Put a handful of salt into a large kettle or pot of boiling water. When the water boils very hard put in the lobster, having first brushed it and tied the claws together with a bit of twine. Keep it boiling from twenty minutes to half an hour, in proportion to its size. If boiled too long the meat will be hard and stringy. When it is done take it out, lay it on its claws to drain, and then wipe it dry.
It is scarcely necessary to mention that the head of a lobster and what are called the lady fingers are not to be eaten.
Very large lobsters are not the best, the meat being coarse and tough. The male is best for boiling; the flesh is firmer and the shell a brighter red. It may readily be distinguished from the female; the tail is narrower, and the two uppermost fins within the tail are stiff and hard. Those of the hen lobster are not so, and the tail is broader.
Hen lobsters are preferred for sauce or salad, on account of their coral. The head and small claws are never used.
They should be alive and freshly caught when put into the boiling kettle. After being cooked and cooled, split open the body and tail and crack the claws, to extract the meat. The sand pouch found near the throat should be removed. Care should be exercised that none of the feathery, tough, gill-like particles found under the body shell get mixed with the meat, as they are indigestible and have caused much trouble. They are supposed to be the cause of so-called poisoning from eating lobster.
Serve on a platter. Lettuce and other concomitants of a salad should also be placed on the table or platter.
Butter a deep dish and cover the bottom with fine bread crumbs; put on this a layer of chopped lobster, with pepper and salt; so on, alternately, until the dish is filled, having crumbs on top. Put on bits of butter, moisten with milk and bake about twenty minutes.
Take out all the meat from a boiled lobster, reserving the coral; season highly with mustard, cayenne, salt and some kind of table sauce; stew until well mixed and put it in a covered saucepan, with just enough hot water to keep from burning; rub the coral smooth, moistening with vinegar until it is thin enough to pour easily, then stir it into the saucepan. The dressing should be prepared before the meat is put on the fire, and which ought to boil but once before the coral is put in; stir in a heaping teaspoonful of butter, and when it boils again it is done and should be taken up at once, as too much cooking toughens the meat.
Take any of the lobster remaining from table and pound it until the dark, light meat and coral are well mixed; put with it not quite as much fine bread crumbs; season with pepper, salt and a very little cayenne pepper; add a little melted butter, about two tablespoonfuls if the bread is rather dry; form into egg-shaped or round balls; roll them in egg, then in fine crumbs, and fry in boiling lard.
Cut some boiled lobster in small pieces; then take the small claws and the spawn, put them in a suitable dish, and jam them to a paste with a potato masher. Now add to them a ladleful of gravy or broth, with a few bread crumbs; set it over the fire and boil; strain it through a strainer, or sieve, to the thickness of a cream, and put half of it to your lobsters, and save the other half to sauce them with after they are baked. Put to the lobster the bigness of an egg of butter, a little pepper and salt; squeeze in a lemon, and warm these over the fire enough to melt the butter, set it to cool, and sheet your patty pan or a plate or dish with good puff paste, then put in your lobster, and cover it with a paste; bake it within three-quarters of an hour before you want it; when it is baked, cut up your cover, and warm up the other half of your sauce above mentioned, with a little butter, to the thickness of cream, and pour it over your patty, with a little squeezed lemon; cut your cover in two, and lay it on the top, two inches distant, so that what is under may be seen. You may bake crawfish, shrimps or prawns the same way; and they are all proper for plates or little dishes for a second course.
LOBSTER Á LA NEWBURG.
Take one whole lobster, cut up in pieces about as large as a hickory nut. Put in the same pan with a piece of butter size of a walnut, season with salt and pepper to taste, and thicken with heavy cream sauce; add the yolk of one egg and two oz. of sherry wine.
Cream sauce for above is made as follows: 1 oz. butter, melted in saucepan; 2 oz. flour, mixed with butter, thin down to proper consistency with boiling cream.