|The Curmudgeon Cooks: Lobster Butter
||[Jan. 20th, 2012|04:40 pm]
Right? So, cook your lobsters, smaller is better for this, pull out the tail, claw and body meat. Little legs if you want to, or you can use them to add more bugjuice to the butter. Pull the main body carcass out of the shell. What you want to do is break up the carapace and tail shells, maybe the claw shells a bit so you get more surface area exposed to the butter. Split the tail in half down its topside. You're looking to use the carapace shells only (bits that have turned red) Toss the shells and legs in the butter. If you've got roe, (red beady stuff) you can mash that in there, although I would just dip it in butter and spread it on a good cracker or piece of bread...or kiss your arteries goodbye and make a quick grilled cheese with it. But that's how I roll. You don’t want to be putting tomalley (that green stuff) in there, although it’s okay if the white stuff is hanging onto the shells.
Now, heat up the butter just barely simmering...just under simmering, rolling those shells around so that they're coated in butter. Cover it, and make sure it's still just under simmering. You're butter poaching, if that helps you. You're covering, so you don't lose the aromatics. I dunno....20 minutes? When you pulled off the top to get a whiff, did you get weak at the knees? If so, you’re getting close. The butter should be taking on an orangey color. Dip in a small spoon, take a sip. Are you suddenly glad you’re not a Muslim because 40 virgins has NOTHING over lobster butter? It’s ready then. Put the lid back on and let the aromatics drip back into the pan. Let it cool until you can handle the shells, but not so much that it starts to set. Use tongs if you’re a wuss and hot butter hurts your little soft baby hands.
Twirl those shells around to get as much butter dripped off back into the pan. Be careful if you’re using tongs. Remember if you twirl with the tong tips up in the air, the hot butter will run down the inside of the tongs and right onto the pulse point of your wrist. Not that I’m a wuss and have ever used tongs. I just HEARD a rumor. The little fins at the end of the tail are notorious for bogarting the butter. Squeeze them out before you take them out of the pan. Discard the shells; they’ve given you all they can.
Now here’s where we determine what kind of person you are. Do you decant an aged red wine as if you’re moving nuclear reactor rods? Does the thought of an unfiltered beer unman you? Do you recoil from that little swirl of yummy, dead-yeasty goodness at the bottom of a homebrew? If so, you may want to heat the butter up enough so that it gets very liquidy and run it through some cheesecloth to grab any particulates. Although I will warn you: every time you heat it up, you lose a little flavor. You’re going to lose some on the cheesecloth itself. ::whimper::. And I will probably love you just a hair less, but I understand, everyone has their foibles. And you can clarify it. And that will mean that you don’t have to worry about stirring it up because it separated. But do you know why you clarify butter? Do you, punk? So it’s pretty. So it keeps a long time – because you’ve removed the solids. Lobster butter and I do not occupy a food space that includes pretty and keeps a long time.
So skip the folderol (or not, just don’t TELL me) and pour that in a glass container. Oh, you could use PLASTIC. But seriously, you just made a delicate spreadable nirvana and you’re going to risk it picking up stray leftover aromas from your Tupperware? Not to mention, fats are excellent at grabbing onto all sorts of bad stuff, so if there really are endocrine disrupters in your plastic container, I can’t think of a better way of ingesting them than putting them next to hot butter.
Seal it well. Again, butter GRABS – flavors, aromas, endocrine disrupters, cat hair. This stuff will keep for…quite some time. But it will lose its utter delightfulness in days if it is not tightly sealed. But how long will it last? If you are asking that question, you are not properly applying yourself to the delightfulness that’s sitting in that jar!
You are now ready to wallow in whatever lobster-buttery goodness you want to indulge in. This is the starter for lobster macaroni and cheese – you make the roux with THIS butter, baby. You can also just spread it over….things. By things, I mean umm, bread. Yeah, that’s what I meant.
You can also just dip a spoon in it each morning, close your eyes, lick it off the spo--- no, get the spoon in your mouth BEFORE you close your eyes. Lick it off the spoon, eyes closed and mutter a soft expletive. Now you’re ready to start the day.