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Learn How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Before Cooking

  • Only buy steaks of even thickness
  • Steaks should be at least 21 mm thick
  • Always defrost steaks in fridge if frozen
  • If using a pan, it should be heavy based
  • Heat pan or BBQ to temperature before putting steaks on
  • There should always be plenty of sizzle when cooking steaks

During Cooking

  • Test when to remove from heat by using the back of tongs or meat thermometer. Piercing the steak with fork will dry out the steak.
  • Salt beef after cooking or browning. Salt draws out moisture and inhibits browning.

After Cooking

  • Position steaks in a warm place or remove from heat and cover with foil to allow rest for 3-5 minutes.

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How to Serve the Perfect Turkey

Choose a Turkey

Bird Size
Match the size of your Thanksgiving turkey to the size of your crowd. Smaller birds fit in the refrigerator better and are easier to handle. If you’re hosting a big crowd and have two ovens, consider roasting two smaller birds instead of a large one (this also gives you a good excuse to try two kinds of stuffing). Some cooks look forward to turkey leftovers as weekend fare; others prefer to serve just enough to feed the guests at the feast.

Turkey Math
For birds under 16 pounds, figure at least 1 pound of turkey per person. For birds 16 pounds and heavier, figure a bit less since there’s more meat in proportion to bone. If you want substantial seconds and leftovers, allow another 1/2 pound per person.

Prepare & Roast

  • Prepare the Turkey for Roasting - About an hour before roasting, take the turkey out of the fridge. Remove any packaging and the bag of giblets (check in the body cavity and in the neck cavity). Set the turkey breast-side up on the roasting rack and let it sit. This takes the chill off the meat, which helps the meat cook faster and more evenly, and it dries out the skin, which promotes browning and crisping.
  • Optional Extras - Rub minced herbs or ground spices into (or beneath) the skin for more flavor, place a few halved lemons or garlic cloves inside the cavity of the turkey.
  • Roast the Turkey - Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees. The turkey will spend the first 20 minutes at 400 degrees uncovered. After the first 20 minutes, tent the turkey with foil, drop the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 20 minutes per pound. Start checking the temperature of your turkey about half-way through the scheduled cooking time to gauge how fast it’s cooking.
  • Check the Temperature - To make sure that turkey is fully cooked through and through, check its temperature in three places: the breast, the outer thigh, and the inside thigh. The turkey will continue to cook once it’s removed from the oven and given time to rest. We recommend you pull the turkey once it’s reached 160 degrees so that it rises to a safe 165. Rest your bird for at least 20 minutes.
  • Rest the Turkey - lift the whole turkey (still on the rack) and transfer it to a cutting board. Tent the turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest for 20 minutes or so. This gives time for the meat to firm up and the juices to be re-absorbed into the muscle tissue, making the turkey easier to slice and taste juicier.

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How to Prepare a Live Lobster

Live Lobster Handling and Care

  • Refrigerate your lobsters immediately, and keep them cold until you’re ready to cook them (best around 40 degrees F). in other words, just put your live lobsters in the refrigerator. It’s best to put them in a paper bag with a container underneath to catch any drainage.
  • It’s best to cook your lobsters the day you bring them home. If you cannot cook your lobsters right away, keep them cold but DO NOT put them in a sink, tub or bucket full of water. Lobsters live in sea water so anything out of a faucet will kill them quickly.
  • When transferring lobsters from the fridge or the shipping container, pick them up by the body, not the claws or the tail.

How long Can You Store Live Lobsters Before Cooking?

Maine Lobsters have been known to last up to 24 hours out of sea water, but we cannot guarantee this so it is best to cook immediately for best results. If storage is necessary, keep cold as suggested, in the fridge and in a paper bag. (it is ok to dampen the bag or cover the lobsters with some damp newspaper or seaweed) in the coldest part of the refrigerator (usually the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat keeper). If possible keep lobsters in a loose paper bag or in the shipping container. DO NOT keep wrapped up in a sealed plastic bag if that is how you received them from the pond. Don’t even think about the freezer!

Periodically check up on your lobsters If the lobsters are still moving, you may delay cooking, but if they begin to show little or no movement they need to go right into the pot for cooking. Remember, 24 hours is the max for storing your live creatures properly.

Cooking Live Lobsters

Lobster boiled or steamed in sea water maintains its characteristic ocean taste. But not every cook has access to a few gallons of the Atlantic Ocean, so boiling or steaming in well-salted water is the next best option. Figure about ¼ cup sea salt for each gallon of water.

Boiling and steaming are the methods of choice when you want to serve diners a whole lobster. Boiling is a little quicker and easier to time precisely, and the meat comes out of the shell more readily than when steamed. For recipes that call for fully cooked and picked lobster meat, boiling is the best approach.

Choose a pot large enough to hold all the lobsters comfortably; do not crowd them. A 4 to 5-gallon pot can handle 6 to 8 pounds of lobster.

Boil

  • Fill with water, allowing 3 quarts of water per 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of lobster.
  • Add 1/4 cup sea salt for each gallon of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the live lobsters one at a time, and start timing immediately. Cover. Stir the lobsters halfway through cooking.
  • Let the lobsters rest for 5 minutes or so after cooking to allow the meat to absorb some of the moisture in the shell.

Steam

Put 2 inches of seawater or salted water in the bottom of a large kettle. Set steaming rack inside the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the live lobsters one at a time, cover pot, and start timing.

Cooking Times for Boiling and Steaming

  • 1 pound - 8 minutes
  • 1 1/4 pounds - 9-10 minutes
  • 1 1/2 pounds 11-12 minutes
  • 1 3/4 pounds 12-13 minutes
  • 2 pounds 15 minutes
  • +5 min for each additional 1/2 lb.

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How to Make Perfect Clams

Cleaning

  • The Littleneck clam, also known as a quahog or hard-shell clam, is native to the eastern shores of North America all along the Atlantic coast.
  • Hard clams are classifed according to their different sizes.
  • Although it is not required, some people choose to soak the clams in cornmeal and salt water for a few hours, this will help purge any remaining sand left in the clams.
  • Generally all you need to do is spray the clams with a garden hose to rinse or at worst give each clam a short scrub with a stiff bristle brush to knock off any remaining dirt before cooking.

Cooking

  • Clams are done when they open up, so whether you are steaming, grilling or baking it is easy to know when they are ready to eat.
  • Plan on 1-2 dozen per person for your party. This is usually a good gauge for estimating how many clams you need to buy.

Serving

  • Raw clams on the half shell should be very cold so make sure you have plenty of ice.
  • Steamers should be served immediately with lemon, butter and a splash of the clam broth.

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Preparing The Perfect Crab Legs

King Crab

Don't be intimidated by the idea of cooking king crab legs. Follow these simple instructions for a fun-to-eat dinner that's ready in just 15 minutes. Crab legs purchased from the store are already cooked before frozen so the goal is not really to “cook” them but to HEAT them thoroughly.

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning (Bay)
  • 5 lb king crab legs, thawed
  • Melted butter, for dipping

Boiling/Steaming
Fill large stockpot or Dutch oven half full with water; add seafood seasoning and salt. Heat to boiling. Add crab legs. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or just until heated. A cover for the pot is helpful but not required. (If boiling from frozen, allow 8 to 10 minutes). Remove legs with tongs to serving platter. Serve warm with melted butter. Nut crackers or scissors are recommended to harvest the meat.

Alternate Method - Roasting
Spread your crab legs out on a baking sheet pan and place in a per-heated 425° F conventional oven. From thawed about 8 to 10 minutes. Or from frozen about 12 to 15 minutes. Convection ovens - 400° for 5-7 minutes.

How Many Crabs Per Person?

As a rule of thumb, if you have crab lovers we recommend about 1 1/2 pounds per person. If you have some big eaters you might want to go with 2 pounds per person. If you are serving other things with this meal like surf & turf or your guest are not big eaters than you probably would get by with about 1 pound per person.

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How to Serve the Perfect Ham

Choose a Ham

All varieties of ham are either bone-in or boneless. While bone-in hams are traditionally considered more elegant and boneless easier to serve, both types have the same great taste. Bone-in hams are available in a variety of shapes—whole or as a shank or butt half—and typically serve two to three people per pound. This type of ham has superior taste and texture because the natural muscles, fat and bones are undisturbed.

Boneless hams, recognizable by both label and heavy plastic or foil wrapping, keep for several weeks in their original packaging in the refrigerator. A boneless ham will yield roughly four to five servings per pound.

Almost all hams come fully cooked, as noted on the label. If desired, cooked hams can be served directly from the refrigerator without heating. To serve hot, simply unwrap and heat to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boneless Ham

Carving
Cut several long slices off the side. Turn the ham onto its cut surface and slice to the desired thickness.

Serving
Count on four to five servings per pound with a boneless ham. When serving, arrange the slices around the uncut portion of the ham on a platter and garnish platter. Only cut enough ham for immediate needs. The remaining ham stays moist and juicy when left uncut, maintaining the same great flavor every time you go back for seconds.

Bone-In Ham

Carving
Begin carving by placing the ham on its side on a firm cutting surface. Steady the ham with a large fork and cut several long slices off the thin side and turn the ham onto its flat, cut surface. Make perpendicular slices to the leg bone to the desired thickness. To loosen the slices, cut horizontally along the leg bone, removing each slice with the fork.

Serving
When serving a bone-in ham, plan on two to three servings per pound. Arrange the ham slices, separate from the bone, on a serving platter and garnish with fresh fruit or greens. Be sure to wrap the bone and unused ham in plastic wrap and refrigerate for delicious leftovers.

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Seafood Profiles

Mild Flavor & Delicate
Plaice, Smelt, Rainbow Trout & Littleneck Clams

Moderate Flavor & Delicate
Orange Roughy, Ocean Perch

Moderate Flavored & Medium Textured
Atlantic Salmon, Norwegian Salmon, Coho Salmon, Dungeness Crab, King Crab & Blue Mussels

Mild Flavored & Medium Textured
Cod, Haddock, Red Snapper, Tilapia, Turbot & Snow Crab

Full Flavored & Medium Textured
Pacific Salmon

Mild Flavor & Firm Textured
Arctic Char, Catfish, Grouper, Halibut, Monkfish, Wahoo

Moderate Flavored & Firm Textured
Mahi Mahi, Opah, Mako Shark, Yellowfin Tuna

Full Flavored & Firm Textured
Chilean Sea Bass, Blue Marlin, Sockeye Salmon & Bluefin Tuna

For Information on Shrimp, Scallops and Fin Fish

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