Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Lobster in Winter

It's January. Here in New England we are locked into extremely cold temperatures and in what seems to be a cycle of weekly snowstorms. No better time to have lobster. I took these photos last summer at Sanders Lobster Company in Portsmouth , NH. It is therapeutic to look back and remember summer. It will return.
But, in the meantime, why not have lobster. Let's head over to Sanders, the best fresh, live lobster in Portsmouth.

At Sanders we order 2 , two pound lobsters.
Sanders ships tons of lobsters each year around the world. It is still possible to go in and order fresh caught lobsters.
They will sometimes ask if you want soft shells, hard shells, culls, etc.
If you do not know, do not hesitate to ask questions. You will find them very helpful.
They know lobster.
I noticed that at the corner of Pray & Marcy Streets, on the Sanders sign which is a lobster with an arrow, that an additional sign was tacked on announcing "Native Shrimp"
During these winter months there is often fresh native shrimp available. Very local, very fresh and always delicious.

A photo from July 2010 of a view across the water towards the historic south end of Portsmouth, NH across the water.
Currently there are piles of snow everywhere in Portsmouth, and all over the rest of New England, but then it is January!

Here is a working lobster boat at a pier with a view of Portsmouth in the distance.
At best the work of the lobstermen (women) is tough. In these January days it is hard to even imagine the conditions that these lobstermen work in.
A big" Bravo" shout out to them!

It is all about eating local!
Classic steamed lobster, with drawn clarified butter and a squeeze of lemon and maybe a biscuit.
How delicious.
How New England!

Here is a recipe that we learned when we lived up near Blue Hill, Maine.
We found the recipe for "lobster fried over cold" in a book SaltWater Seasoning, by Jonathan Chase. He got the recipe from a lobsterman.
We have adapted it over the years, but the soul of it goes back to Maine.

(sauteed lobster)

Fresh chopped herbs such as tarragon or chives

Have the lobster pound cook your lobsters, or take them home live and steam them.
(slightly undercook,if possible)
Take the lobsters home in a cooler.

This recipe is great for those who can't or are not keen on cooking lobsters.
The recipe is also good for left-over lobster as well.

Remove cooked and cooled lobster meat from shells.
Heat sweet butter and clarify. (pour off top fat layer).
For two, 1 1/2 lb. lobsters you can start with about 4-6 tablespoons of butter.
Once butter is hot add lobster meat, larger pieces first.
You are only heating the lobster through , not re-cooking it!
Add a good squeeze or two of fresh lemon to brighten the flavor.
If you like, add fresh chopped herbs. We like a little chopped tarragon. Other herbs that work well are, thyme, chervil or chives. Use just a small amount of any fresh herb, the lobster is the star.

We serve with a small amount of drawn butter, but this is optional.

Try to divide into equal portions into bowls or plates so that each serving is equal to a whole lobster. No one wants to be cheated out of a claw!
We often serve this with a cream biscuits ( recipe will be in a future blog).
Asparagus, artichoke or corn when in season go well with this dish. In winter we will have a coleslaw and small roasted potatoes with fresh herbs.

Lobster bibs are not necessary!!!!!!!!

Summer will return, but in the meantime lobster,
is just as good in winter as in the long days of summer.
Don't forget the native shrimp, it is only available fresh in the winter.


Sanders Lobster Company
54 Pray Street (at end on wharf)
Portsmouth, NH
(603) 436-3716


Sanders Fish Market
(lobsters. fresh seafood & fish)
367 Marcy Street
Portsmouth, NH
(603) 436-4563
open daily

Next to Sanders Fish Market is one of our favorite wine shops:
Very helpful with a nice selection. They will help you pair seafood/lobster with wine.
South Street and Vine
359 Marcy Street
(603) 430-2984


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Greetings from Sanders Lobster!

First off let me say we are flattered by your post. Your photos and writeup are great. I wish all our customers were this appreciative. We're in the process of building a new website and are somewhat starved for quality, original photos of us and our facility. That said, we'd very much like to use your photos. Is there any chance you'd be willing to let us use them? You can get ahold of me at jeff @ sanderslobster.com or at 603 436 3716 during normal business hours. Let's talk turkey. Thanks and Happy New Year.