curry lobster tails

Jewels Says  •  My close friend West and I cannot account for the intense love we have for each other because we’re such completely different people. We both felt it the moment we met, before either had spoken. It was a friendship coup de foudre. We also both love Hawaii – I mean love those islands – and share the same aching-heart desire to be a part of the Hawaiian culture. It’s the only way we can explain our super-strong connection: we figure we must have shared a past life as Pacific islanders.
    We haven’t gone to Hawaii together yet in this life. But we have made this luscious dish for friends here on the beach in California with real aloha spirit. We still talk about the way our friends devoured multiple platefuls of everything we served them and had such a great time.

This dish has a few special ingredients, including turmeric and lemongrass, that are worth the trip to a specialty market or buying online. But, if you can’t find them fresh, you can certainly use the powdered versions as well. These spices have an exotic flavor that you and your guests will come to crave.

the marinade
serves 8-10
a big handful of cumin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan, then ground fine. (you can use a clean coffee grinder).
about 2 inches peeled fresh ginger, chopped
about 2 inches peeled fresh turmeric or 1 ½ tablespoons dry turmeric
shallots, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
2-3 stalks lemongrass, tender center only, chopped fine.
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 heaping tablespoon palm sugar (or ½t white and ½ t brown sugar)
½ tablespoon salt
about ½ a cup of extra virgin olive oil
optional additions:
    ¼ lb of butter cold, cut in pieces
    2 kaffir lime leaves very thinly sliced into thin strips

  1. Combine all the ingredients,(except the butter and the lime leaves) in a blender, mixing until you achieve a smooth paste. If you are using the butter: incorporate  small pieces at a time, while blender is on running on low. Stir in lime leaves (if using).  Set aside. Can be made a day in advance.

the lobster
6 whole lobsters

  1. Blanche the lobster: fill a large pot (that can fit one lobster) with water and a small handful of salt and bring to a boil. (you only need enough water to cover one lobster).
  2. Get a bowl of ice water ready and set aside.
  3. When water is at a full boil, plunge one lobster into the water for about 2 minutes, remove, then plunge immediately into the ice water (I use a cooler filled with ice water when I am doing a lot of these). Repeat will all five lobsters.
  4. Remove lobsters from ice water when cooled. Remove the tail by twisting from the body. (Twist off the claws, too. You can use these later). Cut the tails in half, through the shell and down the center with a very sharp knife. You can do this ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to grill.
  5. Rub a generous amount of the marinade on the lobster tails, pouring a bit in between the shell and flesh being careful not to separate them.
  6. Let them sit for at least 5 or 10 minutes
  7. Grill the lobster tails, flesh side down first, turning frequently and brushing with a bit of the extra marinade. They should be done in about 8-12 minutes.
  8. Serve warm. I like to serve them with Forbidden Rice.

Jewels’ Smart Idea
These are also great cold on their own, with the Deliciously Different Cold Cucumber Soup (page 00), on a salad, in a sandwich or in a nori wrap with black rice and cucumber. Put the claws on the barbeque to cook when you grill the tails. The claws are actually my favorite part. They can be served with this dish or used to make a meal on their own.

Jill’s smart idea

I love to make this with shrimp to save both time and money!