Hurricane Irene was no joke for lots of people, but huddled up housewatching out on Long Island during the storm, things could have been worse. There was a full fridge, there was power, and there were lobsters. Inspired by Ruth Bourdain's tweet on the #Irene hashtag ("If, like me, you forgot to stock up on butter-poached lobster for #Irene, you're totally f#cking screwed. Per Se is closing for the weekend") I decided to fight the weather with a simple butter poached lobster. You know, some people just don't have their priorities straight.
Now, no one's making any claims that you're going to be able to blindfold Thomas Keller and trick him into thinking he's eating his own fare, and there's not much complication to the recipe, but it's pretty damn tasty, and if you can make it during a hurricane, well, you could pretty much make it anywhere. You know?
Gently melt the butter in a sauté pan on a low simmer. After killing the lobster with your chef's knife, crack your lobster claws off and use the back flatridge of your knife to crack the claw (to help it cook). Twist off the tail, splitting it down the center of the underbelly but being careful not to cut into the meat. Place the claws and tails in the pan and simmer gently on a low heat for about 3 minutes then turn them. Simmer for another 3 minutes and remove. Crack them open, slice the tail thinly and garnish with the claw.
You can eat it just like that with a drizzle of the butter, or take a few tablespoons of it and whisk it with the juice of a lemon then drizzle that over. A pinch of pepper and there you have it — Hurricane Irene Butter Poached Lobster. Take that Ruth Bourdain.