Story last updated at 7/24/2013 - 1:55 pm
As a small business owner, my husband likes to ensure his team his happy. A happy crew is a productive crew and for some reason feeding them makes them happy. Three of the crew members are college kids and rarely get a home cooked meal. I'm an empty nester and rarely get to cook for a family anymore. It's a perfect relationship. They want to eat, I want to cook; win-win.
Grant also likes to have regular meetings with his crew to review how things are going, what's working what isn't and most importantly, share fishing stories. I'm there solely as the captain's first mate and chief cook. I'm very happy with this designation, as I have no desire to be swabbing decks, which totally clashes with my wardrobe.
This particular crew feast we also invited a few of our friends to enjoy the bountiful catch the crew had gotten a few days prior. Last year we started a new tradition of grilling a whole king salmon. I carried on the tradition this year with a good-sized king that fit perfectly on the grill. One of our guests had been eating a lot of salmon lately so she was hoping for something different. I popped into the new fish market hoping to get some shrimp, alas they were out. They did however have some small lobster tails. What a wonderful substitution! Purchasing all they had, I scurried home to fire up the grill and start cooking.
I knew how I wanted to prepare the salmon, but what about the lobster tails? They aren't something I cook too frequently. Hardly at all really. OK, it was my first time, but the crew didn't know it, and they like to be my guinea pigs.
When I cook for a lot of people, I prefer to cook something simple. I had lots of sides to go with the fish and lobster: watermelon basil salad, grilled potatoes, and a cucumber tomato salad my dad taught me.
To keep it simple, keep it fresh. Use fresh ingredients and you have very little work. I had lots of lemons and fresh basil; the perfect combination for something as light as lobster. Combining the lemons and basil with some butter - never margarine - I had a wonderful baste.
I must confess I was a little nervous presenting them to our guests. What if they didn't like them? What if they were over cooked? Or worse, what if they were undercooked and the crew ate them anyway, to not be rude, and then got really sick? Needless to say all my fears were for naught and I had created a simple, delicious dish that everyone loved. Whew!
This week I present a recipe easy to make and fishing crew tested: Grilled Lobster Tails with Basil Lemon Butter.
Until next time...
Eat and enjoy,
Grilled Lobster Tails with Basil Lemon Butter
12 small lobster tails (or 6 large)
1½ sticks softened butter
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Preheat grill to medium heat. Combine butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper in small bowl. With kitchen shears or sharp knife, cut underside of shell of lobsters about ¾ way to the tail end. Spread open as much as possible and pack with butter mixture. Close as tight as possible. Place on grill and cook about 10 minutes, 5 on each side. There will be some flame due to the butter melting. Turn down the heat on the grill if it's excessive. You don't want to burn them. Shells will turn red and will curl. The outside of the meat may char, which is part of the grilling.
These can also be cooked in the oven under the broiler. Just turn them over after 5 minutes.
Melt remaining butter mixture to use as dipping sauce. Shrimp and even chicken can be substituted if you are unable to get lobster.
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@ mealswithmidgi.com.