I was shopping at Ralphs the other day, and in the seafood section I spied a pile of raw lobster tails.
I knew I had to have them.
This was a bit of a risky move, seeing as how they're pretty expensive and I've only had lobster once. I had heard it's very easy to overcook these guys, and I didn't have any clue how to get them open.
But... when I had it that one time, with my husbands family, I knew that lobster and I would probably be lifelong friends.
As it turns out, the tails aren't hard to prepare!
Here's how I did it, if you're feeling risky too.
I decided to serve them with a simple pasta dish and an arugula salad.
I used Giada's recipe for "Lobster Tails with Clarified Butter". I trust her :)
If there's a dish I feel a little uncomfortable with, I like to get everything else ready so I can focus on the tricky one near the end. I started by putting my pasta water on to boil with a small hand of kosher salt.
Then I got out to bowls for my lemon vinaigrette and the clarified butter for the lobster.
In one bowl I zested the lemons, into which I would pour the clarified butter. In the other, I juiced the lemons for the salad dressing.
I melted two sticks of unsalted butter over low heat, then let the butter sit for five minutes in a glass measuring cup and scraped off the foam on the surface. I poured the clarified butter over the lemon zest. (If you do this, make sure not to pour off the solids in the bottom of the measuring cup. You only want the clear, golden stuff! I got a little too crazy with my pouring and ended up with a little bit of solids in our butter. Whoops!)
While I was waiting for the butter to melt, I whisked about a tablespoon of dijon mustard with the lemon juice.
Then I slowly whisked in olive oil until it made an emulsion, and added salt, pepper, and honey for flavor. I stuck it in the fridge to chill until needed.
Time for the tails! I was excited that they came wrapped in paper. (If we're being honest here - I usually just buy pre-packaged meat instead of getting the butcher to cut it.)
The tops are pretty, but I don't like to look underneath. It freaks me out a little. Plus, the bottoms have little pokey things along the edge. Ouch!
To prepare them for cooking, I cut a line through the middle of the top shell and pried it open. The cutting was definitely the hardest part of preparation. I did a better job with the one on the left. Then I stuck skewers through the meat near the bottom so the tails wouldn't curl while cooking.
I drizzled them with the clarified butter and wrapped them up in foil, cooking them at 400 degrees. I checked them every few minutes, waiting for the shells to begin to redden and the meat to become more opaque. Once the looked almost done, I unwrapped them and stuck them under the broiler for just a minute or two. I set the remainder of the butter on the table for dipping.
While the lobsters were cooking, I made a quick alfredo sauce and threw the pasta in to boil.
Here's the whole spread!
I meant to take a closeup of my lobster tail, but I accidentally ate it all first. Sorry :)