Catalina Cooking: Craving lobster out of season

Lobster is served. Courtesy photo

By now if you have acquired your own local lobster, or your friends have you over for their local lobster that they stashed from lobster season, (only seven in possession at any time however) even the greediest hoarders are running out of those baggies filled with water protecting the tail in their freezers. This time of year on the East Coast the panic to get rid of the Maine lobster is on.

I recently went to my local H market and pound-and-a-halvers were $7 a pound. Santa Monica Seafood sometimes drops to around $12 as well.

Most supermarkets have stopped with the lobster tanks. Make sure they are very alive and active—otherwise you will have a starved lobster that is mealy. This dish is very French but is very simple and elegant at the same time.

All you need is some nice Rose and bubbly water to enjoy the afternoon with this one.

Live fresh lobsters. Lets do this recipe for 4 lobsters to keep it simple.

• 2 larger ripe avocados

• 1 long European cucumber

• 6 button mushrooms

• 4 Roma tomatos

• 1/2 cup of homemade or very good quality mayonnaise

• 2 minced shallots

• Juice of 2 fresh lemons

• 1 T fresh chopped tarragon

• Salt. (if you have truffle salt, all the better)

• White pepper

Take a large pot and fill it 3/4 the way full of water and put on high heat. Toss in a lemon or two quartered, couple tablespoons of salt, a jalapeño and let her boil.

Meanwhile take a nice deep glass bowl and combine the mayo, shallots and lemon juice and put on ice. Take the vegetables and dice in to basically the size of normal playing dice. Hence diced.

Add this to the dressing and toss about with some salt (truffle salt even better) and white pepper to taste.

Drop your lobsters one at a time into the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 2 more minutes. (this is for pound and a halfers). Remove from the water and plunge into a health ice bath for about 5 more minutes. Carefully remove the head part of the lobster leaving it whole. The brown roe, put in your vegetables mixture and toss a bit more keeping it light. Remove the tail and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the meat and dice the same size as the vegetables and add to vegetables. If your meat is not cooked, just boil some water and cook a bit more. This goes for the larger lobster unless you have it wired. Clean all your shells and use for garnish. I usually just nibble on the legs and body while my guests enjoy the lobster.

Pass by The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills and pick up a nice hunk of Reblochon and baguette.

While there bring your jar and get some fresh olive oil and maybe some truffle salt.

Other than that all you really need are some fresh berries to end the afternoon. wait for the local Swordfish to come in. We will do that Marthas Vineyard style! Heard Smitty got his first Marlin out fishing Bluefin this past week. Go Smitty. Remember No Rules.

Do whatever you want to however, this one is bullet proof.

(Editor’s note: Sept. 29 is the first day of recreational California spiny lobster season.)

Capt. Vaughn Allen was a private chef and butler for the ultra rich and famous most of his life. Vaughn was recently called out of retirement to cook the intimate celebration dinner for Sir Ringo Starr and his close friends. Vaughn is a businessman, scuba instructor and most recently a yacht broker in Redondo Beach. You can contact him at captainvaughnallen@gmail.com.

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