Spiny Tail Lobster


The season is here for Spiny tailed lobster! These local lobsters are absolutely worth every ounce of effort. The tasty and tender meat is a reward. Kim and I served our spiny tailed lobsters with a lobster saffron broth (recipe below) and homemade ricotta gnocchi for Donald Link. An alternate, and albeit easier preparation, would be to serve the lobster and broth over noodles. Much discussion ensued over boiling the lobsters vs. BBQ, but in the end, we felt the meat might be too dry if we used the BBQ for this particular preparation. Whichever preparation you chose, do not miss out on these delicious local lobsters.

Spiny Tail Lobster

Preparing the Lobsters

4 Spiny tail lobsters

Spiny tailed lobsters have no claws so are easy to handle. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook lobster in batches for 6 – 8 minutes each. Make sure to secure the lid after you put them in the water (ours tried to flip out of the pot). Remove to cookie sheet and cover with ice. When cool, remove meat (keeping it in tact) from tail and put in the refrigerator.

Lobster and Saffron Broth

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves of garlic smashed

Shells of lobster

1 onion diced

3 bay leaves

1 large carrot diced

¼ cup tomato paste

1 bottle white wine

1-quart water

1 pinch of Saffron

6 tablespoons butter

1 sprig of fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper

Preparing the Broth

This is absolutely the best stock! It can be painstaking to cut up the lobster shells so I used strong kitchen sheers. Cut up lobster shells and legs in 1inch pieces. Heat a large pot with ¼ cup of olive oil. Add onions, carrots, bay leaves, garlic and lobster shells. Sauté for about 15 minutes. Add tomato paste, white wine, water and saffron and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30-40 min stirring occasionally and crunching the shells with a potato masher. Add a little water or wine if the stock reduces too much. Skim the broth occasionally as you simmer. Before serving strain stock with a fine mesh strainer. Slice the tail meat of the lobster in ½ inch pieces across the tail. Place the broth back on the stove and bring to boil. Per Donald’s recommendation, add basil sprig, bring to boil and then simmer. Right before serving, whisk in butter and take out basil sprig. Arrange lobster on a plate and ladle in broth. The heat of the broth will finish cooking the meat.

Ricotta Gnocchi

We made homemade ricotta for this easy and delicious gnocchi. They are actually more like quenelles than gnocchi and are light and fluffy. The recipe we used was from Judy Rodgers’ Zuni Café cookbook.
White wine

Drink with a white burgundy wine like 2005 Jean Philippe Fichet Meursault, Les Gruyaches. Really any of the Meursaults are good from ’05, ’06, and ’07.