You want your friends to tell their friends and random strangers about your amazing cooking when you’re not around? Cook them this and they won’t be able to stop talking about your chef skills. And for the price of $5 per tail, don’t even charge them for the unforgettable culinary experience.
Ingredients (2 Servings):
- 2 4-5oz lobster tail
- 2 TBSP lemon juice (~1 small lemon)
- 1 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1-2 garlic cloves (depends on how much you like garlic)
- 3/4 tsp of kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional – only if you like a little spice)
- Baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
- Kitchen scissors (Any scissors will do, just make sure you clean them first!)
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Small microwavable mixing bowl (microwavable)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Flip over the lobster tail, use the kitchen scissors to cut off the clear skin and legs (picture in Tips), and place them exposed meat side up on the baking sheet.
- Put the butter in a small mixing bowl and melt in the microwave.
- Finely chop the garlic and add to small bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, black pepper, salt and cayenne to the small mixing bowl and stir.
- Use the spoon to spread the melted butter mixture across the exposed tail meat.
- Bake in the oven for 13 minutes.
Total time = 25 minutes (12 minutes of prep time, 13 minutes cook time)
Step 2 – This is a lot easier than it sounds. Cut along the intersection of the clear skin and red shell on the underside of the lobster on both sides. Then peel the skin off starting from the thick part of the tail and it will separate from the meat. Total time for the three tails below was approximately 5 minutes.
Regular scissors would work here, provided you clean them thoroughly before use. A robust pair of kitchen scissors is a good investment though, especially if you plan on cooking more/making this recipe as often as possible (which you will).
In case these directions aren’t clear enough, here’s an action shot of me attacking some lobster tail:
Step 3 – Approximately 30 seconds on power level 3 should do the trick. Be careful not to over-melt the butter. If accidentally over-melted, throw it out and start over. The safest way is to microwave the butter in 10 second intervals, stirring in between intervals.
Step 4 – To prep the garlic, separate 2 cloves from the bunch. Remove any outer layer that comes off easily. Lay the garlic cloves on their side. Use the broad side of the kitchen knife and press down on each clove until you hear a cracking sound. Use your hand to remove the final layer that connects to the bulk clove. Once you have removed the skin, chop off the brown part at the bottom of the clove where it connected to the bunch. Chop the rest as finely as possible aka mince.
Pre-prepared minced garlic will work in a bind, but garlic cloves lose most of their good antioxidants within a couple days of being crushed. The pre-prepared garlic may be convenient, however it lacks the nutritional value and taste of the fresh stuff!
Last note on garlic: Anything that touches garlic, will smell like garlic. Wash your hands and anything else the garlic touched thoroughly. You have been warned.
Step 5 – I often have the lemon juiced and ready to go as well. Roll the broadside of the lemon on the cutting board to help get the most juice out. Then use your citrus juicer to squeeze and measure at the same time! See more about this must-have in the Tools post.
Step 8 – To add even more flavor to your plate, pour any garlic/lemon/butter juices caught by the aluminum foil over the lobster tail and any side dishes(such as this Cauliflower Faux-tato Salad) to complete this masterpiece meal.
Step 9 – I have yet to figure out the most elegant way to eat this meal! You can get in there with a fork and knife or use a spoon which is surprisingly effective at digging out the meat. Also, don’t forget about the meat at the end of the tail! You can break off each portion of the tail with your hands. Have a napkin handy and warn everyone around you because the first time you do this, you will likely squirt juice on yourself and/or across the table. It’s 100% worth it though, a little extra lobster is always worth a little extra mess!
- Two 4-5 oz of lobster tail ~ $10
- 2 Tbsp of butter ~ $0.50
- 1 small lemon ~ $0.33
- 2 garlic cloves ~ $0.10
- Spices ~ negligible
Cost per homemade lobster tail = ~$5
You can now officially call yourself an apartment chef. You just cooked lobster tail. Lobster tail!! At home, by yourself! What else can you cook? Anything! The sky is the limit get out there and get creative!
As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients and know your costs!