Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp


Baked Stuffed Lobster with Shrimp


Ingredients

2 cold water lobsters (Maine or Boston, about 1¼ to 1½ pounds each)
10 shrimp (35-40 size, about 4 ounces/110g, peeled, and de-veined)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons salted butter (110g, melted)
1 cup panko or dried breadcrumbs (50g)
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill (optional)
¼ cup flat Italian parsley (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Lemon wedges (to serve)

Instructions

Always start with fresh live hard shell lobsters from your local market or fish store. Most of the time, you will find hard shell lobsters at your local store but sometimes lobsters have a softer shell just after molting and their shells are not yet fully hard. Soft shell lobsters contain more water and in my opinion, have a sweeter taste and a more tender texture but they do contain a lot of water and less meat so a good, live hard shell lobster is best for baking.
Refrigerate your lobsters in the wax bag you get from the market which will keep them alive and fresh until you are ready to process them. The cold temperature will also keep them less active so they are easier to prepare. Putting them into the freezer for a few minutes will also do the trick.
Put each lobster on its back on a cutting board, and use a sharp chef’s knife to split it in half lengthwise without actually cutting the lobster all the way in half. You can easily do this by holding the lobster down at the claws just above the head. Insert the tip of the knife where the shell is soft between the legs, and carefully cut down lengthwise to the tail of the lobster. Remember to stop cutting when you reach the hard shell so you don’t penetrate it.
After the lobsters are split, use a pair of kitchen shears to trim off the antennae and the heads. Use both hands to split and flatten the lobsters lengthwise until they lie flat.
Discard the stomach sack and intestines, which are usually transparent but filled with dark material, and the dark sand track that goes down to the tail. Use the kitchen shears to make a small cross cut in the shell (be careful not to cut the meat) about halfway up the lobster tail on each side. This will help prevent the lobster tail from curling up when it cooks in the oven.
Next, remove the green tomalley and the roe, and set aside for the stuffing if you enjoy it, or discard. Rinse out each lobster under running water until clean. Pat the shells dry, and transfer to a sheet pan.
Clean and rinse the shrimp, and toss with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 tablespoon melted butter, and brush the entire lobster––including the outside of the shells. At this point, reserve 4 tablespoons of the clarified melted butter in a small bowl for serving (clarified butter is the melted butter without the milk solids that float to the top).
Using a fork, mix the remaining butter with 1 cup of panko/breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon paprika. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill, if using, 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat Italian parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon of parsley for garnish), and ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest.
Evenly distribute the breadcrumbs into the cavities of the split lobsters, making sure you don’t pack the stuffing. It should be loose so the stuffing has a light and flakey texture. Next, lightly press five whole shrimp on top of the stuffing in each lobster.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the reserved clarified butter on top of the shrimp. You can add more butter in this step if you like. Heck you can add more butter at any step if you like!
Preheat the oven to 425 F, and bake the lobsters on the upper rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the meat is translucent. Don’t overcook the lobster, and remember it will continue to cook after you take it out! You can always put it back into the oven for more time, but you can’t reverse overcooking.

Transfer your lobsters to plates and sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Serve your stuffed baked lobster immediately with fresh lemon wedges and the melted butter you set aside earlier.