Refrigerate as soon as you get home. Take out of plastic bag, if in one. Don't put in sink with tap water. They will drown. Cook as soon as possible.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil. Add the lobsters. When water begins to boil again, cover and cook as follows:1-1 ½ lbs. 10-12 minutes (the usual size to buy, unless you want to splurge)
1 ½- 2 lbs. 13-14 minutes (a luxurious and delicious size)
2-3 lbs 16-18 minutes
3-4 lbs 20-22 minutes, etc. etc.
7-10 lbs. 30-35 minutes (a lobster this big is a curiosity)
For more than 4 lobsters in a pot (it wd have to be some pot), cook a few minutes longer.
Lobsters are bright red when cooked. The tail will curl and the meat should be firm.
Buy (or acquire) 1/3 to 1/2 pound of lobster meat for two people. Mix with a minimum of mayonnaise. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and some chopped raw onion. Serve over toasted frankfurter buns.
Florida lobster is not as good as Maine lobster. It's best to broil it. Then you won't expect it to be Maine lobster.
Cut each lobster's back with scissors. Cut through the meat to the other side and bend back, as flat as possible. Or have the fish store butterfly them for you.
Broil shell-side up until the shell turns red. Turn over and brush butter on the meat. Keep broiling to a total of ten minutes.
The other good way to cook Florida lobster is to remove the meat from the shell and saute it.
Lobster with Tropical Vinaigrette
1 cup mango puree
2 tsp grated or diced ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
2 TBSP rum
2 tsp grated orange zest
6 TBSP OJ
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix ingredients together and serve over cold lobster and greens.
One soft-shell crab per person, if there is something served before. Otherwise, two.
Pour flour onto a plate and coat crabs with the flour by turning them over in it a few times. Add salt and pepper. Saute in olive oil or a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil til golden. Serve on a plate with the fennel and spout salad above. The cold crunchy salad is a great accompaniment to the part-mushy, part crunchy, but hot-off-the-stovetop crab.
Fennel and Sprout Salad
Cut the ends off a fennel and chop into bite-sized pieces. Put in a bowl. Mix with a handful (about 1/5 a container) of alfalfa sprouts.
Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix together.
Easy and refreshing.
Key West, June 2000.