Puerto Nuevo Lobster Tacos
At Zapoteca in Portland, Maine, chef Shannon Bard draws on her memories of the street food she ate in the coastal town of Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, as inspiration for this simple pan-fried lobster dish.
- 2 cans dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (1 1/2-pound) live lobsters
- 2 tablespoons duck fat, lard or butter
- 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 cup salsa
Adapted from online.wsj.com
Fill a large, lidded pot halfway with water, then add beer and 4 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Kill lobsters by plunging a knife in at base of head. Drop lobsters into boiling water, cover pot and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lobsters to a colander to drain and cool slightly.
Place cooled lobsters, belly side up, on a cutting board. Use a knife to cut lobsters in half lengthwise from head to tail. Remove claws from body. Using back side of knife, tap claws forcefully until shells crack.
Separate lobster halves and gently rinse each under cold water to remove black digestive tract and head sack.
Heat duck fat in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place lobster claws and halves, shell side down, in pan. Sprinkle lobsters with chipotle powder and remaining salt and cook 3 minutes. Flip lobster and cook 2 minutes more. Off heat, add tequila to pan. (Hold pan away from you as liquor may ignite.) Return pan to heat and cook 30 seconds, or until flames die down.
Transfer lobster in shell to a serving platter. Spoon tequila sauce on top and garnish with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve with warm tortillas, avocado, lime wedges and salsa, and invite guests to pick lobster from the shell and build their own tacos.