How To Boil Lobsters

In season from April to October.

Choose them by the directions which we have already given at the commencement of this chapter, and throw them into plenty of fast-boiling salt and water, that life may be destroyed in an instant. A moderate-sized lobster will be done in from fifteen to twenty-five minutes: a large one in from half an hour to forty minutes; before they are sent to table, the large claws should be taken off, and the shells cracked across the joints without disfiguring them; the tail should be separated from the body and split quite through the middle; the whole neatly dished upon a napkin, and garnished with curled parsley or not, at choice. A good remoulade, or any other sauce of the kind that may be preferred, should be sent to table with it; or oil and vinegar, when better liked.

To 1 gallon water 5 ozs. salt. Moderate-sized lobster, 15 to 25 minutes. Large lobster, 30 to 40 minutes.

Lobster Fricasseed, Or Au Bechamel. (Entree.)

Take the flesh from the claws and tails of two moderate-sized lobsters, cut it into small thick slices or dice; heat it slowly quite through in about three quarters of a pint of good white sauce or bechamel; and serve it when it is at the point of boiling, after having stirred briskly to it a little lemon-juice, just as it is taken from the fire. The coral, pounded and mixed gradually with a few spoonsful of the sauce, should be added previously. Good shin of beef stock, made without vegetables (see page 53), and somewhat reduced by quick boiling, if mixed with an equal proportion of cream, and thickened with arrow-root, will answer extremely well, in a general way, for this dish, which is most excellent, if well made. The sauce should never be thin; nor more than sufficient in quantity to just cover the fish. For a second course dish only as much must be used as will adhere to the fish, which after being heated should be laid evenly into the shells after they have been split quite through the centre of the backs in their entire length, without being broken or divided at the joint, and nicely cleaned.

When thus arranged, the lobster may be thickly covered with well-dried, fine, pale, fried crumbs of bread; or with unfried ones, which must then be equally moistened with clarified butter, and browned with a salamander. A small quantity of salt, mace, and cayenne, may be required to finish the flavouring of either of these preparations.

Buttered Crab, Or Lobster

In season during the same time as Lobsters. Slice quite small, or pull into light flakes with a couple of forks, the flesh of either fish; put it into a saucepan with a few bits of good butter lightly rolled in flour, and heat it slowly over a gentle fire; then pour over and mix thoroughly with it, from one to two teaspoonsful of made-mustard smoothly blended with a tablespoonful or more of common vinegar: add to it a tolerable seasoning of cayenne. Grate in a little nutmeg, and when the whole is well heated serve it immediately' either in the shell of the crab or lobster, or in scollop-shells, and serve it plain, or with bread-crumbs over, as in the preceding receipt. A spoonful or so of good meat jelly is, we think, a great improvement to this dish, for which an ounce and a half of butter will be quite sufficient.

Crabs are boiled like lobsters.

How To Stew Lobsters

A middling sized lobster is best: pick all the meat from the shells and mince it fine; season with a little salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg; add three or four spoons of rich gravy and a small bit of butter. If you have no gravy, use more butter, and two spoonsful of vinegar; stew about twenty minutes.

Lobster Cold

It is frequently eaten in this way, with a dressing of vinegar, mustard, sweet oil, and a little salt and cayenne. The meat of the lobster must be minced very fine.