Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Plan for a Lobster Bailout

I read an article recently on USAToday.com about the severe impact of the economy on the lobster industry:

"Lobster prices fluctuate widely during the year depending on supply and demand. Still, it was a seismic jolt when the "boat price" -- the price lobstermen receive for their catch -- fell to as low as $2.25 a pound this month. Prices hadn't dropped that low since the days after 9/11, said Norton. But the hit lobstermen are taking this year is more painful than back then. That's because the cost of doing business is far greater now, with the high price of bait, rope and diesel fuel -- even after recent declines. The plunge in lobster prices comes at the time of year when fishermen are trying to put away money to last through the coming cold-weather months when they aren't pulling traps. Many lobstermen will have trouble making boat payments and paying bills this winter, said Bob Baines, a lobsterman in Spruce Head."

At the end of September, my husband and I hosted a lobster bake for family and friends. McGrath's out of Newport, Rhode Island cooked the lobsters the old fashion New England way - in a pit with muscles, clams, potatoes and corn, steamed for hours with seaweed. The unveiling of our lobster bake, photographed by Meg Belanger.

With the economic slowdown, I am sure not many of you are not jumping to host a lobster bake, BUT for the price of a few lobsters, you could both aide an ailing industry and have a wonderful dinner.

Recipe for Lobster Risotto from the New York Times:

6 cups of lobster stock (recipe)
¼ Cup butter
¼ Cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Medium onions, finely chopped
2 Cups Arborio rice
Meat from 2 cooked lobsters, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced chives
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
½ Cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium pot, heat the stock and keep warm. In a large, wide saucepan, melt the butter in the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add a large pinch of salt, then add the rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and simmer, stirring until the broth is almost absorbed. Add more broth, a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next. Stir often. Cook until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the lobster meat until heated through, then add the chives and ¼ cup of the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with remaining Parmesan. (Serves 4)

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