Weekend Recipe: Charcoal-Roasted Lobster

Mix it up on the grill this summer! In this part of the world we think of lobster as a somewhat fancy food, but over on the East Coast it's often more of a block party kind of food. This recipe from Cook's Country remains true to that down-home spirit, and comes complete with two different butter options. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy Cook's CountryCharcoal-Roasted Lobster
Serves 2 as a main course
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 live lobsters (each 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Vegetable oil for cooking grate
2 9-inch disposable pie plates or small roasting pans
Lemon wedges

Tarragon-Chive Butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives plus an additional 2 teaspoons
3 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

Chili Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Lime wedges for serving

1. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes) and allow to burn until all coals are covered with layer of fine gray ash. Empty coals into grill and build single-level fire by spreading coals evenly over bottom of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and heat until grate is hot, about 5 minutes. Scrape cooking grate clean with grill brush. Grill is ready when coals are medium-hot.

2. Meanwhile, mix butter and garlic together in small bowl. Split lobsters in half lengthwise, removing stomach sac and intestinal tract. Scoop out green tomalley (that's the liver and pancreas) and place in medium bowl. Using back of chef's knife, whack one side of each claw, just to make opening (this will help accelerate cooking). Add breadcrumbs, parsley, and 2 tablespoons of melted garlic butter to bowl with tomalley. Use fork to mix together, breaking up tomalley at same time. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Season tail meat with salt and pepper to taste. Brush cut side of lobster halves with some of remaining garlic butter. Take lobsters to grill on large tray. Lightly dip small wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with long-handled tongs, wipe cooking grate.

4. Place lobsters on grill flesh side down. Grill, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Transfer lobsters to tray, turning them shell side down. Spoon tomalley mixture evenly into open cavities of all four lobster halves. Place lobsters back onto grill, shell-side down. Baste lobsters with remaining garlic butter and cover claws with disposable aluminum pie plates or roasting pans. Grill until tail meat turns opaque creamy white color and tomalley mixture is bubbly and has begun to brown on top, 4 to 6 minutes.

5. Serve lobsters immediately with lemon wedges. Use lobster picks to get meat from inside claws and knuckles.

With Tarragon-Chive Butter
In step 2, add 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives and 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon to garlic butter. Replace parsley in breadcrumb mixture with 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives and 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves.

With Chili Butter
In step 2, add chili powder and cayenne to garlic butter. Serve lobsters with lime wedges rather than lemon wedges.

About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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