S2E11 (Mystery Box) – Lobster

Employment Update: 1 Job Application, 5 E-mails

This week’s mystery box challenge had the chef’s create a dish that started with a live lobster.

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Derrick (Butter Poached Lobster), Alejandra (Thai-Style Grilled Lobster) and Jennifer (Baked Lobster) made the top three lobster dishes (which, of course, royally pissed off Christian), and Jennifer won the overall challenge, giving her the advantage in the next elimination challenge.

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I have never worked with lobster before so I knew this was going to be a task for me. Because of this, I decided to just stick to doing a simple steamed lobster with clarified butter and lemon. I knew it would not be as composed as the dishes on the show but I thought it was best to stick to doing a classic before launching into a complex, multi-layer dish. (I’ll save that for after I get the hang of this live lobster thing).

To do this, I used the following tutorials: Basic Steamed Lobster and How to Clarify Butter. I also highly relied on my brother, Andy, for assistance as I was not a fan of handling the live lobsters.

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We followed the instructions of the tutorials completely and even looked into a Good Eats episode for guidance. We decided to freeze them to numb them before steaming, which should have only taken 10-15 minutes. Our lobsters were a little more lively though and it took a lot longer than that for them to chill out. We then steamed them two at a time for approximately 14 minutes.

Overall, for Ohio grocery store lobsters, they turned out pretty well. I am personally not a huge fan of lobster, so I thought they were just fair. But the crustacean-lovers in my family assured me that they turned out pretty well. We also had an issue with uneven cooking. My lobster’s tail was overcooked and tough but the claws were perfect. My brother’s lobster tail was perfect but his claws were undercooked. My Mom’s entire lobster was undercooked but my Dad’s was perfect. We threw the undercooked pieces into a pan with some clarified butter for a bit to cook them all the way through (and they tasted great that way). It might have been better for the cooking process to just do one at a time, or to maybe try a different method. Overall, though, I was pretty pleased with my first attempt.

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