Break with tradition during the holidays and serve lobster as the main course for special dinners. Lobster can be prepared in many different ways that tempt the palate and make a dinner for guests extra special. The most important thing to remember about lobster is not to overcook it. Like must crustaceans, crab, prawns, shrimp or crawfish, overcooking makes the flesh tough and chewy.
For formal holiday dinners, the most elegant way to serve lobster is whole. However, a bit of preparation is required before serving lobster whole to guests. Remember presentation of the main course should always be as dramatic as possible. Lobsters served whole are generally boiled in water in a large lobster pot and crab boil spices. The water should cover the entire body. The length of boil time depends upon the size of the lobster. Usually, when the outer shell turns bright red, the cooking time has ended. Remove the lobster from the water immediately. With poultry shears, cut vertical slits in claws and tail for easier removal from the shells. Place on a large platter lined with parsley or other dark, green leafy vegetables like chicory or watercress. Or, for individual servings, line dinner plate as with the platter and place a lobster on each. It's a good idea to use a charger beneath the dinner plate when serving lobster. Offer lobster picks with other utensils for easier removal of the tender, succulent flesh. Most people prefer drawn butter and a dash of fresh lemon juice with their lobster. However, other cocktail sauces are also a good choice.
Quick-boiled lobster can be removed from the shell and served in various elegant menus or with other types of shell fish. Lobster fra diavolo has an Italian accent and a bit of heat when sauteed in white wine, garlic, basil and pepperoni. Lobster ravioli is another delicious way to prepare a lobster for the holidays. Luscious, thick lobster bisque, accompanied with freshly baked bread makes a wonderful start to a holiday meal. Lobster Supreme is served in a thick sauce with mushrooms and a hint of tomato over a bed of generous slices of toasted French bread. For these menus, quick-boil lobster, remove the meat from the shells and add to the recipes as indicated. Lobster can also be served as a salad course in an avocado shell dressed with lemon juice.