Thursday, September 22

Lessons Learned Cooking for Sailors

Poaching Lobster

Head first add the 1.5 pound active lobster into the boiling water and cook for about 12-15 minutes in the boiling water.  Confirm by measuring until internal tail temperature at 165-170 F
Lobsters have harmful bacteria naturally in their flesh. The bacteria can rapidly multiply and release toxins that may not be destroyed by cooking. Minimise the chance of food poisoning by cooking the lobster alive.
If you ordered live lobsters, they will have been out of water for almost 24 hours when you receive them. Occasionally, one may appear weak or lifeless. This is a normal occurrence. In most cases, as long as the packaging material is in good condition, and the refrigerant is still cold, your lobsters will be fine. The best way to check is to boil the lobster. As long as the lobster’s tail curls when cooked, and the meat in the tail is firm, and in one piece, then the lobster was alive when it was cooked. 
Because lobsters require careful packing and prompt shipping, you should only purchase lobsters from a company which offers a 100% guarantee if any lobsters arrive in poor condition. 
Lobsters grow by molting, or by shedding their shells each year.  Just after they molt, they are soft and fragile until their new shell has hardened, and they are known as new shell or soft shell lobsters, sometimes called “shedders.”  After their new shell hardens, they are known as hard shell lobsters
Soft shell are tender, sweet, and delicious, and represent about 90% of the catch during the summer months.  They are prized by maine natives, and are less expensive than hardshell lobsters as well, but they contain less meat than a hard shell lobster of the same size, because their body has not yet grown into its new shell, and so the lobster’s shell is larger than its body. 
Soft shell (or new shell) shell lobsters do not travel well, and should not be purchased for live delivery; most reputable companies will not even  try to ship live soft shell lobsters because they are unlikely to survive the journey.  Some companies do, however, offer precooked whole soft shell lobsters. 
The “green stuff” that can be found in cooked lobster is tomalley, which serves as the pancreas and liver.  Some consider it a delicacy. 
Female lobster can have up to 10,000 eggs. Once cooked turn red and considered a delicacy.

90 Maine Lobster ready for your bellies

Lively little Maine crustaceans from Lonestar Lobster off of I-610 W in Houston

Wood for cooking Texas meat

9 month aged White Oak Wood (1/8 cord, 16 cubic ft) with a moisture content of 9% to cook brisket and pork ribs. Chicken is cooked with applewood and charcoal

Skeeters BBQ Achievers

Black Angus (feed lot) beef brisket (13-16 lbs packer cut, imps no. 120-ribs 1-4 are removed, remove about 3 lbs fat including deckle fat, cook with 1/4-1/2 inch of fat on top remaining aerodynamic for smoke to flow, get to room temperature before cooking), mix of 2/3 black pepper and 1/3 coarse kosher salt and garlic powder, brown kraft paper

Smoke for 6 hours unwrapped brisket at air temp 225-250F, (science of bbq brisket: after 2 hours internal brisket temp will stall at 150-170F for 4+ hours due to evaporative cooling, internal water in the fat cools the meat before internal temp rises again, after internal temp reaches 130F meat will not absorb any more smoke flavor), and wrap in kraft paper for another 6-8 hours away from heat, by a metal bowl of white to reduce temperature on outside of brisket until internal meat temp reaches the right temp, maintain internal brisket temperature of 195-203F, remove from the heat if feels relaxed, rest for an hour + before slicing against the grain. Brisket is 65% water

Juicy Delicious Pork Ribs: Kroger bought versus Butcher Shop ribs
Pork Ribs

Racks of pork ribs (12 St Louis ribs), remove the membrane and sternum bone, baste with butter, louisiana hot sauce, black pepper, kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic paste, chili powder, foil, heat smoker 275F for 2 hours, spritz with sweet beer, and sauce cook for additional 15 minutes unwrapped, and then wrap in foil for the remainder of 2 hours cooking, remove from heat and rest the ribs for 30 minutes (7 ribs for competition). Pork ribs are 65% water, 18% protein, 15% fat, 2% sugar+ more

Beer Can Chicken 

Whole chicken, beer can, string, spread under the skin fresh smashed garlic, oil, lemon juices, zest, preheated thyme and rosemary, grapeseed oil, and add to the center remaining lemon quarters, garlic, herbs, and drink half of beer, insert remaining can in chicken cavity, foil wrap, cook at 375F for 1.5 hour and unwrapped for 15 minutes, until internal temp of 170F in breast. Remove from heat and Rest for 10 minutes, remove can.


  • 1 pound ripe yellow tomatoes (about 4 medium) 
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) best-quality vodka 
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons) 
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 20 dashes hot green pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated, peeled horseradish 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly white ground pepper 

  1. Puree (blanched for no skin) yellow tomatoes in a blender. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl
  2. Stir together tomato puree, vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, green pepper sauce, horseradish to taste, pepper in a pitcher. If not using immediately, mixture can be refrigerated, covered, overnight.  Garnish each mini jerky sticks

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