Split Grilled Lobsters With Herb Butter Sauce
4 1 1/2-pound lobsters
2 C. unsalted butter (4 sticks), or a 1-pound jar of ghee (clarified butter; see note)
1/2 t. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 t. chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 t. chopped fresh chives
1 T. olive oil
2 t. salt (preferably kosher)
2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 large lemons, cut into 6 wedges (cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thirds, also lengthwise)
To prepare the lobster for grilling, place the live lobster on a cutting board. Take a heavy chef's knife and place the tip of it in the crack on the top of the head, behind the eyes.
The handle of the knife should be pointed toward the front of the lobster. Push the knife quickly down to the cutting board, bringing the knife through the head, between the eyes, slicing the head in two.
This will instantly kill the lobster, though parts of it may continue to twitch. Then cut the rest of the lobster in half. Repeat with each lobster until you have 8 halves. To make this easier, you can put the lobsters in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing: They probably won't even move because their systems slow down from the cold.
Alternatively, if this whole paragraph has made you ill, have your fishmonger slice them in half for you -- but pick them up just before you grill to preserve freshness.
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Add butter or ghee to a small saucepan over very low heat; mix in the tarragon, parsley and chives. Pour half of the butter mixture into a bowl for basting; keep the remainder warm.
Turn the lobsters shell-side down, drizzle the lobster meat with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Place the lobsters shell-side down on the grill. They will cook completely on this side -- do not turn over, because you will lose precious juices.
The lobsters will cook in 7 to 10 minutes: They are done when the meat is firm, with no translucency. Keep in mind that the tails will cook faster than the claws, so you will want to move them around to keep the claws over the hotter part of the fire. While the lobster cooks, baste the meat with the reserved herb butter.
Serve two halves to each person on a large platter, along with a small container of the remaining herb butter and with wedges of lemon.
Note: If you want to clarify your own butter, place it in a medium saucepan over very low heat and melt it. Turn off the heat and carefully pour the golden liquid butter into another saucepan, discarding the white milk solids left behind. Keep the clarified butter in a warm place until you're ready to use it. -- Adapted from "Lobster Rolls and Blueberry Pie" by Rebecca Charles and Deborah DiClementi
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