HAVE A CRACKIN’ GOOD SUMMER!
Stew Leonard’s Fresh Lobsters Arriving Daily from Maine
Norwalk, Conn. – July 20, 2016 – Sweet, succulent lobster is practically synonymous with summertime! Stew Leonard’s sells nearly 1,000,000 pounds of lobster and more than 200,000 lobster rolls each year, making the farm fresh food grocer a go-to destination for shoppers looking to recreate a New England-style lobster dinner at home.
More than 150 lobster boats leave the docks in Deer Island, Maine every morning to navigate the cold, rocky waters of the Atlantic Ocean to catch lobsters to be sold at Stew Leonard’s. The lobsters go from those boats to Stew Leonard’s in the same day.
“A fresh lobster, a few ears of our local corn, and a great glass of chardonnay is my favorite summertime meal,” says Stew Leonard Jr., president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s. “Plus, my family feels good that for every lobster we catch, we throw two back into the ocean! Our lobstermen say: ‘It’s for my grandkids!’”
It takes 5 years for a lobster to grow just 1 pound, so properly cooking and cracking these valuable crustaceans are important skills, but easier than most people think!
How to Steam a Lobster
(Source: Lobster From Maine)
Steaming lobsters yields tender and more flavorful meat. Plus, it’s harder to overcook a steamed lobster! Here are the steps you’ll need to take when preparing lobsters at home.
- Choose a pot large enough to hold all the lobsters comfortably; do not crowd them. A 4- to 5- gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobsters.
- Put 2 inches of seawater or salted water in the bottom of a large kettle.
- Set steaming rack inside the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Add the live lobsters one at a time, cover pot, and start timing. A 1 ½ lb lobster should be steamed for about 14 minutes.
- Halfway through, carefully lift the lid and shift the lobsters around so they cook evenly.
- Lobsters are cooked when their shells are bright red and the meat has changed from translucent to white.
How to Crack a Lobster
(Source: Lobster From Maine)
There’s a reason restaurants give customers a bib when they’ve ordered lobsters! Cracking a lobster is a messy process…but for lobster lovers, the hard work is worth it! Here are step-by-step instructions so you can savor every last bite of sweet lobster meat.
- Twist off the claws.
- Crack each claw and knuckle with a lobster or nut cracker (although you can also do this by hand). Remove the meat with a tiny fork or with your fingers.
- Separate the tail from the body and break off the tail flippers. Extract the meat from each flipper.
- Insert a fork and push the tail meat out in one piece. Remove and discard the black vein that runs the entire length of the tail meat.
- Separate the shell of the body from the underside by pulling them apart. Discard the green substance called the tomalley.
- Open the underside of the body by cracking it apart in the middle, with the small walking legs on either side. Extract the meat from the leg joints and the legs themselves by biting down on the leg and squeezing the meat out with your teeth.
Stew Leonard’s Top 5 Questions about Lobster
Stew Leonard’s seafood Team Members have heard it all…and then some! Here are just five of the most frequently asked questions they hear from customers who are purchasing lobster.
- Will my lobster feel pain when I steam it?
Lobsters have no cerebral cortex, which is the area of humans’ brains that gives us the sensation of pain. Lobsters feel no pain!
- How can I tell if my lobster is male or female?
Turn the lobster onto its back and look at the swimmerettes on the underside of the lobster’s tail. Male swimmerettes are hard and bony while a female’s are light and feathery.
- What’s the green stuff in the tail?
It’s called the “tomalley” and it’s actually the lobster’s digestive system!
- What’s the red stuff?
It’s the roe, the unfertilized eggs of the female. Lobster eggs were once considered a delicacy, like caviar.
- Is lobster a healthy food?
Lobster is a SUPER FOOD! It is only 90 calories for 3.5 ounces. Chicken is 163 calories and steak is 280 calories for the same serving size. It’s also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and has less cholesterol than chicken.
What’s a lobster dinner without a great bottle of wine? Here are three wine recommendations from Stew Leonard Jr., owner of Stew Leonard’s Wines in Farmingdale, N.Y., that pair well with three of the most common ways to enjoy lobster.
- Lobster Rolls: “If you’re serving lobster rolls, try any crisp white that normally pairs well with shellfish,” notes Leonard. “I like Abrazo Viura-Verdejo, a white blend from Spain that has bright citrus notes and is the perfect foil to the richness of the lobster meat and mayo combination.”
- Broiled Lobster: “Try something that will measure up to the richness of broiled lobster meat, like an oaked Chardonnay, which often has buttery undertones,” says Leonard. “I Hayes Ranch Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, California. They’re a family owned winery and my wife and I have been to visit them!”
- With Lobster Mac & Cheese: “You’ll want a refreshing contrast to the creaminess of a lobster mac & cheese,” observes Leonard. “I’d suggest a dry sparkling white or rosé, like either Paul Buisse Brut or Brut Rose from the south of France.”
Stew Leonard’s Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter
Ready to up your lobster game? Here, Stew Leonard’s Executive Chef Michael Luboff shares his recipe for a buttery, decadent lobster on the grill. Serves 2 people.
- 1 live lobster (approximately 1 ¼ to 1½ lbs.)
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- 1½ tsp. crushed red chili pepper flakes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Combine butter, parsley, chili flakes, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set aside.
- Using a cleaver, split lobster in half lengthwise through its head and tail. Scoop out and discard the yellow-green tomalley and break off claws.
- Transfer lobster halves, shell side down, to a baking sheet; crack claws and place them on the baking sheet.
- Drizzle halves and claws with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side.
- Place lobster halves, flesh side down, and claws on hottest part of grill; cook until slightly charred, 2-3 minutes.
- Flip lobster over and using a spoon, spread lobster with the garlic-parsley butter; continue grilling until lobster meat is tender, 3-5 minutes more.
About Stew Leonard’s
Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated fresh food store founded in 1969, has four stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. and in Farmingdale & Yonkers, N.Y., with a sixth store planned to open in East Meadow, N.Y. in mid-2017. Stew’s earned its nickname, the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores” because of its country-fair atmosphere, with costumed characters and animated entertainment throughout the store that keep children entertained while parents shop. Stew Leonard’s legion of loyal shoppers is largely due to the stores’ passionate approach to customer service: “Rule #1 — The Customer is Always Right”; Rule #2 – If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1.” This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store’s entrance. The company’s culture is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; Teamwork gets it done; Excellence makes it better; WOW makes it fun. For more information, visit Stew Leonard’s website at www.stewleonards.com.
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