In Episode 5 of Sourced, I travel to the Florida Keys to free dive for spiny lobsters. When you think of lobsters, you probably think of the soft and succulent variety found in cold, northern waters like Maine. Spiny lobsters that reside in warm waters have a very different texture: In fact, they’re a lot like prawns. My recipe highlights this attribute in a Caribbean-inspired riff on shrimp n’ grits by using key lime, bell pepper, and coconut.
- 4 spiny lobster tails or 1 lb. prawns or jumbo shrimp
- 5 tbsp. butter, divided
- ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tsp. fresh minced ginger
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup lobster stock*
- 2 pinches white sugar
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- Microgreens and/or fresh chopped chives, cilantro, or basil
- 2 cups coconut water
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup white hominy grits (not instant)
*I highly recommend making stock with the lobster carcasses, but if you can’t, substitute it with fish stock or clam juice.
Also works with
- Remove the tail meat from the shells. Save the lobster shells and bodies to make a stock. Cut into 2" to 3” pieces and season with salt.
- Preheat two tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter foams, add the onion and bell pepper. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook an additional minute, then stir in lime juice, stock, white sugar, and tomato paste. Bring to a gentle boil and cook to reduce for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Turn the heat to the lowest setting and let it cool until it no longer bubbles but is still hot. Add the remaining butter. Shake the pan vigorously until the butter melts and emulsifies with liquid to create a sauce. Taste and season as needed.
- Add the lobster, cover, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should be cooked all the way through, have a bouncy texture like shrimp, but do not overcook. Serve immediately over coconut grits with fresh herbs or microgreens.
- Add the coconut water and coconut milk to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and whisk in the grits.
- Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened. Stir occasionally to keep grits smooth and season to taste.