special, raw, shucked lobster tail meat.

 

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Lobster Pie Made in Maine

All across the United States, in every small town and major city, there is a restaurant that serves seafood of varying degrees of quality. What set’s one restaurant apart from another is the quality of the food they serve, and when you have one that opts to serve Maine Lobster, then it’s usually at the top of the restaurant food chain.

Lobster Pie Lobster Pie Made in Maine

Maine lobster has a very distinct flavor that is simply hard to beat, and is world renowned for its large claws which are just bursting with delicious white meat. While soft shell lobsters tend to not travel well, the hard shelled Maine lobster can be shipped across the country with good success.That means that people from all over the USA can get to savor the delicious seafood treat at their local eatery, but why depend on them to get your fix?

While most people are happy to pay exorbitant prices for Maine lobster at their favorite restaurant, which isn’t really surprising given the quality of the meat, they are actually missing out on a way to pay a lot less and still enjoy the best tasting lobster in the world. Thanks to the internet, there are now numerous companies that take those big beauties straight from the traps and ship them to your front door, all at a fraction of the cost of what you’d expect to see on a restaurant menu.

Perhaps the best of those websites is run by a company called LobsterAnywhere.com, who, for more than a decade, has supplied some of the biggest, juiciest Maine lobsters to satisfied customers all over the country. That means that you can get your hands on a fantastic meal anytime you feel the urge for great seafood, but what do you do if you want to make the experience last for more than one night? LobsterAnywhere has you covered there too, by providing the lobster meat that you love, served in a fantastic lobster pie.

The Lobster Pies are made in Maine and contain huge chunks of that sweet tasting Maine lobster, creamy butter, a unique lobster sherry cream sauce, all of which is topped with Ritz cracker crumbs to make one delicious tasting pie. Each pie is a whopping 12oz, with almost half of that weight made up of lobster meat, and are perfect for a single serving. They are shipped fresh-frozen, and all that is required is a quick defrost and a pop in the oven, which will give off a cooking scent that will leave you drooling.

Only the finest chunks of Maine lobster meat are used in the pies, so that means that quantities may be very limited. Your best bet is to load up on as many as you can, so that you never have to worry about being disappointed come ordering time. Lobster pies are a great way to get your taste of Maine lobster without ever having to leave your home, or pay through the nose at your local restaurant, so get your claws on some now. Take a peak at these Maine made lobster pies here.

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Lobster Pie for LandLubbers

Lobster Pie is one of  the most cherished seafood dishes in New England. For the unitiated landlubbers and out-of-towners, a traditional lobster pie is a simple, decadent dish made with fresh picked lobster meat baked under a buttery crust of cracker crumbs.

193 Lobster Pie Lobster Pie for LandLubbers

The best lobster pie starts with fresh lobster meat. We suggest par cooked lobster meat so your lobster pie meat bakes up tender, not tough. Purchase four to six 1 1/4 lb. live lobsters. Gently steam your lobsters for about 4-6 minutes (your cooking your lobsters only half way) and shuck the lobster meat. If you have no access to live lobster, you can use high quality frozen lobster meat.

Lobster Pie Ingredients

1 lb. par boiled lobster meat
½ cup Ritz crackers crushed
1 tablespoon dry sherry
¼ cup Oyster crackers, coarsely crushed
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and extra for the topping
½ tsp black pepper
½ Tbsp parsley

How to Make a Traditional Lobster Pie

1. Mix Ritz and oyster crackers together.
2. Melt butter and add black pepper and sherry.
4. Blend this mixture well with the crackers.
5. Place lobster in a casserole dish and top with cracker mixture.
6. Drizzle remaining butter on top and bake at 350º F for 20-25 minutes.
7.Garnish with lemon wedge and parsley!

Love lobster pie? Our lobster pie is made with close to 1/2 pound of luxurious lobster meat, fresh butter, a hint of wine and garlic, a sprinkle of pepper and a rich crumb topping. Nothing could be simpler, and nothing could taste better. Our cracker topping is now made with all-natural crackers, that means no trans-fats!  We’ve done all the work – just bake and serve.  Checkout our lobster pies here. Don’t worry, they won’t bite!

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Lobster Salad

Fresh lobster meat makes the salad. You can catch some fresh cooked lobster meat a couple of ways. If live near the Maine shore, you can cook up your very own live lobsters and pick the meat. You can also use fresh frozen lobster meat.

Lobstermeat Lobster Salad

To save money, see if “culls” are available. Culls are one claw lobsters and are usually less expensive than a full lobster. Use culls when presentation is not a big deal or when your shucking lobster meat to make lobster rolls or lobster salad. (Did you know it takes three or four molts for a lobster to regenerate a claw to full size?)

A 1 1/4 lb. lobster will yield approximately 4 oz. of lobster meat (much depends on if the lobster is hard-shell and full of meat). That’s about 4-5 live lobsters to make a pound of lobster meat! It sure is a lot of work shucking all those lobsters! It takes about two cups of lobster meat to make a pound.

If you do not live on the coast of Maine, pick up some frozen lobster meat. There are now better sources for cooked, frozen lobster meat. You can buy fresh cooked lobster meat direct from LobsterAnywhere. Now here’s our recipe for lobster salad:

Lobster Salad Recipe

Makes Four Servings

1 pound of fresh lobster meat
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 firm head of lettuce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper
Paprika

1. Sprinkle Lobster meat with lemon juice; chill.
2. Use only crisp lettuce leaves. Wash carefully, roll in clean towel, chill in refrigerator
3. Mix mayonnaise with the mustard; season with salt and pepper.
4. Arrange the lettuce on a pre-chilled salad dish. Place lobster meat on the lettuce; add a spoonful of dressing to each serving. Sprinkle with paprika.

You’ll see a bunch lobster roll recipes made from lobster salad. To be be clear,  lobster salad and lobster rolls are not the same. What to learn how to make the perfect lobster rolls at home? Check out our Lobster Roll Guide.

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