If you think a meal of lobster tail is a delicacy for adults only, think again -- lobster tail dishes can be accessible for everyone in the family, including the toddlers. Since the types of recipes you can use range from simple crowd pleasers to more complex flavors, you can prepare a meal that satisfies even the household's most finicky eaters. Choosing the right lobster and the right side is just as important, so plan ahead for a well-rounded meal.
If you are buying fresh lobster instead of precut tails, you must follow a few rules to ensure that you get a top-quality crustacean. Choose lobsters that are physically active in the tank, as they are demonstrably healthy. Lobsters that weigh less than two pounds have the most tender meat, so choose one close to the two-pound mark. Even if you're cooking for the whole family, think twice before inviting children along for the lobster selection process -- they may have difficulty eating something that they met while it was alive.
Lobster tails don't have to be prepared in an especially fancy way; in fact, you can prepare them using just three ingredients. Grilling a lobster tail that's been drizzled with butter and salt yields a finished entree in about 10 minutes -- serve it with melted butter for dipping. Similarly, baking your lobster tails with salt, pepper, butter and parsley gives you an entree that is relatively easy to prepare. Serve it with fresh lemon wedges. When you squirt the wedges over the lobster tails, it releases new flavors -- herbs like tarragon and paprika also give this seafood staple a new complexity.
For more developed palates, lobster tails can be served as part of bolder flavor combinations. Lobster corn chowder, for example, is lobster tails served with bacon, corn, carrots, paprika and other strong flavors in a chunky, spicy broth. For a leafy dish, try a lobster tail salad with cherry tomatoes, white wine vinegar, panko crumbs, pea shoots and a creamy balsamic dressing.
Lobster is relatively heavy, so you may typically choose a lighter side dish. A small green salad with a light creamy dressing is a simple complement to lobster tail dishes. You may also prepare a fruit salad, either plain or with a creamy dressing, for those who struggle to finish their greens. Sides of garlic toast, baguette or rice are also typical accompaniments for lobster tail dishes. The most important thing, however, is to choose what you know your family enjoys.
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