Friday, January 7, 2011

How to prepare a Lobstah !

DISCLAIMER: 2 LIVE ANIMALS WERE HURT, KILLED and EATEN DURING THE CREATION OF THIS POST! SUE ME!  :)


Living on coastal New England has it's advantages besides the awesome people and the quiet laid back life style...L O B S T A H!!!!!
We absolutely LOVE it and we eat it like the locals do.
When we lived in Sao Paulo lobster was considered a splurge for us, my favorite was lobster Fondue. You can still find this awesome restaurant in Sao Paulo called GREEN GARDEN .
GREEN GARDEN is an awesome romantic place up on the HILLS right outside the city, but you can see the BEST view of Sao Paulo from up there, it is really high, at Serra da Cantareira, a place with fresh clean crisp cool air, a beautiful area to drive on a Saturday or Sunday. There are several awesome gated communities in the area and upscale homes on the side of the mountains all over the place.
GREEN GARDEN also has a huge fireplace right in the middle of the restaurant with lots of tables right around the fire and many more in romantic booths all around the place, each with a better view than the other.
They serve one of the best Lobsters in Sao Paulo, the city is only about 1 hour from the coast so they do get live Lobsters all the time.

CORRECTION:  GREEN GARDEN IS NOT SERVING LOBSTERS ON A REGULAR BASIS AT THIS TIME. THEY DO OCASIONALLY HAVE LOBSTER FESTIVALS.


They have a Fondue "Rodizio" going on right now, which is all you can eat, all types of fondue for a fixed price, that includes Filet Mignon, Cheese, Chocolate, fresh fruit etc...I am not sure if the Lobster is included, you should call and ask if you are driving out there just for their Lobster. It might not be a part of the "Rodizio" deal and will most likely cost you extra.
So, long story short! In Sao Paulo Lobster is an expensive treat, not your trivial daily staple.
My favorite all time Seafood restaurant in Sao Paulo is:

Amadeus
Rua Haddock Lobo, 807 (Flat Crillon Plaza)
Tel.: (11) 3061-9965

Amadeus is right across the street from the Renaissance Hotel in Sao Paulo on the corner, actually sort of behind the Hotel if you are facing the main entrance.

They DO SERVE an awesome Lobster and Oysters too.
NOOWWWW, in New England....It is and it has always been POOR people's FOOD, YES, a staple on blue collar lunch boxes, usually in the shape of a "Lobster Rolls", which is a very sloppy sandwich on a "Hot Dog Bun" looking bread cut on the top, not on the side, it always has Hellman's mayonnaise, celery and a few other ingredients.
You can find Lobster Rolls even at Mac Donald's restaurants in the summer around our area, they cost around U$7,00 but they are made with real Lobster meat and they are worth every bite.
Traditional delis around the area sell Lobster Rolls for anything between U$12,00 and U$16,00, but don't worry, Blue collar wages around New England hover well above U$30,00 per hour, going all the way to U$60,00 dollars per hour for construction workers.
Cost of living here is high.


Traditional New England style Lobster Roll

It is poor people's food here because anyone can catch it off the coast, it is and it has always been abundant in the region, so even if you don't have a Lobsters trap and can't catch one, your neighbor, your cousin, friend and a guy down the block will catch a bunch and either give away to family or sell for very little.
Off course the commercial fishing community around here sells Lobsters at a premium to distributors who then sell them all over the world.
But if you are a local like we are now and know were to go to get your fresh Lobsters right off the boat, you can eat them ALL the time, if you like Lobster off course.
We do like it, we actually LOVE IT and we even have a favorite fisherwoman, yes, fisherwoman called Joanne, she is very cool and always let Okie come up on the pier, he is freaked out of the Lobster traps filled with weird looking CATS, yes, for Okie, everything that it's not a dog, it's a CAT and he must chase it, deer, rabbit, squirrel, CAT, CAT, CAT.



Our local fish market sells them for a premium. But we always buy them at the pier directly from the boats.

Our local pier. The fishing boats come back from the Ocean between 2:30pm and 5:30pm filled with Lobsters, Crab and Fish
 
London 3335 Miles, Boston 80 Miles, Bathrooms: ACROSS THE STREET :)


Ok, enough talk, let's get down to business, HOW TO PREPARE LOBSTERS, or LOBSTAH for the locals, remove your R's from the alphabet people and you will talk almost like a New Englander, almost:


Joanna, our fisherwoman sells us Lobsters directly from the boat for 5 bucks a piece regardless of the size.



1-Gil and I always get 1 Lobster each, that is our U$10,00 dollar budget for Lobster :) 
Frugality is another strong and greatly admired characteristic of New Englanders.
We usually pick a pound and a half sized Lobster each, which is about 750gr, almost 1 kilo each.
That is because we like to eat other things besides the Lobster, like corn on the cob and a nice thick Sword  Fish Fillet that we make on the grill.



Live Lobsters ready for the big cooking POT!

Make sure to cut the rubber bands holding the Lobster's claws just before placing them in the pan. THEY WILL BITE! Grab them from the back.

Place a stainless steel strainer at the bottom of the POT with water. USE A LARGE POT that will fit both Lobsters.
2-You are not going to fill the POT with water, just have water at the bottom of the POT, you are going to STEAM the Lobsters, so make sure there is enough water in the bottom to create steam but not too much water to keep the Lobsters from being boiled in the water.



Place the Lobsters in headfirst so they can't try to climb out! Ouch! I know... :(

When they are both in the POT, cover it and time exact 12 minutes in the steam and remove them!

3-Now, Don't freak out, they DO SQUEAL! It is awful the first time you do it, kids might be impressed, but everyone should just get over it. They are food after all and we are not PETA  :)


After exact 12 minutes in the steam they should be RED and READY! :)


We place them on the counter for a few minutes to let it cool a little, remember we are eating them with our hands.
4-It is not a fancy dinner folks, this is a simple lunch, eat with your hands dripping down your elbows type of lunch. My mother would faint if she saw how much we lost our fork and knife good manners...but we get civilized again when we pass customs at Sao Paulo International Airport and no one would imagine the eat with our hands "Barbarians" we have become ;)

Lunch is served.

5-Lunch is served. One grilled LOCAL Sword Fish Fillet each, a bunch of corn on the cob and ONE pound and a half Lobster each.
We enjoyed our grilled fish drizzled with fresh lime juice, for the Lobster we have little cups with melted butter and crushed fresh garlic.

6-We use these little Lobster cracking devices and these little Lobster forks that are small enough to go into the claws and other parts, you can use a regular nutcracker and a regular small fork, it will work just the same.
We both like to crack and remove all the meat from the Lobster and then start eating it, you can find your own way of doing it.


Lobster meat removed with a little fork or a regular fork.

             In Sao Paulo we either drive 1 hour to Santos and go to the end of the beach where there is an awesome FISH MARKET right off the water and buy our Lobsters there or you can get your live Lobsters your local fish market, Pao de Acucar grocery stores, Extra, at Carrefour or even Walmart, they all sell LIVE LOBSTERS.
             I don't know where to get them in Rio but it's probably easier than in Sao Paulo. Lobsters are very popular and very affordable in all of the Northeast Region of Brazil.



Ray

13 comments:

Jim said...

WOW - that was amazing.

You know you have your own corner of paradise when lobster is "poor people's" food.

I appreciate the steaming route. I am used to hearing about boiling. I'm sure steaming is better.

I'm afraid to learn how much lobster will cost us at the local fish market...

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

It really is all relative. We happen to actually like Lobsters. Many people here don't care for them at all...they are too available and not a big deal at all.
It's like Brazilians pay a fortune for Blueberry but they can eat cheap fresh Acai in every corner...We can buy Blueberries here very cheap, we have to pick our own, now Acai is the trendiest most expensive thing you can buy at Wholefoods...
Yes, steaming them is the way to go...we are learning a lot about seafood, different from most other parts of the US where seafood is basically everything from the sea battered and deep fried.
Over here things are grilled, steamed, sauted, baked...ahhh, don't even get me started...Boston Seafood is the absolute best.
We have the deep fried crap around here too...but it's not the majority of the seafood options.
Back to the Lobster, when you steam it, you keep all the flavors in the Lobster, if you boil it, you sort of naturally water it down and loose a lot of the flavors in the water.
Come on, you have to find a place in Niteroi to buy this things directly from the fisherman...you are right there by the Ocean...cut out the middleman and enjoy some Lobstah!!!;)


Ray

Jana @ Paper plains said...

OHHHH MY! I love me some lobstah but I REALLY LOVELOVE me some fondue. I have already mapped out the route to get there! Dont worry there will be a post dedicated to my happiness. =)

Gil and Ray said...

Jana,

If you go on a cool night call and make reservations, the place get's PACKED!
It is a very well known and very traditional restaurant.
Enjoy and let me know :)


Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Oh, make sure to go on a clear night so you can see the AWESOME VIEW!!!!!

Jana @ Paper plains said...

Excellent, thanks for the advice, we are planning to go next Saturday and I will definately let you know..I cannot wait!!!

Your post brought back great memories of thanksgiving in Va. My family doesnt eat meat so we always had lobster for tgiving and my dad would always set the still alive lobsters with their claws bundled up next to our golden retriever and let the games begin... pawing and clawing.. it was great fun!

Gil and Ray said...

Jana,

That does sound fun.
I am soooo jealous of you right now it's now even funny ;)
Can't wait to get to Sao Paulo now...


Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Jana,

Gil just called Green Garden and they are not serving Lobster at the moment.
They do have Lobster Festivals once in a while.
Just wanted to correct that information.
They still do have a selection of shrimp on their menu.
The place is definetely worth it anyway.


Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Jana,


My best recomendation for seafood in the city is:

Amadeus
Rua Haddock Lobo, 807 (Flat Crillon Plaza)
Tel.: (11) 3061-9965

They are right behind the Renaissance Hotel. It is expensive but absolutely 100% worth every dime.


Ray

Jana @ Paper plains said...

Oh thanks for checking!!! We are still going irregardless of the lobster bc I LOVE fondue that much! And with a view? Even better! who cares that its 80 degrees out =)

It appears from their site they are still running the special on fondue and we will double check when making the reservation...

We will have to check when we go about their lobstah timeline...Ill let you know so you can arrange your visit home around that =)

Jana @ Paper plains said...

ps you made ME jealous with your snow posts so we are even!

Gil and Ray said...

Fair, we are even... I will be looking forward to your post on Green Garden :)

Rachel said...

Wow! and YUM!

It reminds me of when I lived in Seattle. The Salmon was so fresh and a great price!