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Lobster boils are the quintessential food of New England summers and although we are in our tiny, steamy NYC apartments, we welcome the opportunity to transport ourselves to the shores of Maine through this classic dish. And who better to foster this culinary transportation than our friends at Luke’s Lobster?
Read on as they share their tips for throwing the perfect lobster boil in your apartment (yes it’s possible!) starting with how to source sustainable lobster to ensure you’re supporting responsible lobster fisheries.
One easy way to ensure your lobster is sustainable is by buying a Maine lobster. Maine has both minimum and maximum size restrictions for lobsters that can be caught. Lobstermen throw back female lobsters bearing eggs, and put a v-shaped notch in the lobster's tail. If that lobster is ever caught again without eggs, it cannot be kept, as it is marked as a fertile breeder. Lobster traps are required to have juvenile vents, so small lobsters can come and go to get their free lunch without risking becoming lunch themselves at the hands (claws) of a larger lobster. All of this adds up to a very sustainable fishery!
If you want to cook a sustainable crab, on the other hand, try Jonah Crab. While lesser known, Jonah crab fishermen must throw back all egg-bearing females, ensuring that fertile crabs are kept in the population. Jonah crab may only be caught by fishermen who already hold lobster licenses or were already fishing for Jonah prior to 2015; no new licensees may start fishing. No more than 200 crabs per day or 500 crabs per multi-day trip can be caught incidentally through other fishing methods.
Living in a city like New York, you probably don’t have a big lobster pot laying around, right? So breaking the lobster into parts and adding each part and other ingredient at the right time is the best way to to maximize your stock pot.
Start out by steaming small fingerling potatoes for a good while, then after a few minutes add your lobster knuckles and claws, and then tails, clams, and halved corn cobs all around the same time. That way everything should finish together.
For a healthy summer side, serve alongside this lemony, veggie-packed kelp salad — you can skip the lobster addition, since you’ll be eating it in the bake. And for dessert? Nothing’s better than a handful of Maine blueberries … except maybe if you throw them on top of some vanilla ice cream or creamy whole-milk yogurt.
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
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