Traditionally, whole lobster is prepared by boiling or steaming.
Boiled Lobster – Select a stock pot that is appropriately sized for the lobsters that you will be cooking. Half fill with water and bring to a rolling boil. Live lobsters claws are held closed with rubber bands to protect the consumer. Hold the lobster by the back with your hand wrapped around the body and under its arms to remove rubber bands. Drop the live lobster into the pot head first. The lobster might curl his tail back and forth a few times, this is normal. Note: You can add lemon, bay leave, fresh vegetables or any flavor you desire to your stock pot before cooking.
Steamed Lobster – You’ll need a large stock pot to steam your lobster. Steaming your lobster is favorable to boiling as more of the sweet flavor is retained in the meat using this cooking method.
After you select your pot, line the bottom about two to three inches with whole carrots, celery, and onions. Top that with a layer of fresh seaweed (optional). Add enough water to nearly cover the vegetables. Bring to rolling boil with a lid covering the top of the pot. Remove the bands from your live lobsters and set them in the pot. Cover the pot tightly and let them simmer
When the lobster is nearly finished there may be a white foamy substance covering a cooked lobster. This white foam is “lobster fat” or “lobster protein” and is normal.
You’re lobster should be a very bright red when they are soft shelled and a very deep dark red when the shell is very hard.
If, after you have cooked your lobster fully, It’s tail meat appears “ragged” or “mushy” then it has been dead too long and is no good for consumption.
Lobster is a great indulgence in the United States, usually for summertime celebrations. The American lobster ranges from Newfoundland, Canada down to about the Carolinas, but is most often associated with Maine.
Sea scallops, another Northeast shellfish delicacy, and their smaller cousins the bay scallop are tender and sweet, and can be battered and fried, broiled, baked or pan-seared.
Clamming is done both commercially and recreationally along the New England coastline, where different types of clams are used in the local cuisine. The soft-shelled clam is eaten either fried (fryers) or steamed (steamers). Clam chowder, made from hard shell clams, is also a regional, if not national favorite.
The Chesapeake Bay and Maryland region has generally been associated more with crabs. Maryland-style crabcakes are still a well known treat in the crabhouses that populate the bay area.
In the Southeast, and particularly the gulf states, shrimping is a key way of life along the shoreline. Prawns and shrimp are often deep fried or “stuffed” and baked. In the Cajun and Creole kitchens of Louisiana, shrimp and prawns are a common addition to traditional recipes like jambalaya and gumbo. Crayfish are a staple in this region also. They are often boiled in huge pots and heavily spiced and resemble a “tiny lobster”.
No matter where you reside on the seashore, you’ll find shellfish have been a key source of food ever since the coastlines have been inhabited.