Deconstructed New England Lobster Bake
Enjoy a refined take on this traditional feast
I was fortunate to live in New England for many years with our young family. The Boston area is steeped in culture and rich in pride. I quickly learned that New England has a very distinct personality when it comes to entertaining.
One thing that is commonplace is the New England lobster bake. It’s the special at your local restaurant and what you’re going to have at your neighborhood cookouts all summer long. I found the idea of preparing a lobster dinner intimidating at first, but after trying it, I quickly learned that it’s really not that difficult at all! It’s a meal with history, and for those of us not living in New England, it is unique. The only problem I found was that navigating the entire lobster shell and munching on buttered corn right off the cob can cause quite a mess for your guests. I’ve believe I’ve found the solution to this with my “deconstructed” lobster bake approach.
The New England Lobster Bake dates bake to the pilgrim days. When the first settlers reached New England, lobsters were so plentiful that they were piled two feet high on the shore, thus they were known as the poor man’s protein. The Native Americans taught the settlers to cook them over hot rocks. The true traditional New England lobster bake is usually prepared in a pit on the beach, lined with heated stones. Wet seaweed is layered between piles of clams, lobsters, potatoes and corn on the cob. After cooking, the meal is then piled on a picnic table for a hearty and festive family feast.
While this traditional lobster bake can be fun and rustic at the beach, my lobster bake is tailored more for of a sit-down dinner party. Guests can be seated at a decorative table, indoors or out, and do not need to worry about being sprayed with lobster water or hit by a flying claw….just a bit more amendable for us novices!
My menu starts with the clams, found in the New England clam chowder. Mine is a healthier version that is dairy-free and full of vegetables. As an entree, I serve the best and most tender part of the lobster: the tail. I present it outside of the shell so that it’s easy to eat. Then I shave the kernels off the corn cobs, dice potatoes, and combine them with fresh herbs to bake a delicious and satisfying side dish that is a bit more delicate then eating everything whole. I throw in a purple cabbage salad that adds some color and flair to the plate plus extra veggies. The traditional New England lobster bake dessert is a blueberry pie. I keep the blueberries but clean it up with a delicious blueberry crisp that is healthy enough to eat any time of day!
As a signature cocktail for the evening, I’m making a white wine sangria. It features the fresh red cherries that are so sweet and juicy this time of year. This drink just screams summertime, and no added refined sugars is a bonus!
Make your summer gathering memorable and perhaps start a new tradition! Put together this impressive meal that captures the essence of New England while keeping it graceful, tasteful and straightforward.
Clean Summer Cherry Sangria
The perfect fruity summer beverage that's refined sugar-free and delicious!
Dairy-Free New England Clam Chowder
Rich and creamy, my take on traditional clam chowder has all the flavor without the heavy butter and milk.
Tangy Purple Cabbage Salad
This salad is easy-to-make and will brighten up any plate.
Deconstructed Corn on the Cob and Potato Bake with Fresh Herbs
This recipe combines the sweet and fresh taste of the corn on the cob with the creamy and buttery taste of the potato.
Baked Lobster Tails
Simple and refined, these lobster tails are delicious and easy for your guests to enjoy. This is a better option than trying to prepare and maneuver through an entire lobster.
Healthy Blueberry Crisp
Blueberries are plentiful, affordable and plump this time of year. Enjoy them in this nutritious dessert!