Cooking lobster and recipes Fishermen Holidays

Wellfleet Oysters are the Best in the World!

 

Raw Wellfleet oysters on plate

Wellfleet Oysters are the Best in the World!

That is why one of the “guests of honor”  for the Labor Day Holiday is the Wellfleet Oyster and fresh Maine Lobster.

The late Howard Mitcham, a renowned chef that called Provincetown, Cape Cod home, called the Wellfleet Oyster the best in the world. In his book, entitled “Clams, Mussels and Oysters …”  Mitcham wrote that the flavor of oysters varies widely from region to region. And as anyone who has eaten a raw Oyster knows, the flavor is complex. Oysters can be sweet, salty, earthy, or even melon.

After last Saturday, two dozen Wellfleet Oysters later, we are in complete agreement with Mitcham that the Wellfleet Oyster is the most succulent, sweet oyster in the world.   The clean, crisp, cold Cape Cod waters help produce a wonderful abundance of Wellfleet Oysters, and they are prized by locals and visitors alike.

Interestingly, the Wellfleet Oyster is a transplant from Connecticut and the Chesapeake Bay.  After Cape Cod oysters were nearly fished out in the 1800s, the Wellfleet locals introduced young southern oysters into their waters.  The oysters were fattened up on sparkling clean river estuaries and then harvested and sold in Boston.  This created the first aquaculture, as it is known today. The result was a lucrative success for the harvesters and a joy to the taste buds for the rest of us.

Experts believe the cold water and the 12-foot tides combine to help make the Wellfleet oyster plump and sweet by providing them with ample, ocean-fresh plankton.

Generations later, the flavor of a Wellfleet Oyster is as distinct as Cape Cod itself.   Today, people all over the country order Wellfleet Oysters and have the oysters delivered right to their door as fresh as if they were just purchased from a Cape Cod market.

Some people are intimidated by the challenge of opening an oyster.  And everyone has their own special technique. But there some basic steps and advice that proves true.

When selecting an oyster from a fish market bin, try to pick the ones that have a very hard shell as opposed to oysters with a brittle shell.  A hard shell usually signifies a plump, healthy oyster inside. Make sure to keep the oysters cool when you bring them home.

Dexter Oyster Knife

Get a good oyster knife as no other kind of knife will work.  You will need one old work glove or a heavy hand towel to hold the oyster with. When ready to open, scrub the oysters under fresh running water to remove any sand but do not immerse them in water. Place them on ice or on a flat pan in a refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to rest.  This will allow the oysters to relax and make them easier to open.

Hold the oyster with flat side up. Place the knife at the small end of the oyster, or the heel.  Press the knife into the heel and twist. If it is too hard to open, some folks will hold the oyster and knife vertically and then tap the base of the knife handle on a cutting board or stone.  This drives the knife with a good nudge into the muscle and makes it easier to pop open the shell.  Try not to spill the oyster juices. Once open, slice under the muscle to cut the oyster from the bottom shell and place the opened oyster shell on a plate of crushed ice.  This keeps the oyster level and cold. Serve immediately.

The traditional serving is with a side of fresh lemon, cocktail sauce and horseradish.  A robust red wine compliments the complex flavor of the Wellfleet Oyster nicely.  Most adults can eat a dozen or more, so be sure to order enough.

Be sure to check out the Wellfleet Oysterfest in Wellfleet, MA October 14th and 15th.

© Wayne Howe 2017


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Boston and Cape Cod Cooking lobster and recipes Lobster roll recipes

Maine Lobster Roll Recipe Simply the Best

jumbo maine lobster roll recipe

It’s hard to improve upon the traditional Boston and Maine lobster roll recipe. The lobster roll  that you can experience in any of the numerous lobster shacks and seafood restaurants that inhabit the Massachusetts coast line.  Sometimes simple is just simply the best and there is just no reason to change anything.  Nothing is better than the pure, sweet taste of lobster.

As the old adage says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But there are a couple of tricks if you want authenticity.  You must use fresh, live Maine lobster.  And if you want an overflowing lobster roll you can eat with a fork, plan on one 1 ¼ pound lobster per roll.  And if at all possible, make sure you use New England style split top hot dog buns (with the cut sides) as the roll’s flavor explodes when toasted on a grill or skillet.

Boston lobster roll on New England style top loading bun

For two people, order two 1 ¼ pound lobster online for home delivery or get them from your local fish market.  Steam the lobster in a large kettle with steaming rack filled with about two-to-three inches of cold water.  Add two tablespoons of sea salt and bring water to roiling boil.  Place the lobster head first into the kettle and steam about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the lobster and open the cooked tail, claws, knuckles and legs with a large chef’s knife.  Remove any cartilage or veins from the tail.

Ingredients:

  • Chop the meat from two 1 ¼ pound lobster into small chunks
  • Two tablespoons of mayonnaise (one per lobster)
  • 4 lemon wedges (served on the side)
  • 1 medium stalk of celery, finely diced
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Potato chips and pickle for serving

Preparation: 

  • Mix the lobster meat and mayonnaise in a large bowl.  Use just enough mayonnaise to coat the meat but not so much that it is holding the meat together
  • Grind in two or three grinds of pepper.  You don’t need much
  • Add in the celery and mix again
  • Cover and chill for at least an hour
  • After the mixture has chilled, pre-heat the grill or an iron skillet
  • Spread softened butter on both sides of each roll
  • Over medium heat, toast the buns on each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown
  • Fill each toasted roll to overflowing and serve immediately with lemon wedge, chips and pickle
  • Note: To add a little extra spice to the Boston lobster roll recipe, chop up two scallions and add it to the mixture along with a dash of cayenne

 

© Wayne Howe 2015

 

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Try this Favorite Maine lobster Steamed-in-Beer Recipe at Next Family Outing

Lobster steamed in beer

The next time you invite the family over for a lobster outing try this traditional old-time favorite Maine lobster steamed-in-beer recipe.  It’s a fun, easy way to prepare lobster and gives the lobster a great, robust down-east flavor.

You will need a pot or steaming kettle large enough to hold six lobsters, some seasalt, beer, fresh whole lemons and butter.   That’s it.

steamed Maine lobster

Maine Lobster

Ingredients:

  • Six 1-¼ pound live Maine Lobsters
  • Two cans of beer (do not use light beer)
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 2 sticks of butter and  2 whole lemons

Get Started with Maine Lobster Steamed in Beer Recipe:

  • Add about an inch of water to the pot. (Some Mainers use only beer)
  • If you don’t have seawater, add two tablespoons of sea salt.  You need to add salt even if you use all beer.  Always add salt when cooking live lobster. Traditional kettle for steaming lobster
  • Add two 12-oz. cans of beer, IPA beer is a good choice.  Don’t use light beer.
  • Bring the water and beer to a roiling boil over high heat.
  • Remove the rubber bands from the claws and add the lobsters head first. Cover tightly.  Wait for the pot to return to boil and start timing.
  • Steam the lobsters 14 to 15 minutes.  About halfway through, stir the lobster at least once to move the bottom lobsters to the top of the pot.
  • Melt the butter in small pan and slice the lemon into wedges.
  • When done the lobsters will be a bright red and the tails will be curled under the body of the lobster.  Remove the lobsters with tongs and pierce the body with chef’s knife to allow water to drain.
  • Serve immediately with melted butter poured in ramekins, lemon wedges and cracking utensils.

    Cook Any Size Maine Lobster

Note, if you want to cook different size lobsters you can.  For each pound, cook the lobster 13 minutes.  Then three minutes for each additional pound.  While steaming is a flexible way to prepare lobster, be careful not to overcook.

If you want to try this easy to prepare recipe and can’t go to Maine, live Maine lobster is now available for home delivery.

Check out this steamed in beer lobster video from Capt. John of Maine.  He takes you from boat to table with his easy to prepare recipe.

Try  some other ideas for outdoor entertaining while serving lobster.

© Wayne Howe 2017

 

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