During these last few days of summer the temperatures are climbing here in southern California. Seafood always seems to be a pleasant meal to enjoy with it is really hot outside because it doesn’t bulk you up like other heavy proteins. Lobster is available everywhere this summer and the prices are relatively low – that is for lobster. Preparing lobster sometimes seems like a daunting task, but really it is quite simple. A quick boil in a large pot for a few minutes and it’s cooked. Removing the succulent meat is not so bad either, especially if you have a seafood cracker, a good knife or kitchen shears.
Fresh lobster meat is so juicy and tender and the flavors are reminiscent of the sea. I prefer to dice up the meat and lay it upon a bed of greens with a little grilled corn, heirloom tomatoes and a bit of blue cheese for the best Lobster Cobb Salad you have ever tasted.
The vinaigrette is a simple mix of pantry ingredients, but with a little fresh thyme minced in to create an aromatic infusion that pairs nicely with the salad. This definitely makes a nice meal for any day of the week, but especially when it is hot outside. I like to enjoy my Lobster Cobb Salad with a good glass of Rose’.
1 1/2 pound fresh lobster, or 1 cup cooked lobster meat
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 ears fresh corn, grilled
1 large heirloom tomato, any variety
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
pinch of salt & pepper
1/4 cup sunflower oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon thyme leaves
(Serves 2 entrees or 4 appetizers)
1. Boil a large pot of water and add 1 tablespoon salt. Lower the lobster in the pot and cover with lid, boil for 15 minutes. After a few minutes of cooking, you may need to crack lid slightly, so water doesn’t spill over sides. Remove lobster and let cook at room temperature for 10 minutes. Place whole lobster in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Mince the thyme leaves and set aside. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar with fitted lid. Shake vigorously until well combined. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
3. Place the lobster on a cutting board. Remove its tail, legs and upper body. Discard the tomalley (dark colored insides) and digestive parts, keep the head and shells. Starting with the tail, flip over and cut the shell up the center. Gently pull the tail meat from the shell. Crack the claws with cracker or large knife in several places. Wiggle the claw meat out of shells. You can try and remove any meat from smaller legs, but I find it’s a lot of work and not much meat. Save the shells for stock.
4. Rough chop the meat into chunks and place in a bowl. **For lobster stock, add the shells to a saucepan with a drizzle of oil and saute for 3 minutes. Add a quartered onion, 2 sprigs of thyme and saute for 2 minutes. Add in 1 cup dry white wine and fill with water to cover. Simmer on low for 1 hour and remove from heat, let cool. Strain into a storage container and freeze stock to use for lobster bisque, risotto, or other seafood stews.
5. Grill corn on stove top or outside grill, cool. Crisp up bacon in a saute pan and let cool. Slice kernels off cob and dice tomato and bacon. Place the lettuce in the bottom of a serving bowl. Add the corn on one side, the tomatoes in the middle. Place the cheese on the other side with the fresh lobster meat. Top the corn with a strip of bacon crumbles. Serve Lobster Cobb Salad with Thyme Vinaigrette and a chilled glass of Rose’. Enjoy!