When I was a kid, our 4th of July recipes were pretty straightforward—mostly burgers and hot dogs. But now that my parents have moved to coastal Maine, the typical 4th of July fare has gone out the window. Goodbye hot dogs, hello lobster. Lucky for lobster lovers like me, lobster is pretty inexpensive this year, and even if you don’t live on the coast, you can still find it at well-stocked grocery stores.
Here is my complete 4th of July menu with tips on how to shell a lobster:
Stovetop Clambake: Lobsters, clams, mussels, potatoes and corn star in our stovetop clambake. Serve with flavor-packed sauces, like cocktail sauce or tartar sauce, and there won’t be a need for the bowls of melted butter that so often turn otherwise virtuous seafood into a nutritional disaster.
Backyard Coleslaw: Instead of a heavy creamy dressing, this refreshing coleslaw is dressed with a light caraway-flavored vinaigrette. The pretty crinkled leaves of Savoy cabbage have a nutty flavor, making this slaw especially flavorful.
Snap Pea Salad with Radish & Lime: This colorful combination of sugar snap peas, wax beans and radishes is dressed with a tangy lime vinaigrette for a refreshing side dish.
Strawberry Coolers: A batch of this good-for-you refresher turns a lazy summer afternoon into a party, with appeal for thirsty kids of all ages.
Whole-Wheat Blueberry Bars: These delicious blueberry treats feature moist fruit filling with a crunchy topping made with the same dough as the crust.
How to Shell a Lobster:
- Grasp claw at the knuckle, near the body. With a firm twist, remove the claw from the body. Repeat with the second claw.
- To remove claw meat, crack through the claw shell using a pair of kitchen shears or a lobster cracker.
- Holding the body in one hand and firmly grasping the tail in the other, twist and gently pull the tail from the body. (Discard the body.)
- Cut the tail in half lengthwise with kitchen shears, starting from the underside. Serve halves in the shell or remove the meat.