Yes, you read that right! We never lie when it comes to lobster! This is a Butter Poached Lobster Tail and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It’s a rich, delicious, and totally grown up grilled cheese sandwich.
I have had a bee in my bonnet about butter poaching a lobster tail ever since I saw them cook one on Hells Kitchen. What was that? Three maybe four years ago? I thought, “MAN does that sound amazing!” Of course, they were fresh lobsters, in Vegas, on Hells Kitchen. There’s no way I could recreate that.
However, I could try my hand at butter poaching a lobster tail. And I gotta tell you, the hardest part is getting the shell off. Granted, I did use just a tail. I’m sure a whole lobster would be even more difficult to manage. But with a whole lobster they’re generally fresh and easier to remove from the shell. I should try that at least once in my lifetime. Stay tuned for that experiment.
The tail wasn’t difficult and they were small tails, too. Mine were about four inches long and probably 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide at the widest part. I’m guessing because I didn’t have a tape measure with me to be sure. No. I don’t keep a tape measure in the kitchen. I do keep one in my purse, but that’s a whole other post.
Now, for those that don’t know frozen shellfish, like lobster, stick to the shell when they’re frozen. That’s why sometimes your ez-peel shrimp ain’t so easy to peel after they’re cooked. And how you can tell if you’re shrimp, or any other shellfish for that matter, are fresh at a restaurant. This makes removing the tail from the shell a bit tricky.
However, since you’re slicing the tail in half, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even remotely perfect. Just try to keep as much of the tail intact for poaching in the butter later. If you want to simply cut it in half and poach it then I would cut back on the cooking time to allow for more surface exposure on the tail meat.
Now, I hear you New Englanders! “This is not a lobster!” Yeah, okay, whatever. I am of the mindset that langostino are lobsters. I am NOT of the mindset that crawfish are lobsters. Completely different flavor to me!
These are small, langostino lobster tails.
There, I said it! But I don’t care because, like I said, they taste just like lobster tails and were perfectly sized for these grilled cheese sandwiches. Which were perfectly places in mini sub rolls from Kings Hawaiian. Seriously perfect size and perfect sweet flavor to complement the tails.
Of course, I didn’t want it to be all sweet! I wanted some crisp chives and pepper arugula. Oh yeah baby! There’s just enough arugula for that little rocket bite. I added a sprinkling of chives and a touch of tarragon for some additional flavors.
I firmly believe tarragon is underappreciated. It’s one of those herbs that most don’t know what it tastes like. To me, it’s a little on the fennel-y side. It’s great with butter and seafood. See why I chose it? It’s also great on fish and pork. I’ve simmered vinegar in it for hollandaise and béarnaise. It’s one of those what is that flavor herbs you can sneak into recipes to make them that much tasty.
Then, there’s the smoked gouda. I love smoked cheese! It brings out flavors delicious flavor in sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. I’d love to make a smoked cheese pimento cheese someday. Stay tuned for that recipe! Or a smoked cheese beer cheese. Mmmmm. Is it time for lunch yet?
Anyway, all of these flavors come together in a very grown up and delicious grilled cheese sandwich. You could serve these for Mother’s Day brunch! Or for a bridal or baby shower. Anything event or holiday where you just want to kick things up a bit and serve something slightly decadent but down home at the same time.
And I totally cooked these tails the day before and left them in the fridge in the butter. AND I use the butter on the buns instead of fresh butter. Finally, I saved this butter for making a roux for macaroni and cheese or a seafood soup. It was too delicious to go to waste. Because you know me! I can’t throw perfectly good food away if I can help it!
Several of us got together to share some delicious grilled cheese goodness for you! Make sure you scroll past the recipe to see what the other bloggers cooked up today.
- 2 small lobster tails (about 5 to 6 inches long)
- 1 pound butter
- 1/4 pound smoked gouda, sliced
- 1/2 cup arugula
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- 2 Kings Hawaiian mini sub rolls
- Heat a medium pot of water on high.
- Thread a skewer through the end of the tail to keep it from curling during cooking.
- When the water comes to a boil, carefully drop the tails into the water. Cook for 90 seconds. Remove the tails and cool slight.
- Pour out the water and add the butter to pan to melt while you remove the shells from the tails.
- Using kitchen shears, carefully cut the tail down the back. Slowly, and carefully, pull the shell apart to remove the tails in one piece.
- Once you have the tails out of their shell, thread them back on the skewer and place in the butter to simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through.
- Using a pastry brush, brush some of the butter on the inside of the mini sub rolls. Place the buttered sides together. This leaves the outside of the buns to top with slices of the smoked gouda. Slice the tails in half and place on top of the cheese. Divide the remaining ingredients between the two buns. Sprinkle with the chopped chives and tarragon, top with more cheese, half the arugula, and the rest of the cheese.
- Heat a nonstick skillet on medium. Grab the top bun and place the buttered side down in the skillet. Place the other half of the bun on top. Cook, uncovered, until golden brown. Carefully flip the sandwiches over and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the other side is golden brown.
- Remove from the skillet and let sit a few minutes before slicing and serving.
National Grilled Cheese Day
- Bacon Brie Paninis by Bear & Bug Eats
- Butter Poached Lobster and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Cajun Tuna Grilled Cheese by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Grilled Cheese and Pepper Sandwiches by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Grilled Guacamole and Cheese by Palatable Pastime
- Mexican Molletes by Caroline’s Cooking
- Open-Faced Grilled Caprese by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Pear and Taleggio Grilled Cheese by The Redhead Baker
- Three Cheese Bacon and Jalapeno Grilled Cheese by Daily Dish Recipes