Lobster is a dish enjoyed among many, and what better day to spoil yourself with it other than National Lobster Day.  Here in the U.S., June 15 is dedicated to celebrating and appreciating the delicacy.  In respects to that, here are some facts about lobster, as well as a few recipes to take a shot at today. 

According to History.com, lobsters were first used by Native Americans for fertilizing crops and as bait for fish.  They would wash ashore in piles of up to two feet high and were known as the poor man’s protein.  Considering the large amounts that would come in and the cheap pricing, they were normally fed to prisoners, slaves and children. 

During the 1880s, it started to lose its negative reputation and was dined on in places such as Boston and New York City, with prices rising.  In 1876, the first lobster pound was recognized in Vinalhaven, Maine, and until this day is still home to the thriving industry. 

There are many different ways to create a delicious lobster meal.  Executive Chef Chuck Abair from CAFÉ del REY has shared the recipe for his dish Lobster Risotto with Spring Vegetables:

4-6 oz. Servings
2 C. Arborio (Risotto) rice
1/2 C. dry White Wine
8 C. Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 T. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lb. fresh English Peas
 8 oz. Brown Beech Mushrooms or any white mushroom
1 t. chopped Garlic
1 t. chopped Shallots
3 t. finely chopped chives
4 oz. butter
Sea salt to taste

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.  Then, warm two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in the mushrooms and peas, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove mixture and its liquid, and set aside.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook for 1 minute.  Add rice, stirring to coat with oil for about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms and peas with their liquid, butter, chives and parmesan.  Lightly fold in the lobster, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Executive Chef Sven Mede from Terrazza also shared his Lobster Panini recipe:

2 slices brioche
3 oz. cooked and diced lobster meat
2 leaves little gem lettuce
4 slices tomatoes
1 T. lemon aioli, see below
¼ each avocado, sliced
1 t. fresh chopped herb mix (tarragon, chervil, parsley)

Toast the brioche in a Panini press.  Mix the lobster meat with aioli and season with salt and pepper.  Place the lobster mix on one slice of brioche.  Top it with lettuce, tomato, avocado and the second slice of brioche.  Lastly, gently press it all together and slice it in half.

-Christina Danno