Craig and I celebrated four years of marriage over Labor Day weekend. Sometimes the wedding seems like yesterday; other times our time together feels much longer. Maybe the first year after having a kid should count for at least double. There's something about making it through that year that somehow changes and strengthens you as a couple...and really makes you want to celebrate another year of figuring stuff out together. I can't say we took off and flew to Mexico or anything like that, but we did do what we do best....eat and drink like kings.
There is a little grocery store in a small town nearby that flies in live Maine lobster every Labor Day weekend and sells them for $10 a piece. Our realtor who sold us our house here actually clued me in on this little secret, and now I'm wondering what other little pearls of local information she might be withholding. :) This will never come close to the freshness of just taking your boat out and catching them yourself (I'm looking at you, Florida friends), but this is as good as it gets in the rural Midwest. I couldn't pass this up.
So yeah, we ushered in another year of marriage and the start of football season by steaming and cracking open some piping hot lobsters, eating two of them with no other accompaniments besides hot drippy butter, and throwing the other two into this dip. Cracking open the lobsters to get all the meat took some time, but it was totally worth it. If you know me, you know I love a good hot and bubbly dip to go with my college football watching (Exhibit A), so I was happy to add another one, decadent as it may be, to the repertoire.
This Labor Day lobster thing just might be our new anniversary tradition, and a really fun way to kick off the fall season. Cheers to you (and your lobster, if you've found them). :)
Hot Lobster & Corn Dip
Yield: about 1 quart of dip
2 Maine lobsters, about 1.5 lbs. each (or about 1 cup lobster meat or lump crab meat)
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t celery salt
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or jack)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped, divided
- Bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil in a large pot with lid. Place steamer rack/basket in the bottom if you have one.
- Once the water is boiling, place the live lobster in the pot, close the lid, and steam for 12 minutes. The lobster will be bright red. Cook one at a time, and then let them cool off a few minutes before handling.
- Once slightly cooled, pull the tail off from the body. Rinse off the green tomalley. Use scissors, rolling pin, or the back of a knife to crack open the tail, claws, and knuckles, and remove the lobster meat. Once all removed, give it a rough chop.
- Melt the 2 Tbsp. of butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, corn, and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice, Worcestershire, celery salt, cayenne, and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Stir until the cream cheese is hot and no lumps remain, about 3-5 minutesAdd the chopped lobster meat and stir just a minute or two longer (you don't want to overcook the lobster).
- Pour the dip into a small oven-safe dish and top with the shredded cheese. Place under oven broiler for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from oven.
- Top with remaining fresh chopped parsley.
- Serve with corn tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers, or crudite.
- Be sure to buy the lobster the same day you plan to cook it. Lobster meat starts to decompose once it's dead, so you need to be sure to keep it cold and don't put fresh water on it for any reason before it's time to cook.