With Cape Cod Lobster Soup, I am officially finished with the lobster recipes. Unless someone in my dear family requests lobster for a birthday dinner or other celebration, I won't be cooking them again anytime soon. I like lobster well enough. We don't tend to go to places where they serve it, but I would eat it. What I don't like is killing the things. Lobsters are slow diers. In terms of drama and flailing about, they could give Richard Burton int the role of Hamlet a run for his money. In this recipe, the cook is supposed to leave the lobster in a shell and let the diners dig it out. So, if you followed those directions, you would have pieces of lobster shell floating around in hot milk. I used poultry shears and dug out the lobster meat. Doing that made it seem unnecessary to buy a third lobster to get the cup of cubed lobster meat.
Lobsters, although they are supposedly in plentiful supply in the bays of Maine, are expensive. My local purveyor of what Bertie Wooster would call the finny denizens had not lowered the prices any. I just hope some of this money is going to the lobster man.
Another ingredient in the soup is pilot crackers. These are not sold in stores. If you want them, you can order them on the Internet from survivalist stores like. www.pioneerliving.net . Survivalists like them because they have a shelf life of 25 years. One could also use oyster crackers. I would say two cups of oyster crackers equals three large ships' biscuits or pilot crackers. I used Kebler crackers. They worked fine.
I served the soup at a dinner party on Saturday night, where four old friends and shellfish lovers came to talk about what people our age talk about, our trips, our kids, how messed up our past employers are, and the fact that NPR seems to have fired all their editors. The lobster soup was a hit. If you decide to serve it, take the lobster out of the shell. It's unfair to make the diners work so hard for soup. I discarded the tomalley and coral, aka lobster guts.
Cape Cod Lobster Soup
2 one-pound to one-and-one-half-pound live lobsters
5 tablespoons butter
3 large ships biscuits or pilot crackers
4 cups milk, scalded
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup diced cooked lobster meat
1. Plunge a knife into the thorax of the lobsters where body and head join, to kill them. Discard head and thorax, but retain tomalley and coral. With a cleaver or large chef's knife, cut tail and claws into small sections.
2. Heat two tablespoons of the butter in a heavy saute pan. Add lobster sections and cook, stirring, until pieces turn pink.
3. Crush the biscuits or crackers and mix to a paste with remaining butter. Mix in the milk and pour over the lobsters in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring. Grate in the coral and add tomalley.
4. Add the cooked lobster meat and serve. Makes four servings.