I Made This – Boston – Steaming and Stuffing “Bugs”
As you may surmise from my header photo I love me some crustaceans and while visiting my best friend G-Bird she asked if I wanted anything special for dinner. I naturally had to request Maine Lobster or “Bugs” as they like to call them in Beantown. I know New Englanders hate that nickname but fair is fair, I’m sure lobsters don’t like being called bugs. No other lobster in the world compares to the sweet succulence of this amazing cold water beast. Mexico and the Caribbean can have their puny little clawless runts.
Mr. G-Bird (husband of G-Bird) is an expert “Bug” wrangler, steamer and stuffer so I asked if he would teach us his master technique. Mr. G-Bird being a born and bred New Englander is full of knowledge and expertise so look and learn….
First up you gotta get you some bugs. G-Bird and I went to the local grocer and she asked for 3 Chicken Lobsters. Chicken Lobsters? I had to ask. A Chicken Lobster is the smallest legal size that can be caught. Typically they are around 1 – 1 1/4 pound each and are said to be sweeter than a larger one. So remember big is not better here.
Next you’ll need a large pot to steam the babies. Add about an inch of water to boil. As Mr. G-Bird says you want to give them a bath not drown them.
While your water boils, rinse off your bugs and put them to sleep. Mr. G-Bird says that by stroking them between their eyes you can put them to sleep and it’s nicer that way. Seriously experts generally agree that lobsters do not have the complex nervous system required to feel pain. One reason I’ve been squeamish about steaming a lobster is rumors that they will squeal in the pot while they die. Well, that was not the case. Once the water was boiling we dropped the bugs in their steam bath covered the pot and let them cook for about 12 minutes without a peep.
While your bugs cook you can put together your stuffing. Here are your ingredients. You’ll want to start by melting the stick of butter and putting that aside. Some will be used for dipping and some for the stuffing. In a bowl add your can of clams with juice and all and enough bread crumbs to get it to a good stuffing consistency. Now add 1/4 to 1/2 of the melted butter and season to your liking.
Mmmmm, looking good. Now drain your lobsters and let them cool for a bit
Once they’re cool enough you’ll want to slice them straight down the middle, but don’t cut all the way through the back shell.
Now you’ll want to clean out the guts otherwise known as the tomalley or tamali. That green stuff you see is the tamali. This is the liver and pancreas of the lobster used for filtering impurities so you’ll want to avoid eating this. A little left behind won’t hurt you but get out as much as you can. We got lucky with some lady lobsters and that red stuff you see is yummy lobster roe. You’ll want to keep that. Mr. G-Bird took out the roe and mixed it in with the stuffing. Your clean lobster is now ready to be stuffed and put under the broiler for just a couple of minutes to brown.
Et Viola! Mr. G-Birds amazing stuffed Maine Lobster!!!