Ancient Maya

September 1, 2006

Along the coast of the pre-colonial Yucatan, Mayan men would bring live lobsters and fresh, ripe fruits to the young ladies who weren’t yet spoken for in hopes of impressing them and their fathers. The young men would paddle up to the beach in canoes toting the biggest lobsters they could find. If the courted prepared a meal that pleased both the father and the suitor, the party was on!

Imagine the reaction I expected, David, when I came trotting down the beach with a 3 pound crustacean and two big cantelopes. Jennifer gasped in mock shock, broke out in a hearty round of laughter and said, “make me lunch baby, I’m starved.” I guess times have changed. I scurried off to rub 2 sticks and start a fire.


Lobster Salad with Melon and Lime Aioli

Lime Aioli
Zest of one lime
Juice of half of said lime
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon mustard
Pinch of salt
1 Tbs chopped cilantro

Crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle. Put the crushed garlic in a mixing bowl, add the salt, egg yolks, lime juice and whisk until combined well.

While your whisking with one hand, add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream with the other. Make sure all the oil is incorporated with each stroke or the sauce will break and the party’s over. When you’ve added all the oil and the sauce has thickened, stir in chopped cilantro. Store in the fridge for about 30 mins.

The Lobster
Thank the Gods for the gift of food and be a sympathetic warrior. With your large chef’s knife, bring the lobster to a swift end by plunging it into the head and cutting the head in half. The lobster won’t like this much and will make quite a fuss, but it’s much like the headless chicken. The God’s will reward you justly for your brave sensitivity.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and submerge the lobster for about 2 minutes. Remove the lobster from the pot and rinse in cold water. Remove the meat from the exoskeleton with your kitchen shears or your bare hands and teeth. I prefer gloves.

The lobster will not be completely cooked through. Cut into chunks that are managable for a modern gal. Sautee shallot for 2 or 3 minutes in clarified butter, then add the lobster and sautee until just set. Set aside to cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

The Salade
The cooked meat from your 3lb. spiny lobster
1/4 cup of aioli, you can add more as necessary
1 ripe cantelope or musk melon cut into small cubes
3 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
1 avocado
cilantro garnish

Cut the avocado into thin slices, rub with lime juice and arrange on the plate or cut the avocado in half and mound the lobster salad into the depression. Garnish the plate with lime and green olives. Serve the salad with a chelada sin hielo.

Jennifer and I just celebrated our 13th anniversary and the party is still on.


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