Grilled Spiny Lobster & Berbere “ber-ber-ree” Butter
- Peel & cut onions in half. Cut vertically into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Mince the garlic.
- Cut the butter into large dice.
- Heat a pan on medium to low heat, add a tablespoon of butter, all the onions, garlic, salt & sweat until onions are soft & translucent.
- Next add the Berbere spice. Toss to incorporate evenly throughout the onions.
- Turn heat down to low. Add the rest of the butter to gently melt. Stir, taste, adjust seasoning. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Grilled Spiny Lobster
- Place the lobster on cutting board horizontal to your body with its head closest to the hand you hold your knife in.
- Hold lobster firmly. Place tip of the knife on top of the lobsters head centrally placed btwn it’s eyes. In a swift & determined move push knife straight down vertically. Then finish the cut down horizontally.
- Hold the body of the lobster in one hand & the tail in the other. Twist to separate.
- Remove legs, claws, & clean body cavity to reserve for another meal.
- Cut the tail in half lengthwise. Season the meat with salt & brush liberally with berbere butter.
- Put on grill meat side down for only 1 minute. Flip onto shell side down & brush with more berbere butter.
- Finish cooking for about 4 minutes with the meat side up, do not flip again.
- Remove from grill & serve immediately with the hot berbere butter & lemon or lime wedges.
Spiny Lobster vs. Maine Lobster
- Spiny Lobsters do not have large meat filled claws like the Maine lobsters. The only edible meat in them comes from their large tails. Use their legs, mini claws & bodies for making stock, soups, or sauces.
- Maine Lobsters have sweeter meat from the cold waters & absorb less salt in their meat compared to their Caribbean counterpart.
Tajin Cucumber Salad
- Wash, peel, deseed & medium dice your cucumber. Add to a medium size mixing bowl you will also serve in.
- Wash, peel, core, & medium dice the apples. Add to the bowl.
- Add lime juice & tajin. Toss, taste & add salt as needed. Keep cold until ready to serve.
Silk Snapper – Mango Salsa & Coconut Rice
- Using a strainer, add 1 Cup of Jasmine rice & rinse with cold water. Stop when the water runs clear (about 3 minutes). Set aside & allow remaining water to drain off.
- In a pot, add 1 1/3 cup Coconut Water, 2 teaspoons of Salt, & 1 nub of Ginger & bring to a boil quickly. Make sure to cover the water with a lid to prevent it from evaporating
- Add the Jasmine rice to the boiling water & bring back up to a boil.
- Reduce rice to a low simmer & cover.
- Cook for 20 minutes. When time is up, allow rice to rest with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Using a fork, fluff the rice & remove ginger.
- Keep rice covered in a warm area until you’re ready to plate.
- Peel & mince both ginger & garlic then add to a medium size mixing bowl.
- Peel mango & cut away from core. Now mince to create a thick slightly chunky purée. (You can use a food processor or blender for this task). Add into the garlic & ginger bowl.
- Add the white wine vinegar & salt. Stir well to marry all the ingredients.
- Zest your limes into the bowl then cut 2 in half & squeeze the juice into the mixture. Peel the remaining 2 limes & cut supremes. Cut each supreme in half & add to the bowl. Gently stir, being careful not to break up the supremes.
- Rough chop the mint leaves & fold in when ready to serve. Taste & adjust seasoning if needed.
Whole Grilled Silk Snapper
- After fish is scaled, gutted & cleaned lightly score the skin & pat fish dry.
- Season fish liberally with the tajin & light salt. (Take heed on salt bc the tajin has salt in it as well)
- Slice thin lime wheels & shingle 4 – 5 inside the cavity of the snapper.
- Spread a thinly sliced garlic clove inside the cavity of each fish.
- Lightly oil the fish basket, grill grates or pan to help prevent sticking.
- Cook fish on each side for about 4 – 7 minutes depending on heat of grill & thickness of fish.
- Serve whole with lime wedges on the side.
3 Tips When Picking Out Fresh Fish
1. Eyes are clear, not cloudy
2. Gills are intact & red, not brown or grey
3. Guts are removed
Note: Be sure to ask your butcher to remove the fins from the top & bottom. But to keep the head in tail intact.
Fried Plantains & Sea Salt
- Place a deep pot onto a burner add oil & bring up to about 350 degrees F.
- Peel the ripe, soft & black plantains.
- Cut each plantain in half.
- Very Gently place the plantain halves into the hot oil to fry.
- Fry for 10 – 15 minutes carefully flipping the plantains every few minutes. You are looking for the sugars to caramelize on the outside creating a deep brown color & sticky slightly crisp outer shell.
- Remove from oil. Place onto a paper towel or linen to drain & absorb the excess grease.
- Simply season with salt & serve hot.
Setting The Table
- No need to stress or make it fancy.
- Bring everything to the table in the container it was prepared in or on large platters & bowls.
- Put trivets on the table underneath any hot pot.
- Use large serving spoons, forks & tongs to allow everyone to get their food easily.
- Serve the Whole snapper simply with some lime wedges on top for garnish & that extra burst of citrus.
- Passing & sharing food around the table really amplifies that family feeling. It also enhances conversation & interaction among everyone.
This meal was one of favorites while hanging out with our friends in Belize. Belkin was a local beer that many of our friends paired with the meal. Others drank Rosè or rum punch. I went with a Soursop Mango & Pineapple Juice