Lobster tails are easy to cook – simply grill until the flesh is translucent – then take them off the heat and eat immediately - it will continue to cook a little in that shell until it's cracked open like a Christmas present. Za’atar is a local narrow and long-leaved thyme relative known elsewhere in the world as winter savoury.
- 2 Lobster tails, cleaned
- fresh za’atar – about 12 stems
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt, pepper and lemon to taste
- Stuff the lobster tail with a couple of sprigs of za’atar, a sprinkling of mustard seeds and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Throw on a nice hot barbecue (or grill), leg-side down first. Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn down a little and cover. After another 3 minutes. Turn, cooking for about 4 minutes on each top side (it will curl so it won't lie flush on its back), covered. If desired, you might want to separate the tail with a sharp knife at this point and grill the two halves open.
- While the lobster is cooking, gently fry the garlic in a little olive oil and butter, and try not to brown it. Season well and baste lobster with this during cooking, then drizzle the remainder over lobster to serve.
Tips on preparing lobster
- kill it (if it's not already dead) - 30 minutes in the freezer or a knife between the eyes will do it.
- Pull the head off (it comes off fairly easily, like a prawn head, with a twist and a tug)
- pull out all the gooey bits (they will be green, black and orange, and there may also be roe on the base on a frozen lobster - it's bright red) just as you would when cleaning a prawn.
- Cut down the back of the lobster shell, all the way to the tail, then spread a little to remove the last of the digestional tract.
- Sometimes the frayed ends of meat have stains on them from the innards - cut off the worst bits, but don't get too fussy and trim away all the meat. There may also be some black membranes attached to the shell – trim these off too with some kitchen scissors.