BAKED STUFFED LOBSTERS WITH SHRIMP AND SCALLOPS
4, 1 ½-2 pound lobsters
2 ½ sticks butter, divided
1 large leek, chopped white and light green parts (about 1 ½ cups)
1 cup celery, finely chopped
½ loaf Italian bread, torn into large pieces
30 Ritz crackers (one sleeve)
8 garlic cloves, rough chopped
½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, packed (plus more chopped for garnish)
½ cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (plus slices for garnish)
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 pound shrimp, U16-20
¾ pound sea scallops
Bring a very large pot half way filled with water (enough to submerge the lobsters when in the pot) to a rolling boil. Place the lobsters in the pot, head first, and situate so they are mostly submerged. Cover the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes until bright red. Remove from water and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large deep skillet. Sauté the leeks and celery until soft and fragrant, stirring frequently.
Combine the bread, crackers, garlic, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. Then, with processor on low speed, drizzle the olive oil in a slow stream into crumb mixture until well combined and fine crumbs are formed. Add this mixture to the leeks and celery and toss to combine over medium low heat.
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine, and parmesan cheese to the pan and toss to combine. Add the shrimp and toss until they just start to turn pink. Then, add the scallops to the pan and cook one more minute. The shrimp and scallops will not be cooked through (they will continue cooking in the oven). Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cooled lobsters, one by one, on a cutting board on their ‘back’. Using a chef’s knife, cut ¾ of the way into the center of the body (between legs), head to tail, leaving the flippers intact. Do not cut all the way through the body, but crack the body and tail open with your hands to create a cavity for the stuffing.
Rinse the green tamale (liver) out of the body (if you are a tamale fan – by all means leave it in!) and pat dry with paper towels. Place the lobsters, cut side up, on foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Remove the tail meat from each lobster and cut into bite-size pieces. Place back in each lobster tail shell.
Using your hands, evenly distribute the stuffing between all of the lobsters, opening the body to get max stuffing inside. I like to make sure there are a few shrimps and scallops on the top for decadent presentation.
Wrap the claws in a double layer of foil. This will keep them from overcooking.
Melt one stick of the remaining butter and drizzle over the stuffing in each lobster. Melt the other stick while the lobsters are cooking and serve on the side for dipping the claw and knuckle meat.
Bake the lobsters for 20-25 minutes until golden and the shrimp and scallops are just cooked through.
Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon.
Note – both lobsters and stuffing can be made in advance and refrigerated for 1-2 days, but be sure to bring everything to room temperature before baking to ensure all of the seafood cooks evenly and stuffing is hot.