Todd Perrin is the Executive Chef and Co-owner of Mallard Cottage, in Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s, and appeared on Top Chef Canada All Stars in 2017, and has now opened an 8-room inn, The Inn by Mallard Cottage.
This simple but impressive dish by Todd Perin will wow your guests but not tax you too much. Beautiful East Coast lobster slathered in a spicy thyme-infused butter and finished over the grill or a wood fire will become an early summer classic at the cottage. Todd loves this with grilled asparagus and a lemon aioli for a nearly perfect dish. Recipe by Todd Perrin.
2 live East Coast lobster
½ lb salted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried chile flakes
4–6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bunch green onion, minced
1.Bring a large pot of highly salted water to boil (1/2 cup salt for every 4 litres). Once the water is boiling, plunge in the lobsters and cook for 5 minutes or so, just until the meat is slightly set in the shell.
2. Remove the lobsters and place them into ice water to quickly chill them, until they are cool enough to handle.
3. Place on a cutting board, belly-side down, head pointed towards you. Put the point of a heavy chef’s knife in the middle of the head (there’s a little indentation in the shell about a third of the way back that makes a spot for the knife tip) and split in half lengthwise toward you. Then turn it around so the head is away from you and split the rest of the body in half, lengthwise. Crack the claws just below the pincers by rapping it with the back of your knife. The lobster is now ready for the grill. Set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, and add the garlic, chiles, thyme, and green onion. Simmer on low to let flavours infuse.
5. Lay the lobsters, shell side down, on a hot grill over wood charcoal or on a gas-fired grill. Take a small handful of thyme, tie the woody ends together with some kitchen string, and use the leafy ends as a brush to liberally apply the infused butter to the exposed lobster flesh. Be prepared for flare ups—fire is part of the fun.
6. Cook the lobster for 8 minutes or so, covering briefly by closing the lid on a grill, to allow a little of the smoke to infuse.
7. Remove from the grill and serve with grilled asparagus and lemon aioli.