Lobster -- the mere mention of this delicious crustacean conjures images of bright red shells, dishes of butter for dipping, bibs and tender, tasty white meat being served. While that's the traditional way to serve lobster (and certainly one you can enjoy over and over again!), there are other ways that are just as delectable.
Let's start with the old standby, boiling, just because you know it will be a favorite for all your guests. Lobster must be cooked in salty water in order to maintain the flavor of the meat. Seawater, if it's available, gives it an authentic touch, but tap water salted with sea salt (or even regular salt) works just fine. You can add some vegetables, wine, and herbs for flavoring. If you choose to cook your lobster live, place it in the freezer for 5 - 10 minutes in order to numb it before cooking. Boiled lobster requires 10 minutes of cooking for the first pound and then 3 minutes for each additional pound.
Steaming a lobster is similar to boiling. It will require a longer cooking time, and many consider steamed lobster to be more succulent than boiled lobster. Steamed lobster requires 14 minutes of cook time for the first pound and the 3 minutes for each additional pound.
Grilling lobster is a third option. This involves steaming the lobster just enough to par-boil. Then, place the lobster on it's back, cut it down the middle and remove the black vein that runs down the tail, the green tomalley, and the sand sac. Place the lobster shell side down over a medium-heat and baste with melted butter. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes.
Parboiling or Blanching
This technique is perfect when you need to only partially cook the lobster meat for use in another dish. Boil the lobster only long enough so that the meat can be removed from the shell.
Once it's cooked, you can add lobster to a variety of recipes -- chowder, bisque, sauce, lobster Newburg, lobster stew, lobster ran goons, lobster dip, lobster thermidor. If you're looking for a truly different way to serve lobster, try lobster chili, lobster enchiladas, Cajun lobster. The list is limited only by your imagination, since lobster can be the featured item in almost any dish.