Recipe: Butterflied Lobster Tails With Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce and Summer Basil Pasta Salad

Wow! the blog has now surpassed 5,000 viewership marks in such a short span! I'm so amazed and really honored the blog keeps getting views from all over the world even in the short time I've had it up and running and even with the long periodic lack of updates... >_<

Sorry for the halt in updates the last few weeks. I've been traveling to and within the States and even went on a nice family vacation to Mexico and, of course, stuffing my face all the while...

Being my first trip back in the States in two years I've been really stuffing myself with various goods that I'd been lacking or missing out on over yonder in Korea. Plump avocados, juicy cherries, bold stouts and lagers, actual limes, authentic Pho, real sandwiches filled with meat and dirty Mexican tacos and burritos... those in the States right now are thinking, "so what?", while those from abroad in Korea are creating drool puddles on their keyboards...

On top of a lot of eating out, I've also been spoiled by my momma's cooking at home. Having to not worry about what to make for dinner or slicing and dicing things has really lightened a load off my back right when I've been going through a doldum period in life.

Many people will be surprised to know that it wasn't until my latter years of college that I actually learned how to cook. Before that, I was into food and eating but I was quite a finicky guy with a long list of how I wanted things prepared and what ingredients to include/exclude which must have made preparing meals on a daily basis all the more delightful for my poor mom back then.

Since I've taken up cooking for myself though, I've learned firsthand just what a load of time and effort that goes into whipping up a meal and it's given me tremendous respect (and guilt) for all the picky times I acted at the dinner table at home.

So then I had the privilege to try and cook up a meal for my family for the first time this week and I think, for the most part, that it went swimmingly and now I'm sharing the results with you.

While browsing the mart earlier in the week, we came across lobster tails on sale. I'd never attempted cooking lobster before but I decided to give it a go accompanied by a nice summer pasta salad and other fixins.

So! If you're looking for a quick and easy summer meal to do for a group, I present to you butterflied lobster tails with a quick and easy basting sauce and chilled pasta salad

Butterflied Lobster Tails With Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings
Total prep and cooking time: 30 Minutes

You'll need:
- 6 lobster tails
And for the sauce...
- A small knob of butter (maybe a tablespoon worth)
- 3-4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1-2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes 
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- A dash or two of Tabasco sauce 
- Salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse and pat dry your lobster tails and get out a pair of sharp kitchen scissors 

2. Taking your kitchen shears, begin snipping down the top center of each tail just until the base. Turn it over and and snip right where the little legs and the body meets for all the legs

Turn it back over and now gently pry out the meat from the top center incision, which you just made, making sure to leave the meat attached at the base

Set the pried out meat on top of the shell

Gently pry out the meat to sit on the shell after cutting

3. Take your scissors again and make two or three rows of lines down the top of the meat so the lobster meat can be flayed to the sides and little "crevasses" are created. Lay the tails out evenly on an oven-safe pan for a bit as you now make the basting sauce

4. In a sauce pan, put in all the ingredients for the lemon garlic butter sauce over medium low-medium heat until everything is combined. Taste and season accordingly

Note: Other recipes I came across called for half to an entire stick of butter (!) but I'm not a big fan which is why I'm substituting most of it with healthier olive oil. If you prefer the butter, however, just decrease or omit the olive oil and increase the amount of butter

5. Take a brush and brush the tops of each tail making sure you get the sauce inside the crevasses too. You don't need to drown it in sauce as you'll be basting it again during the cooking process

Apply a light coating of the lemon garlic butter sauce with a brush

6. Turn your broiler on and slide the tails right in

7. After about 3-4 minutes, pull them out again and apply another light second coat of your sauce. 

Give another light coating of the sauce halfway through cooking 

8. Give it another 5-8 minutes in the broiler but monitor the tails carefully as cooking time can vary! 

As a nice accompaniment, try this summer pasta salad! 
Light and Easy Summer Pasta Salad With Basil
Serves four
You'll need:
- 1/2 a box of a 14.5 oz box of tri-colored rotini (or your favorite pasta besides spaghetti and other long strand pasta)
- 1  medium-sized cucumber
- One big handful of cherry or grape tomatoes (about 1.5-2 cups) 
- 4-5 baby bell peppers
- 10-12 basil leaves (about 1/2 cups worth fo chopped fresh basil) 
- 1/2 cup of diced Havarti cheese
- 1/2 tbsp of minced garlic
- 1/2 can of garbanzo beans (drained)
- 1/2 can of pitted, black olives (drained)
- 4-5 tbsp of vinegar
- 5-6 tbsp of olive oil 
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp of sugar (optional)

1. Cook the tri-color rotini according to its cooking instructions or to al dante. Drain, cool with running cold water and set aside

Using colorful pasta adds a nice twist to the salad

2. Wash your vegetables and slice your grape tomatoes in halves, dice your sweet baby bell peppers and cucumbers and finely chop up your basil leaves. Drain your garbanzo beans and black olives and cut the olives into pieces or "rings". Dice your havarti cheese

Ready for mixing

3. Combine your drained pasta, chopped vegetables, cheese, beans and olives in a bowl. Crack in your freshly ground pepper, add salt, sugar, vinegar and olive oil and stir to combine. Taste and season according to your preference. 

4. Chill for a few minutes in your fridge before serving

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly before chilling

For the meal, I also added some fresh mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and a mix of pickles to complete the meal.

A nice summer meal that could cost an arm and a leg at a restaurant made affordable and with minimum "cooking" work! It's sure to make whoever you're serving it to feel special!