In mid-May our children will be arriving from Salt Lake City and northern New Jersey and later on Costa Rica. Always a celebration when they all come home and baked stuffed lobster signals it’s a special family time for a New England style dinner.

Everyone hesitates to cook this shellfish entrĂ©e, but it’s an easy and delicious way to celebrate. Baked stuffed lobster is really simple and your guests will be delighted.

Purchase one lobster per person, about 1 and quarter to 1 and a half pounds each. Usually around the holidays, Memorial Day and 4th of July, the local grocery stores will run a special on live lobsters.

Years ago, my husband did some lobstering, and we had lobster until it ran out our ears. There are some really funny stories when he was a stockbroker, and he and a friend in the office decided they needed a lobster boat and thought they could compete with the New England lobstermen, who had fished and set pots all their lives.

Now, we wait until lobster goes on sale. Baking it, instead of boiling, dispenses with the fishy odor as well.

Ask the seafood clerk to split them for baking. Last summer, we were told by the environmental testers not to use the roe, so we didn’t. Purchase about one pound of bay scallops, those are the little ones, also called Nantucket Bay scallops, for the stuffing.

Lobster stuffing (recipe for four):

Remove lobster claws and cook only the claws in boiling water for approximately 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Remove shells and cut lobster meat into bite size pieces.

Mix the lobster claw meat with about a cup and a half of whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, juice of a lemon, a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, one shallot finely chopped and a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill, or one teaspoon of dried dill. Mix these ingredients together with the scallops and their juice and several grinds of fresh pepper.

Lay the split lobsters out on a flat cookie sheet with an edge. Stuff the lobsters with the lobster and scallop stuffing. Top each lobster with a couple of pads of butter or drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crisp.

Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter for dipping. Baked potatoes and a crisp green summer salad complete the menu. Great summer fest family dinner.

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