1. Fresh (or fresh frozen) Lobster Tails - around 1/2 pound per person
2. Italian salad dressing (we like VIVA or ZESTY) - around 8 ounces for 6 tails
3. Minced Garlic - around 2 Teaspoons for 6 tails (can be eliminated from recipe)
4. Additional Spices - Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Onion Powder, Paprika (to taste)
5. Long handled spatula and grilling tongs
6. Sharp, long, wide, flat bladed cooking knife
1. Start by splitting your lobster tails. Place tail upside down with the fin to your left if your right handed
2. Using a wide flat bladed cooking knife, Place tip of knife at halfway point on lobster tail and push straight down til you reach the cutting board. Hold the tip down and firmly rock the back of the knife downward through the hard parts of the shell on the belly side and continue to push until you get to the (back) of the shell.
3. Reposition the knife with the tip at the tail end of the tail and now cut downward through the back portion of the tail and rock the back of the knife downward again until you cut through the back of the shell.(sometimes you may need to lift the knife a few inches and slam the tail downward to get the knife through the shell. (Some people like to keep the tails a a single "Butterfly" piece, and you may like to do this), however, I find I have much better control of cooking the tails if they are individual halves. I can also fit more on the grill this way and we usually "fill the grill".
4. After splitting your tails, find and remove the "vein" or digestive tract and rinse with water. You need to rinse as the tract will often contain sand or grit from the ocean floor which will damage your culinary experience.
5. After splitting and cleaning all of your lobster drain or dry your tails and place them in a gallon sized freezer Zip Lock type bag. It should be a freezer bag so that the sharp edges do not penetrate the walls of the bag and get Italian dressing all over the place.
6. Pour in enough (shaken) Italian Dressing to be able to soak the meat of the tails and then add in your fresh garlic and other spices. Zip up the bag leaving some air inside.
7. Roll the bag full of tails on the counter around and around until all of the spices and salad dressing has mixed and coated the tails. THen it is best to push most of the air out of the bag.
8. After allowing your tails to soak for at least 15 minutes, make sure you have your grill hot & clean ready for the tails. (you can soak them for much longer before cooking them if desired)
9. Temperature of the grill can be low to high depending on: How thick the tails are and how much "black" you like on your meat. I like to cook mine with just a bit of black on the meat (no black on the shell as this smeels and tastes bad). I like to keep mine fairly moist with dressing by occasionally applying it by brush while cooking. Keep grill covered during cooking if you can.
10. Apply tails meat side down at first to sear them allowing the juices to stay within the meat. After a few minutes (depending on the level of heat and the thickness of the tails), turn them and apply more dressing to the meat side. Leave them shell side down for proper period to cook 3/4 done and then turn them again.
11. Shells will (usually but not neccessarily) turn reddish orange and meat will start to turn opaque white. A little transparencey in the meat is ok, but too much means it is not cooked enough and the taste will not be so great. Cooked too much and you will lose much flavor, the meat will become tough and tasteless. For first timers, (or even vetereans) taking off the smallest tail, cutting it open, and tasting it should be done to know when to pull them off. Remember, that tails will continue to cook after removing them, so just a little transparency should be left in the meat when you remove them. You can always put back on the grill to increase the cooking time, but it is impossible to reverse over cooking.
Best sides include:
1. Bahamian Peas & Rice, Rice Pilaf, or Black Beans & Rice
2. Garden Salad
3. Grilled Veggies