Lobster Tails With Potato And Peppers, is my take on a Galician-style tapas, with lobster tails served inside briny boiled potatoes, olive oil and smoked paprika.
The Intrigue Of Maine Lobsters
Can you believe I went all the way to Portland Maine, just to enjoy a fabulous lobster?
The Intrigue is real and it is so worth the trip!
My son, an executive chef in Maryland where we live, went on this excursion with me, and yes, I always ask him to choose the restaurants.
Naturally, the first thing he chose for us to do was visit a restaurant he said social media indicated that Bourdain ‘often ate there’.
He chose lobster rolls for us, unlike any I had ever seen.
The entire lobster tail meat sat proud, on top of a discrete roll.
A squeeze of lime juice, an ice cold beer, and it was a great way to start off our visit to Maine!
Cold water lobster, is the reason to make a trip to Maine for the best lobster you will ever eat.
It gets darn cold up there, and even the summers are gentle, so the lobsters love the climate of the cold water.
We watched the watermen return on the docks, just as we were heading out for breakfast.
That meant they went out onto those cold waters in the damp, cold dark before sunrise.
How Does Maine Cook Lobster?
Of course, there are different ways of cooking lobster tails; broil lobster tails, sous vide lobster tails, roast on open fire, lobsters.
If you’ve ever heard of a New England lobster boil, you will find some similarities in that I paired small potatoes with lobster, but that’s where is stops.
A complete meal can be made from the tail meat alone, so let’s move onto this fabulous recipe!
Concept For This Lobster Tapas Recipe
I first got the idea for this lobster tail recipe, served inside of potatoes, from a Galician-style tapas dish.
In this dish from Spain, a baby octopus is cooked, in much the same way as I will this lobster.
It is cut into pieces and served inside potatoes with smoked paprika and a drizzle of fine quality olive oil.
I decided to make this recipe with lobster for a special occasion, at a family gathering.
It was easy to prepare in advance and served at room temperature on the day of the gathering.
And yes, I made my own Smoked Paprika!
Seafood From Spain To Maine
After making my trip to Maine, I couldn’t help but to see the similarities in the use of whole, boiled potatoes paired with seafood.
Another similarity to me, was the concept of a tapas gathering, where lots of dishes are set out to eat, and a ‘Boil’, which is also a gathering of casual dining.
In my large Mediterranean family, we too enjoy a ‘Mezze’ spread of a variety of foods.
I often prefer this style of dining with others, as opposed to a ‘sit down’ meal. Well, that is unless someone else is doing the cooking and serving LOL!
Preparing The Water To Cook The Lobster
During the summer months, I grow lots of veggies, like tomatoes, okra, onions, peppers, green onions and herbs.
One autumn, I even put a bunch of garlic into the garden and enjoyed the garlic scapes all winter.
The first step for imparting flavor into this beautiful piece of seafood, is to flavor the broth with ingredients you enjoy most.
As for me, I chose herbs and veggies from my garden.
If spicy hot food is your favorite flavor, then by all means, toss a few hot chili peppers into the stock.
An Easy Way To Home Cook A Lobster
The best lobster recipes are often the simplest.
Over high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Begin adding the flavors to the water, that you will want to taste in the cooked lobster meat.
To start off with, if you want a tomato-based broth, toss a few chopped cherry tomatoes, a bay leaf, fresh herbs, and a little dry white wine, or lemon juice in.
Lower the lobsters into the water and cook until they are bright orange.
Once cooked, and removed, do not throw that stock away!
What To Do With Leftover Lobster Broth
After this seafood recipe has been made, and you have leftover broth, a quick chowder or pasta dish can be made from the broth.
Add a little garlic herb butter, some heavy cream, black pepper and some cooked pasta.
You’ve got a fabulous yet simple recipe in minutes, with a final sprinkle of parmesan cheese!
How To Open A Cooked Lobster
Once a whole lobster has been cooked, place it on a large cutting board.
With a sharp knife, place the point of the knife behind the base of the head, just above the top of the shell, and press to separate it from the body. Save the head for garnish.
Turn the lobster body over and detach the tail from the body.
How To Remove The Lobster Tail Meat
Next, with kitchen shears, flip the tail back over, and gently cut down the center of shell, of the tail.
Easily the meat can be removed in one complete piece.
For this recipe, since it is served as a tapas dish, we will cut the tail meat into four pieces.
However, for other recipes, you can serve the entire piece as butterflied lobster tails, for a full plate meal.
Potatoes Are Way Better Than Rolls For This Tapas Dish!
In my opinion, these lobster tail, potato bundles are way better than a lobster roll! Lobster rolls are often served on a poor quality bun.
Who doesn’t love a flavorful potato!
The potatoes have been boiled in the briny stock, reserved from cooking the lobsters.
With so much flavor in the potatoes, you’ll want to boil a mound of potatoes and reserve them for another dish.
All The Lobster Recipe Components Are Complete
The lobster has been cooked to perfection.
Also, the potatoes boiled and flavorful from the lobster stock.
Now we assemble and serve.
We will want the best quality extra virgin olive oil we can find.
Good quality olive oil is something I will often use in my sweet recipes as well.
There are two more ingredients we need to bring this beautiful platter together; roasted red peppers, and smoked paprika.
Assembling The Lobster Potato Tapas Dish
When the potatoes were cooked and cooled, we placed a one-inch cut in the top.
The lobster tail has been cut into four sections.
Now we will open the potato, leaving it partially intact, and begin to fill it.
- Place a piece of the lobster tail in the center of an opened cooked potato
- Add a few strips of roasted red peppers
- A generous drizzle of olive oil
- Sprinkle of smoked paprika and coarse sea salt.
Serve with a favorite cold, dry sip!
What Side Dishes To Serve With Lobster?
The options for a side dish, to serve with lobster, potatoes and peppers, is really a matter of choice.
Naturally you might want to serve something ‘green’, like a salad or some roasted Brussels sprouts.
However, this dish is being served as a tapas dish, which means you can add many other colorful ‘small plate’ options to the table.
Here are just a few favorites of mine:
- Beet Endive Salad with Fig Dressing – one-bite endive leaves, filled with a beet salad
- Smoked Okra and Salmon Salad – as another addition to seafood on the table
- Heirloom Lemon Cucumber Salad – a whimsical round yellow cucumber that grows easily in the summer
- Potato Salad with Homemade Olive Oil Mayonnaise
- Also, a variety of Hummus options with Homemade Pita Bread
Substitutes For Lobster
While lobster sits in a class all its own, it isn’t often obtainable or affordable, so I like to save it for special occasions.
However, there is one option I would recommend, maybe two.
Monkfish, has often been called ‘poor man’s lobster, because of its firm, sweet, and delicious taste, similar to lobster tails.
Another option would be Langoustines, Crawfish or some other large shellfish similar to shrimp.
- Large stock pot with lid
- Slotted spoon
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Serving platter
- Dry White Wine
- Roasted red peppers
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Smoked paprika
- Red pepper flakes
- Garlic scapes or Chives
Lobster Tails with Potato and Peppers
- Large pot with a lid
- 8 Appetizer Wooden Skewers
- Sharp knife
- 2 Lobsters tail and head will be used
- 4 quarts Water
- 2 cups Dry White Wine
- 1 Large Onion chopped
- 4 stalks Celery chopped
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 4 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 2 tbsp Sea Salt extra for serving
- 8 Potatoes, small roughly 3 inches in diameter
- 1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 8 Chives for garnish
- In a large pot of boiling water, add the wine, onions, celery, salt and garlic. Place the lobsters into the boiling mixture, lid on and cook until the lobsters turn bright orange, or the internal temperature is 135. This will best insure for a juicy lobster tail and not dry.
- Remove the lobsters and set aside until the lobster shell is cool enough to handle.
- Cook the potatoes, with the potato skins still on, in the lobster stock until done, piercing with a fork to test, remove from the stock and set them aside. Make a one-inch cut on the tops to open the potatoes, but keep them together until ready to assemble.
- Break open the lobster tail and remove the lobster meat, in one piece if possible. Cut the meat into 4 equal pieces. Break off the lobster head and save it for garnish.
- Mix the red pepper flakes and smoked paprika with the olive oil.
- On the platter you will be serving from, arrange the potatoes. Place one piece of lobster tail inside of the partially opened potato. Arrange the thinly sliced roasted red peppers across the tops, a generous drizzle of the olive oil mixture, and finish with a sprinkle of salt. Place the lobster head in the center of the platter and a chive across each potato bundle. Serve at room temperature in the center of the dinner table.