Sous-Vide Lobster Tails With Vanilla Butter – Your Valentine Dinner

Hello friends and welcome back toWill It Sous Vide? , the column where I usually do whatever you want with my immersion circulator. Today we are preparing a sexy little dish that will impress you without much effort: sous-vide lobster tails.

For some reason, the lobster – a large sea beetle – has become a symbol of success, luxury, and decline. If you are caring for someone, these are probably the qualities that you want your lover (sorry) to associate with you, and serving him perfectly cooked in butter vanilla lobster tail as a base or as a complement to another squirrel (ribeye) can give the impression that you are at least vaguely living together. Luckily, these meaty tails usually go on sale in early February, and I’m going to show you how to prepare them for your very special ponytail slice.

I used to use lobster on a sous vide principle, taking them off the tail and cooking them for about 135 ℉ for an hour, but found that there are two things I don’t like about this. First, 135 ℉ is too low temperature; although the lobster was cooked, it was too tender and completely lacking the pleasant bounce that I associate with this beautiful sea crustacean. On top of that, every sous vide lobster tail recipe I discovered required me to remove the meat from the tail from the shell before cooking. As someone who enjoys the somewhat crude and intuitive experience of ripping meat off bone with teeth or a bunch of crab legs, I was annoyed. Also, lobster tails are difficult to remove from their shells raw – the meat tends to tear – unless you steam them and I really didn’t want to deal with two pots of hot water. I couldn’t find a compelling reason why I shouldn’t cook them in their shells, so I set up a little experiment to compare and contrast.

I took two tails by simply splitting the top of one sink with kitchen scissors and removing the meat completely from the other. Then I put them each in a bag and added a couple tablespoons of oil to each bag, along with a sprig or tarragon and a quarter of the vanilla pods, cut open. I then cooked both of them for an hour at 140 ℉ recommended by the Food Lab before nibbling on each ponytail.

I don’t know what you think about this, but I think that the carapace tail looks more impressive than a small strip of pink meat. Both were completely tender and tasty, with subtle vanilla and tarragon flavors, and I honestly didn’t feel the difference. (Ofkler insisted that the meat in the shell was better, but I think he just likes to rip the meat out of the shell himself, which is an easy task when the meat is done.) I dipped mine in butter (Ofkler is meat – only a purist ), but in fact it was not necessary, since both pieces were pretty much watered with their oil bath.

Extremely satisfied that I found that there was no need to extract the meat from the tail from its shell, I turned my attention to speeding up the process. The cooking time for this variety recipe is between 30 minutes and 60 minutes, so I split two more tails to see if we can get the lobster on the table in less than an hour. (If you’ve never sculpted a lobster before, it’s pretty straightforward. Just cut the armor-like top right down the middle with kitchen scissors, then squeeze the bottom of the lobster to crack it open.)

Aside from less work, another bonus to leaving the shell is that you can use the shell to hold a couple tablespoons of oil in place, maximizing the time the oil is in contact with the meat. After I cracked the shell and put the butter in place, I dropped both tails into one bag and half the cracked vanilla pods.

These babies took a 140-degree bath for half an hour, which they seemed to enjoy. After they were ready, I served them (myself) with a little ghee and lemon wedges. (Again, the oil isn’t really necessary, but it just feels wrong to not be there.)

From start to finish, the process took less than 45 minutes, and I spent most of that time perfecting my Valentine’s playlist, which just isn’t ready yet . I also got very little injury because I didn’t try to separate the sweet lobster flesh from the treacherous chitin until it was cooked, at which point it popped out immediately. What I’m saying was that this was the easiest and most light-hearted lobster cooking project of my life, and you should grab a couple (or six) for February 14th, whether you have valentines or not.

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