The Genuine Kitchen: Florida Lobster 13 Ways, Plus a Recipe for Miniseason

The Genuine Kitchen column features recipes and tips for your home cooking by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz and his team at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. His first cookbook, Michael's Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat (Clarkson Potter/February 2011), is available for presale on Amazon.com. For this installment of the Genuine Kitchen, Michael, chef de cuisine Bradley Herron, and sous chefs Matt Hinckley and Albert Morgan tackle Florida lobster. Questions or

comments? Visit the restaurant's blog to send us an email.

It's that time of year again. Today marks the second and last day of Florida lobster miniseason. With up to 12 lobsters per person per day that can be caught according to state rules, some serious poundage is begging to be broiled, steamed, grilled, fried -- you name it.

Intimidated? Excited? The thought of so much sweet meat got us thinking: How would we want our water bugs to make it to the table? After a lively back-of-the-house debate, the following dish suggestions and recipe rose to the surface for your home kitchen enjoyment. We dare you to attempt the cheesecake.

Open-Face Lobster Salad Sandwich grilled sourdough

Butter-Poached Lobster shaved fennel and orange salad, herb sauce

Lobster-Ricotta Tortelli roasted tomatoes, piave vecchio, torn local herbs

Lobster-Stuffed Artichoke Heart Gruyère and saffron aioli

Lobster Spring Roll local mango, microgreens and sprouts, pickled heirloom vegetables, soy-lemongrass

Chilled Lobster Salad guanciale, asparagus, fingerling potatoes, preserved Meyer lemon, sauce gribiche

Fried Lobster Mac and Cheese beef cheek gravy, mache

Lobster Tortilla chorizo, Manchego, salsa negra, greens

Bacon-Wrapped Lobster Salad local mango, heart of palm, kimchi, watercress, lemon vinaigrette

Mead-Battered Lobster mustard, wildflower honey, chives

Whole Roasted Lobster radicchio, grilled citrus, spiced drawn butter

Lobster Hash pancetta, sweet corn, lila onion, fingerling potatoes, fried organic egg

Lobster Cheesecake Hani cheese, candied fennel, lemon biscotti

Florida Lobster Skewers With Corn and Roasted Chile Salsa

Serves 4, as an appetizer

2 medium to large Florida lobster tails, meat removed from shells and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

12 lila onions, green part removed (see note)

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Corn and Roasted Chile Salsa (recipe follows)

2 teaspoons lemon zest, for garnish

Ingredient note: lila onion

We always like to offer specialty local products in the restaurant when possible. Of course, that also means it might be a challenge to get your hands on something like the purple-hued lila onion, which we source from Dean Richardson at his Tropical Treescapes farm here in Miami. Don't sweat it. Spring onions, such as scallions, are a more than suitable substitution. Like the lilas, cut 12 scallions into 1½-inch pieces.

Soak four 6-inch wooden skewers in water for about 10 minutes. This will prevent the wood from burning during the cooking process. Remove and pat dry.

Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Rub the grill with oil to prevent sticking.

Alternating lobster and lila onion, assemble the skewers. Combine butter and oil in a small dish, and lightly brush the skewers on both sides to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and place on grill. Cook for 3 minutes; then turn over and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the meat is slightly resilient to the touch and opaque. Remove from the grill.

To serve, stack the skewers on a dish. Spoon salsa on top and shower with lemon zest.

Corn and Roasted Chile Salsa

Yields 2 cups

1 poblano pepper

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup fresh, sweet corn (approx. 2 ears)

½ cup diced vine-ripened tomato (approx. 1 small tomato)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, and minced

¼ cup diced red onion (approx. half of a small onion)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Kosher salt to taste

On the preheated grill, roast the poblano pepper, turning it every 4-5 minutes or so, until the skin blisters and turns black, about 10-12 minutes total. Remove from heat and let cool inside a sealed plastic bag for about 15 minutes, to loosen the skin.

While the pepper is cooling, add the olive oil, corn, and jalapeño into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Peel the skin from the poblano, clean the inside of seeds and ribs, and dice. Stir in the poblano, tomatoes, and onion into the corn mixture to combine.

Take half of the salsa and purée until smooth in a blender or food processor. Fold the purée back into the salsa. Stir in the lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.

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