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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might be starting to panic. You’ve decided to skip restaurant reservations and host dinner at home this year, but you have no idea where to begin. On the one hand, you want to pamper your valentine and make her feel extra special. On the other hand, you’re concerned you’ll pick the wrong flowers, burn the cookies or forget the champagne.
Take a deep breath – we’re here to help and tell you that you can pull off Valentine’s Day and enjoy the day with your significant other. Even if you have zero cooking skills, you can make a delicious romantic dinner in the most intimate setting you can think of – home sweet home.
- Easy Valentine’s Day Dinner
- Medium Skill Valentine’s Day Dinner
- Fancy/Skilled Valentine’s Day Dinner
- Romantic Dessert Ideas
- Valentine’s Drinks to Serve
At home, you can make the atmosphere as romantic as you desire, and you can enjoy each other’s company however you wish. Also, you get to choose the menu and how you want to express your love and admiration. A home-cooked meal is the ultimate way to show your effort and thoughtfulness, which is what really counts on this special day.
In this Valentine’s Day dining guide, we’ll help you get started. We’ll share dinner ideas for every skill level, from easy yet impressive meals to ultra-fancy meals. Either way, we’re excited to help you plan the perfect Valentine’s Day date.
Planning the Perfect Valentine’s Day Date
Before we begin, it’s important to note that no matter how simple the meal is going to be, you must prepare. Preparation is key to a happy and romantic Valentine’s Day. Here are a few tips to help you consider the essential details.
1. Serve Hors D’Oeuvres
Offer your honey something to snack on while you prepare dinner. This shows you thought of her comfort level, and it sets the stage for the rest of the evening. Treat your other half to succulent Valentine’s Day scallops like our Applewood Smoked Bacon Wrapped Scallops, or our mouthwatering Lobster Cocktail Claws. Another Valentine’s day classic is oysters. You can serve oysters raw with a special rosé mignonette dressing, or you can bake them by following this Easy Butter and Herb Baked Oysters recipe.
2. Prepare as Much as You Can Ahead of Time
Something your other half will want for Valentine’s Day is your attention. Try to keep the romance going and avoid being in the kitchen all day. Dice, slice and cook what you can in advance, so you’ll have more time to cuddle with your sweetheart between courses. Also, read your recipes so you can ensure you have all the necessary ingredients, cooking tools and time to make the meals right.
3. Plan the Details
Consider how you want to create a romantic mood at your home. For example, you might decorate the dinner table with fresh flowers, candles and an elegant tablecloth. Also, think about how music can add to the experience. The small details will make your date feel adored.
4. Know What She Likes
Not every date wants roses and chocolate for Valentine’s Day, so it helps to know what your significant other likes. What foods does she love? Does she have a sweet tooth and would be disappointed if there was no dessert? Even if her favorite meal is less-than-fancy, if she loves it, that’s what counts.
If your relationship is just beginning to bloom and you’re not sure what food your date likes, don’t be afraid to ask. Talk to her about it, and you can both plan a meal you’ll love sharing together.
5. Plan to Keep It Balanced
You might imagine cooking the most extravagant appetizer, main course and dessert for your valentine. If so, you may already feel exhausted. There is no need to go overboard. Instead, focus on featuring one shining star of the meal. For example, say you want to make a romantic lobster dinner for your loved one. In such a case, the lobster will steal the show, and you won’t need to offer other magnificent dishes. You can serve a simple salad as a side for example, and keep the focus on the main event.
6. Don’t Forget the Drinks and Desserts
Make sure your romantic dinner is complete with drinks that enhance the mood and flavors of the meal. Fish and seafood pair well with white wine and champagne. For instance, you might pair riesling or pinot grigio with a lobster dinner. If you plan to serve up steak for your honey, you’ll want to go with red wine. In general, white wines go well with light-colored foods, and red wines pair best with dark-colored foods. When in doubt, go with champagne which works with a range of flavors.
If your other half prefers beer, you have plenty of options. For example, you can pair briny oysters with malty stouts, balance sweet scallops with bitter India pale ales or savor rich lobster meat with Belgian tripels.
Lastly, make sure your meal ends on a sweet note. Dessert can be as simple as chocolate-covered strawberries, as long as it’s there waiting to be devoured. To choose dessert, determine if your valentine is a chocolate lover, or prefers lighter fruity flavors. There are endless desserts to create or buy.
Ready to make your grocery list? Let’s look at recipes for every level of chef, whether you want something simple yet scrumptious, something in the middle sure to impress or a fancy meal you’d find at a five-star restaurant.
Here are simple recipes that just about anyone can whip up a home. Don’t let the simplicity fool you – these dishes are sure to shine and impress your loved one.
1. Lobster Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is classic comfort food, and a great way to show your love, especially if your date adores anything cheesy. Adding lobster to this toasted favorite amplifies the flavor and makes it worthy of a Valentine’s Day meal. To make Lobster Grilled Cheese, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 8 slices country-style bread
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 8 large slices sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 pound cooked fresh lobster meat
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon and chives, chopped (optional)
To make the sandwiches, chop the lobster meat into 1/2-inch pieces and set the meat aside. Butter one side of each slice of bread with butter. Flip the bread over and layer the unbuttered sides with a slice of cheese, lobster meat, fresh herbs and another slice of cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread with the buttered side facing up.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwiches in batches. Cook each sandwich until it is golden brown on both sides, for about three to five minutes on each side. Slice in half and serve immediately.
You might pair these warm, velvety sandwiches with a light, crisp arugula salad. Try this easy Arugula with Apples and Walnuts recipe to make the perfect side to this simple yet impressive meal. If you want to take the meal to extraordinary heights, serve the sandwiches with a side of heavenly soup like our creamy lobster bisque.
2. Avocado Lobster Rolls With Lime Mayo
Why not set up a romantic indoor picnic and enjoy savory Valentine’s Day lobster rolls? If your sweetheart has always wanted to try a genuine Maine lobster roll, show her you’ve been listening to her all this time. This Avocado Lobster Roll with Lime Mayo recipe only takes minutes to make, so you’ll have plenty of time left over to pamper your darling. To get started, you’ll need:
- 1 pound cooked fresh lobster claw meat
- Lobster roll buns
- 8 ounces mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 6 strips of bacon or bacon bits
- 2 ripe avocados
- Salt and pepper
First, prepare the lime mayo. To make the lime mayo, add the mayonnaise to a mixing bowl and stir in the lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare the lobster meat, cut the lobster into smaller pieces. Slice the avocados or mash them, whichever you prefer.
Butter the outside of the lobster roll buns and brown on both sides in a frying pan heated to medium. Open the lobster rolls buns and add the lime mayo, avocado, bacon and the lobster meat. Voilà – your lobster rolls are ready to enjoy. Consider serving the lobster rolls with classic clam chowder, veggies fries or crunchy, foolproof potato chips. To simplify the process even further, consider ordering one of our lobster roll kits and save yourself a trip to the grocery store.
3. Baked Haddock
If your other half loves a satisfying piece of fresh, flaky fish, consider trying our Baked Haddock recipe. Baked Haddock is a Maine staple, and this recipe is very easy to make. You’ll need to following ingredients:
- 1 pound haddock
- 1 sleeve crackers, crushed
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 fresh lemon
- 8 ounces crab meat (optional)
To make baked haddock, heat the oven to 350 F. Clean and dry the haddock.
Place the fish in a 9-by-11 pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt, and squeeze about 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice over the haddock. Mix the crushed crackers and crab meat with the melted butter. Spread the mixture over the top of the haddock.
Bake the haddock for 20 to 25 minutes on the top rack or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish from the oven, let it sit for a minute or two, and then serve.
You can serve many different sides with baked haddock, but here are a few ideas to make your loved one feel like they are dining in a seaside restaurant:
- Roasted asparagus
- Mashed or baked potatoes
- Steamed broccoli
- Caesar salad
4. Mussels in White Wine and Garlic
Mussels are very easy and quick to prepare, yet make a luxurious and highly romantic dish. Our Mussels in White Wine and Garlic recipe takes minutes to make. You’ll need:
- 4 pounds Maine mussels
- 4 cups dry white wine
- 8 large shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
To prepare the mussels, first, rinse and scrub the mussels under cold running water. Using your finger, remove and discard the beards or the strings that hang from the mussels’ shells.
In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the shallots for two to three minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the wine, garlic and salt. Next, add the mussels and cook them for five minutes or until the mussels are open. Stir in the parsley and extra butter if desired. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with the broth.
Make sure to serve the mussels with a baguette for soaking up the yummy broth. You might also make warm, buttery biscuits using this easy Baking Powder Biscuits for Two recipe, or serve the mussels with a delicate frisee salad and Pilsner beer.
The following Valentine’s Day dinner ideas are slightly more involved than the above recipes but are still simple enough to tackle on your own. Most importantly, they are delicious, indulgent and sure to impress.
1. Lobster Fettuccine
What could be more delectable than a creamy pasta dish balanced with bright lemony flavors and chunks of tender lobster meat? Imagine a table set with soft candlelight, crystal stemware and steaming plates of lobster fettuccine. If your mouth is watering, consider our Lobster Fettuccine with Lemon Crème Sauce recipe. This pasta dish looks, tastes and sounds fancy but is simple to make. You’ll need:
- 1 pound fettuccine pasta
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, torn from a roll
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound cooked fresh lobster meat
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 stick salted butter, divided
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, from 2 lemons
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper
To make this recipe, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Save a 1/2 cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and toss the pasta with 3 tablespoons of butter.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until lightly toasted, for about eight to 10 minutes. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl and set it aside.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft, for about two to three minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring it to a simmer for about three to four minutes. Whisk in the pasta water and lemon zest. Cook for about three to fourminutes until the mixture slightly thickens. Mix in the lobster meat. Cook until the meat is heated through, for about two minutes.
Add the mixture to the pot of cooked pasta. Add the lemon juice, parsley, thyme and basil and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with breadcrumbs and extra herbs if you wish. Enjoy this dish immediately.
Lobster fettuccine is a rich dish, so you might serve it with a light green salad or steamed broccoli. Try tossing mixed greens with a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing for a side dish.
2. Lobster and Scallop Scampi
Do you want to make your date fall in love? Follow our Lobster and Scallop Scampi recipe to serve up something irresistible. To get started, you’ll need:
- 1 pound cooked fresh lobster meat
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper oil or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 16 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Box of pasta of your choice
To make lobster and scallop scampi, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Melt the butter and olive oil over low heat in a large pan. Add the garlic and brown slightly over medium heat. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and wine. Simmer for five minutes.
Add the lemon juice, lobster and scallops. Cook until the meat is heated through. Serve over the cooked pasta.
You can use any pasta you wish, however, we recommend linguine or angel hair pasta. To increase the overall deliciousness, you might top each serving with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve with a light salad or steamed veggies.
3. Lobster Mac and Cheese
If your significant other’s dream date revolves around cheese, and if she loves seafood, you can’t go wrong with lobster mac and cheese. Lobster mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and bound to make any date feel truly adored. To make this Lobster Mac and Cheeserecipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 16 ounces heavy cream
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1 pound cooked lobster meat, chopped
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
To get started, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta eight to 10 minutes – do not overcook.
In a double boiler, combine all the cheeses and heat until blended. Gradually add cream, and stir until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté. Mix in the lobster meat.
Add the lobster mixture, cheese sauce, and salt and pepper to the cooked pasta. Mix all the ingredients well. Place the mixture in a casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for six to eight minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Do you want to cook delicious lobster mac and cheese for your valentine but feel intimidated by the process? Order our Lobster Mac and Cheese to save yourself time and trouble, and to enjoy an award-winning dish. It’s sure to bring you lots of post-dinner hugs and kisses.
Do you want to show your sweetheart that you’d serve her the moon and the stars if you could? The following meal ideas are divine and reminiscent of a fancy restaurant. If you plan to go all out with a classy meal, make sure to remember the elegant details like candles and attractive dishware. You might even create a menu to add to the atmosphere. Are you feeling overwhelmed? These following recipes are easier than you might think. Remember, it’s not about perfection – it’s about the romance.
1. Lobster and Boursin Cheese Ravioli
Imagine your date’s face when you tell her you prepared lobster and Boursin cheese ravioli. Are her eyebrows raised with pleasant surprise? Perhaps you’ve never heard of Boursin cheese, but it’s likely you’ve passed this cheese at the supermarket a few times. In case you’re wondering, Boursin combines Gournay cheese, herbs and spices and is the secret ingredient in this romantic dish. To make our Lobster and Boursin Cheese Ravioli, you’ll need:
- One 5.2-ounce package of Boursin cheese
- 1 pound fresh lobster meat, cooked
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/3 plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 64 wonton wrappers
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 vine tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- Parchment paper
To make the filling, put the Boursin cheese, lobster meat, salt and pepper, parsley, lemon zest and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse in the food processor until the ingredients are well-combined and the lobster is finely chopped. Prepare a clean, flat work surface and a small bowl of water. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dab water around the edge of the wrapper with your finger before covering with a second wrapper. Press firmly to create a tight seal between wrappers. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat to make 32 ravioli.
Boil a large pot of salted water and add ravioli in batches. Cook for about three minutes until the ravioli float to the top. Place the ravioli in a dish and drizzle them with olive oil to keep them from sticking to each other. Set aside a 1/2 cup of pasta water.
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and sliced garlic for about two minutes. Add the pasta water and the chopped tomatoes. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, for about eight minutes. Remove the pan from heat, and toss the arugula until it wilts. Top with the basil then salt and pepper to taste. Add this sauce to the ravioli and serve.
Serve the ravioli with a crisp white wine like pinot grigio, and save room for dessert.
2. Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington is a classic, elegant dish and features a moist beef filet wrapped in a buttery pastry. If your date prefers beef over lobster and likes mushrooms, you might treat her to this exquisite dish. It takes a little more courage to conquer beef Wellington, but it isn’t out of reach. You’ll need to prepare some of the ingredients the day before, which can save you time on the big day. This Individual Beef Wellington recipe spells it out in simple steps. You’ll need the following ingredients to get started:
- Four 4-ounce filets of beef
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 tablespoons brandy
- 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
- One 4-ounce can liver pâté
For the mushroom sauce you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 6 large mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup red wine
- One 10.5-ounce can beef broth, undiluted
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the pastry you’ll need:
- 6 pastry shells, defrosted, or pastry dough
- 1 egg, beaten
- Small heart-shaped cookie cutter (optional)
To make beef Wellington, you’ll first need to prepare the beef. Rub each filet with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté the filets in butter three to four minutes on each side. Pour the brandy over the filets. Remove the filets and chill.
Using the same skillet, sauté the chopped mushrooms. Remove mushrooms and chill. Once the mushrooms have chilled, mix the pâté with the mushrooms. Spread the mixture over the top of the filets and refrigerate.
On Valentine’s Day, complete the recipe at dinnertime. To make the mushroom sauce, combine the onion and sliced mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat. Stir in the flour. Gradually add the wine, bay leaf and beef broth. Stir until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
To prepare the pastry, roll out the pastry shells and trim into four 6-inch squares. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
Place each filet, pâté side down, on the pastry shells. Fold the dough completely over the filets and seal the edges with butter. Place each filet with the seam facing down on a greased, rimmed baking sheet. Brush each pastry shell with the egg again. If you want to add heart-shaped pieces of dough to the top of each filet, use a cookie cutter to form hearts from the excess dough and attach the hearts with the egg. Bake at 425 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is browned. Serve with the mushroom sauce.
Because beef Wellington is such a hearty dish in itself, you don’t need to serve it with too many sides. You might pair each filet with roasted carrots or whip up buttery pommes Anna if you want to be traditional. However, you may only need to serve beef Wellington with a bottle of red wine or pinot noir, and decadent chocolate mousse for dessert.
3. Surf and Turf for Two
Are you torn between the surf and the turf? Why not enjoy both with your date on Valentine’s Day? Surf and turf is a classic combination where the best of both worlds get together and celebrate on your plate. It’s not too difficult to prepare either. Let this Surf and Turf Steak and Lobster Tail for Two recipe be your guide. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Two 14-ounce rib-eye steaks
- Two 4-ounce lobster tails
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 425 F. Rinse the lobster tails, pat them dry and place them on a baking sheet. Pat the steaks dry, season them with salt and pepper and set them aside. In a small bowl, mix the butter, lemon juice, garlic powder, and parsley, and set it aside.
Using kitchen shears, cut the lobster shells down the center to the base, and do not cut through the base. With a spoon, separate the lobster from the shell. Slightly open the shell, grab the lobster meat and pull it up and over the shell. Squeeze the shell back together. This will form a pillowy mound of lobster meat on top of the shell for a fancy presentation. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture and brush it on the lobster meat. Place the lobster in the oven on a middle rack and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the meat is firm and opaque, but not rubbery.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium oven-safe skillet. Add the steaks and sear for two minutes on each side. Place the steaks in the oven and cook for four to five minutes for rare to medium-rare doneness. Remove the steaks from the oven and let them rest for five minutes.
When both the lobster tails and steak are done, top each with slabs of the butter mixture and serve immediately.
You might serve this romantic meal with a simple, refreshing side salad like this fennel, grapefruit and arugula salad. Or, you can choose our Surf and Turf Tail Dinner which includes everything you need to have a luxurious lobster dinner at home. Our dinner also includes two 16-ounce containers of clam chowder and two scrumptious chocolate whoopie pies for dessert. Serve surf and turf with both red and white wine to enhance all the flavors of the meal.
After enjoying an impressive dinner with your honey, move to a room with comfortable seating to relax with a luscious dessert and a glass of champagne or port. You might present an assorted box of truffles from a chocolatier. Ask your date to close their eyes and feed them a truffle to guess what’s inside. Or, you might serve one of the following indulgent delights to win your date’s affection:
- Try Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies if your valentine adores the marriage of chocolate and peanut butter.
- To combine chocolate and romantic red wine, make Chocolate Red-Wine Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing.
- For a comforting classic, surprise your date with a blueberry pie from Maine.
- If your valentine prefers white chocolate, treat them to Raspberry-Topped White Chocolate Mousse.
- If you’re serving up real Maine lobster, stick with the theme and offer soft chocolate whoopie pies for dessert.
- To give your loved one intensely rich brownies, try this Red Velvet Brownies with Oreo Truffle Topping recipe.
- Satisfy an adventurous palate with this Ginger-Lime Truffles recipe.
- To serve an easy-to-make aphrodisiac dessert, try Nutella-Stuffed Strawberries.
- Have fun all evening with simple Spiced Chocolate Fondue for dipping apples, shortbread cookies or other treats.
- For the perfect ending to a fancy meal, try this Cherries Poached in Red Wine with Mascarpone Cream recipe.
Besides wine or champagne, here are a few creative Valentine’s Day cocktails to add a romantic, playful ambiance to a thoughtful meal:
- Edible rose petals and rosé champagne make this Rosy Champagne Slushie extra special.
- Using passionfruit and pomegranate, try this goddess-inspired cocktail named the Aphrodisiac Margarita.
- Pair a delectable lobster dinner with Lobster Bloody Mary drinks.
- Kick off date night right with fun and festive Vodka Oyster Shooters.
- The seductive Between the Sheets cocktail combines ingredients including brandy, rum and lemon juice.
- Try this Passion Cocktail recipe which makes just enough for two.
You could also make your own cocktail and name it after your date – what could be sweeter?
Enjoy a Valentine’s Day Celebration With Maine Lobster Now
The best Valentine’s Day gift you can give is your thought and effort. A fresh lobster dinner doesn’t hurt either. At Maine Lobster Now, we have all the components you need to romance your valentine with fresh, delicious seafood from Maine’s coast. We offer indulgent treats from tantalizing appetizers and sides to live lobsters caught wild by local suppliers. We also offer complete meal kits to save you time and ensure your Valentine’s Day dinner sails smoothly. All of our products are shipped overnight from Maine in insulated packaging and come with easy preparation instructions. To place your Valentine’s Day order, schedule a delivery today or contact us for more information!
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Are you planning a special lobster dinner but don’t know what sides to serve? There’s no need to worry – when it comes to lobster sides, less is more. The lobster will be the shining centerpiece of the meal, and the side dishes should enhance the lobster’s rich, sweet flavor. In other words, a sumptuous lobster dinner can be uncomplicated and thrown together with little time and effort.
12 dishes and sides you can pair with lobster:
- Steamed clams or mussels
- Potato Salad
- Pasta Salad
- Fresh salad
- Clam Chowder
- Corn on or off the cob
- Mac and cheese
- Cheesy biscuits
- Crusty loaf of bread (or similar)
- Veggie Fries
Maine lobster is commonly served with boiled corn on the cob, potatoes and a side of melted butter. Nevertheless, you can still have fun making a complete feast with a variety of simple sides. Let’s look at the best side dishes for different occasions, sure to transport you and your guests to the rocky shores of Maine.
Traditional Sides for a Romantic Lobster Dinner
Lobster has long been associated with luxury and is the perfect dish for spoiling your loved one. Here are classic lobster sides to set a romantic mood any day of the year:
Lobster and butter represent the ideal marriage — they complement each other perfectly. Butter brings out lobster’s sweet side, and they work together to create a creamy, delectable mouthfeel. You could easily serve a simple side of melted butter and make your date smile. However, if you wish to spice things up, you can serve lobster drizzled with Thermidor butter for smooth, savory flavor that highlights a lobster’s best qualities.
To make Thermidor butter, you’ll need a few ingredients including dry white wine, a shallot, Dijon mustard, butter, tarragon, paprika and parsley. After you boil and simmer the wine and shallot, whip the rest of the ingredients together and spoon the buttery sauce over cooked lobster. You can grill the lobster for a few minutes until the butter begins to brown. Either way, your date is sure to fall in love.
You could also serve lobster with clarified butter. Clarified butter is butter without milk proteins and water, leaving you with almost completely pure butterfat. To make clarified butter, you’ll first need to melt unsalted butter in a saucepan and allow it to come to a gentle boil. As the butter boils, the foamy milk proteins will sink to the bottom, and the water will burn off. Once the bubbling comes to an end, you’ll pour the melted butter through cheesecloth or a coffee filter. You’ll be left with sweet golden clarified butter, ready for a lobster bath.
2. Light Fresh Salad
A light, refreshing salad pairs well with lobster tails because it adds zing without stealing the limelight. A salad is also a good choice if you want to save room for dessert like a traditional whoopie pie.
Consider serving lobster with a garlicky, lemony Caesar salad to heighten the flavors. To make an impressive Caesar salad dressing, you’ll need anchovies, garlic cloves, egg yolks, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, olive oil and plenty of Parmesan cheese. You’ll mash the anchovies and garlic into a paste, and whisk in the other ingredients. Using crisp whole leaves of romaine lettuce, toss the ingredients together and top with Parmesan cheese and croutons. You can make your own croutons by tossing torn bread pieces in olive oil and baking them until golden.
For something a little different, but equally light and tasty, consider throwing together an easy shaved asparagus salad with homemade Parmesan dressing. You’ll only need to shave raw asparagus into a bowl using a vegetable peeler. In a separate bowl, mix grated Parmesan with lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of warm water. Toss the asparagus with the dressing, season with salt and black pepper, and enjoy a classy lobster tail side.
3. Steamed Mussels or Clams
One of the best lobster tail sides is more seafood, especially if you’re trying to win someone’s heart. Steamed mussels with garlic and white wine will make your date feel pampered from head to belly, without overpowering the main course. To make the mussels, you’ll only need to heat olive oil, butter, shallots and crushed red pepper flakes in a large pot for a few minutes. Next, you’ll add mussels, dry white wine, and parsley, cooking them for a few more minutes until the mussels are ready and a sweet seafood perfume has filled the air.
You might also dine like a Maine native and pair your lobster with steamers, or steamed Maine clams. Complete your journey to seafood paradise with a loaf of fresh, crusty bread.
Grab your champagne flutes when you set the table because nothing says romance like sparkling wine and lobster. A glass of bubbly is highly versatile and pairs well with just about any main course. However, the driest champagne works best with lobster and seafood dishes. If you prefer wine, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of crisp Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc.
Best Side Dishes for a Family Lobster Meal
Despite lobster’s rich flavor and reputation as a delicacy, lobster can also make a healthy, casual meal for the family. Plus, kids get the chance to play with their food — everybody wins.
Celebrate family dinnertime with these comforting and satisfying lobster sides dishes the entire family will love.
1. Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a popular lobster side because it’s filling, buttery and adds to the delicate lobster flavor. Try a simple, classic mac and cheese recipe made with milk, butter, flour and sharp cheddar cheese. Or, you might mix cooked lobster meat with mac and cheese to make it easy for little ones to dig in. For lobster mac and cheese, use silky mascarpone and sharp cheddar.
Want to keep things as simple as possible? Order our mouthwatering Lobster Mac and Cheese made with three different kinds of cheese, panko breadcrumbs and succulent lobster meat.
2. Pasta Salad
Another way to fill up hungry bellies around the table is to serve a refreshing and hearty pasta salad alongside lobster. Try pasta salad mixed with plenty of nutritious veggies and a bright lemon dressing. You can make a pasta salad easily using any vegetables you wish and a simple homemade dressing. For example, you might toss in a rainbow of colors like sweet red peppers, zucchini and carrots. For an easy lemon dressing, mix garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard and seasoning.
This Lemon Basil Pasta Salad combines grilled zucchini, red onion, bell peppers and a creamy green dressing made of blended basil, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss the ingredients with penne pasta or stick with a seaside theme and make the kids smile with pasta shells.
3. Cheesy Biscuits
Imagine breaking open a warm, fluffy biscuit filled with gooey golden cheese. Now imagine being served a freshly cooked lobster. What could be better? Just about everyone loves buttery, cheesy biscuits, and they go great with seafood.
Even if you’re not much of a baker, you can still make biscuits easily and in short time as the perfect lobster side dish. For example, these easy, cheesy biscuits take less than a half hour to make and involve a few basic ingredients you might already have on hand.
Easy Lobster Side Dishes
There are plenty of options when it comes to making fast lobster side dishes. The following sides can be whipped up in almost no time and work amazingly well with lobster for any occasion.
Coleslaw is a classic lobster side dish. It’s crunchy, light, slightly sweet and peppery, and it can be prepared quickly and easily. A zesty citrus coleslaw works best with rich lobster flavor. Consider making coleslaw dressed in orange juice, lime, oil, sugar and salt. Mix in veggies like a red bell pepper, green onion and toss in cilantro. If you want a little heat, you can add a minced jalapeño — just make sure to wear gloves!
To change things up, considering serving lobster with easy-to-make fennel slaw.
2. Corn on the Cob
If lobster and butter got married, corn on the cob would be the best man. That’s because corn on the cob and lobster have a lot in common. First, corn is a bit sweet and loves to take a butter bath just like lobster. Second, corn on the cob and lobster are both so much fun to eat.
With corn on the cob, you can be inventive and add all kinds of toppings or seasonings to make it more exciting. It’s easy to prepare and great for a casual dinner with friends or family. You could even boil the corn in the same pot with the lobsters, just as they do in Maine.
The traditional way to cook corn is to boil it in a large pot of salted water for about three to five minutes. You can also microwave corn, left in their husks, on high power for four to six minutes. If the weather is nice, toss the corn on the grill for a smoky flavor.
Serving corn on the cob with butter is enough to make a crowd happy, but you can also place a variety of toppings on the table to add to the experience. For example, dinner guests can smear herbed goat cheese over fresh hot corn, or brush grilled corn with pesto and grated Parmesan cheese for a lobster-friendly side.
Are you short on time and need a lobster side quick? Consider stopping at a local supermarket or bakery and picking up a crusty loaf of bread. You can choose any bread you wish but aim to pick a loaf that is high quality, tough on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. For example, you might choose a baguette, ciabatta or sourdough bread. Try to buy bread the day you plan to use it, and if possible, avoid pre-sliced bread to keep it fresh longer.
If you wish to serve the bread warm, you can pop the whole loaf in the oven directly on the rack. Cover the top of the loaf with foil to prevent burning or moisten the loaf with a small amount of water. For heavy bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake it for about 15 minutes. For light bread, like a baguette, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and warm it for about 10 minutes.
Also, consider serving cornbread — another classic seafood side dish. Cornbread is relatively easy to make and doesn’t take too much time. Using a few basic ingredients, you can have a fresh pan of cornbread on the table in about a half hour.
Lobster Sides for Lobster Rolls
If you plan on dishing up lobster rolls, you might be wondering what to use as a side since the lobster meat will be served on a split-top bun. If you use our complete Lobster Roll Kit, you’ll also get crunchy kettle-cooked potato chips so you won’t have to worry about a thing. Lobster rolls are often served with chips and a pickle, however, here are some sides to turn this New England specialty into a full, hearty meal.
1. Clam Chowder
A cup of velvety clam chowder completes a traditional lobster roll meal. To make New England clam chowder, you’ll need clams, potatoes, heavy cream and celery. Or, you can save time and try our fresh Clam Chowder for a real taste of Maine. We also recommend our Shrimp and Corn Chowder, and Maine Crab and Sweet Potato Bisque for belly-warming lobster roll sides.
2. Veggie Fries
There’s nothing wrong with pairing a lobster roll with classic french fries, chips or even tater tots. However, if you want to try something different, consider serving other veggie sides like zucchini fries or carrot chips. To make zucchini fries, you’ll need breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs and zucchini. You’ll dip the zucchini strips into whisked eggs, then the breadcrumb-cheese mixture, and bake for about 20 minutes.
Sweet, crispy carrot chips are a yummy alternative to potato chips and are easy to make. To make carrot chips, you’ll only need to slice carrots, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and spread the chips onto a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the chips are brown and crispy.
3. Potato Salad
A summery, lemony potato salad tastes delicious with lobster rolls any time of the year. Try this Lemon-Dijon Potato Salad recipe which features lemon zest, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, honey, celery and olive oil. It’s equally delightful served warm or chilled.
Make Dinner With Fresh Maine Lobster
A fresh lobster dinner is a sure way to treat your friends, family or anyone you love to an unforgettable meal. Keep in mind that the lobster will be the main attraction, so there is no need to stress the details. Whether you are the host or guest, you can relax and enjoy the rich, delicately sweet flavors of Maine lobster.
At Maine Lobster Now, we make it possible to enjoy fresh Maine lobster no matter where you live in the country. We offer everything you need to experience the treasures of Maine’s coast delivered directly to your doorstep. From live lobsters to melt-in-your-mouth crab cakes, we have all the goodies to complete a traditional Maine feast.
You’ll taste the quality when you bite into our hand-selected lobsters caught by local fishermen and sent directly to you. All of our products are shipped overnight in insulated packaging to ensure freshness and come with easy instructions to help you make your lobster dinner a success. To enjoy a delectable lobster feast you can only find in Maine, purchase a superior lobster dinner today!
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Lobsters, crab, fish, coral, turtles and other aquatic animals enrich New England waters, and for New England residents, life on the northeastern coast revolves around the sea — whether it’s having a friend who works at a fishery, having a regular appetite for delectable crustacean dishes, enjoying the sound of crashing waves or waiting for the next sailing adventure. The ocean is a center that many benefit from and many depend on.
Increasing shifts in sea surface temperatures alter this thriving area’s sea life. Lobstermen, marine biologists and residents of the region have noticed the ebb and flow of species in smaller pockets of the New England coast and in the overall region, and one thing is certain — temperature and sea level differences matter.
The temperature of the sea has been dutifully and reliably tracked since the mid-19th century. Since then, New England has been under close watch by scientists and continues to hold the attention of those interested in the climate and sea life. Because marine animals do react strongly to disruptions in their habitats and those organisms are so vital to New England’s structure and sustainability, efforts to understand the temperature patterns are worthwhile.
A Look at History: Are Temperatures Really Changing in New England?
Historical temperature patterns in New England have been measured and evaluated closely. However, the last century contains the most well-documented information available to us, and this data reflects a pattern of change. Ocean surface temperature measurements at two New England locations — Boothbay Harbor, Maine and Woods Hole, Massachusetts — show an overall temperature increase in the coastal climate.
Several factors have influenced the ecosystem around New England, including the typical atmospheric pressure fluctuations — or the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the presence of extensive carbon dioxide and air and water temperatures. The shifts in the strengths of what are known as the Icelandic Low and the Azores High in the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf results in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Essentially, sea level pressure responds to the movement and strengthening of pressure cells in this area.
The NAO’s nature yields positive and negative shifts that alter the state of New England and its neighboring area. A positive shift means wetter and warmer conditions for the New England coast, and a negative shift results in the opposite. In the 2000s, the NAO has been positive, and this means warmer temperatures have dominated the New England area. A positive NAO does not necessarily mean sea life is in a positive predicament, however. This is not isolated to the 2000s, either — in the past century, warmer temperatures have persisted in this specific region.
Air and water temperatures in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay demonstrate these higher temperatures. This region’s water and air has warmed by 2.5-3.0°F since 1960.
According to a National Climate Assessment, heat waves and an increase of wintertime storms and rain will occur in the New England area. The following years are expected to show seasonal changes and rising sea levels. However, spurts of negative NAO also are present in historical temperature records, and these drier, colder spans also alter ocean life.
But how do rising or falling temperatures make a difference for sea life in New England?
What Impacts Do Rising Temperatures Have?
The environmental significance of higher temperatures is in the rising of the sea level, flooding, stronger storms and warmer ocean temperatures. However, these changes also cause sea life to make drastic alterations in habitat or in their survival habits. Some species are showing these changes as lobster, crab and various fish are finding new homes in alternate waters.
Because many kinds of marine life thrive in a particular climate, they will react to rising temperatures by moving to different locations or suffering from the inability to relocate. The food chain will show the gaps that relocation will force because certain organisms may not find their main food source nearby any longer. Species populations will undoubtedly fluctuate if rising temperatures cause further redistribution.
Here’s a look at how temperatures changes have affected a few different marine animals:
Several types of fish have either declined in their typical habitats, along with their food sources, or they have transitioned to new locations that are either further north on the coast or in deeper segments of the ocean. A variety of Atlantic cod, and its favorite zooplankton, formerly frequented Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine. In recent years, the prey and predator populations have dropped.
Other fish with reduced populations include Acadian redfish, thorny skate and groundfish. The majority of fish in the Northeast U.S. Shelf are moving further northeast, and even a few southern fish are moving into New England. Billfishes and certain kinds of tunas could also shift northward, although this has not occurred yet. Yellowtail flounder, Atlantic croaker, American shad, red hake and alewife are a few of the fish climbing the coastline to cooler waters.
But unexpectedly, some New England fish are heading south. The reasons that fish are shifting southward are a bit of a mystery, but little skate, Adult spiny dogfish and offshore hake have taken to warmer waters. Atlantic mackerel and butterfish have turned to the Mid-Atlantic Bight and moved closer to the shore rather than seeking the depths or journeying up the coast.
2. Lobsters and Crabs
Lobsters in more south-reaching areas of New England have developed weaker systems and buckled under illnesses as a result of high temperatures. A shell disease correlates to high temperatures, and 35.52 percent of lobsters in southern New England were suffering from this condition at the highest point. Lobsters are beginning to stop growing at a smaller size, and the warmer climate has compromised their reproduction. Long Island Sound has lost a significant portion of lobsters, pushing the lobster population north into Maine waters.
Crabs are also transitioning to colder areas, and blue crabs have left Chesapeake Bay for Maine’s chillier gulf. Blue crabs are also a primary predator, and their dispersal from lower New England estuaries and lagoons has shaken the food chain they were once involved in. They are not limited to colder temperatures but have inhabited many places in North and South America. Yet the climate change has pushed them northward still. Interestingly, snow crabs have even become more prosperous in Newfoundland.
Carbon dioxide, a closely connected factor to rising temperatures, causes acid build up in oceans, harming coral. Deep coral, rather than coral reefs, flourish in New England waters. However, debilitating coral bleaching from warm water leaves these organisms brittle. They struggle to heal and rebuild in continuously higher temperatures. Their survival is linked to certain fish, and both fish and coral suffer during coral bleaching. Bottom trawling can also decimate deep coral.
What Impacts Are Falling Temperatures Having?
While rising temperatures seem to be the current trend in New England, falling temperatures also occur and have a viable effect on the environment and nature of marine life. Negative NAO causes ocean levels to decrease, cooling temperatures to become prominent and drier conditions to prevail.
Cold-water coral is abundant in Maine’s waters, and due to the influx of fish, lobster and crab in Maine, the coral is likely to become a protective tool for more species. Cooling temperatures would also provide coral with the chance to repair their exteriors from recent bleaching. The deep coral found in New England are in less danger than shallow coral to be harmed by low sea levels. However, if sea levels reached the point of exposing coral on the northeast coast, bleaching could occur from excessive sunlight exposure despite a cooler climate.
Lobsters are extremely sensitive to temperature, and dips in temperature can also harm them. They require body heat from other sources outside themselves. Normally, this thermal receptiveness keeps them in cooler water — temperatures that are too warm can lead to disease and stunted growth. On the flip side, temperatures that are too cold also have a negative effect. Below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, growth slows. But, at as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, lobsters continue to reproduce despite the slowed growth.
Stone crabs found in the ocean have more difficulty transitioning into colder temperatures, but given a gradual time period, they eventually adapt to cooler habitats. Blue crabs are able to quickly adopt new and cooler climates because their usual habitats are estuaries with rapid, short-lived turnovers.
A decrease in rainfall, and in turn, sea level, increases the salinity of various bodies of water — such as estuaries, bays and the ocean — which injures fish populations. A fall in temperature is connected to a decrease in storms but also fresh water from rainfall. Saltwater would infringe on fresh water sources, leaving fresh water fish with no place to live. The multiple bays of New England would be altered along with the inhabitants of estuaries.
Fishermen and Lobstermen
Fishermen and lobstermen must make similar decisions to predators when their biggest sellers relocate or decline — follow the fish, lobsters or crab to their new habitat or pick a more abundant target and adjust their capturing techniques. Help from authorities is also available in some areas with new standards for lobster, crab and fish sizes or plans to alter carbon emissions and other environmental impacts.
Many fishermen must pick a new type of fish to target, as southern New England fish introduce themselves into cooler waters. Fishery wars ensue, and competitions between regions become tenser as the climate changes. It is difficult to keep quotas in check and updated to match the population increases and decreases along the northeast coast.
Lobstermen in southern New England are catching smaller lobsters or ones with shell sicknesses. In fact, fishermen are picking up an excess of these infant lobsters who have been eaten by fish — they’re seeing the lobsters in the fishes’ stomachs. Sea bass, especially striped or black, is an alternative in the locations where lobster once thrived. As of 2017, only 35 lobstermen in Massachusetts retained their fishing permits. These permits allowed them to catch the remaining lobster between Nantucket Sound and Long Island Sound.
As fishermen adapt to the new species of fish in their waters, they must find the best techniques to catch unfamiliar marine life. New equipment also complicates the shift from one kind of fish to another or from lobster to fish. Preparing fishermen and lobstermen to target a new species has sparked many programs and training classes.
Fisheries, a source of income and an anchor for many New England communities, must also alter their nature. This restructures communities and has the power to revitalize declining communities.
However, some lobstermen relocate to their catch’s new point of abundance — Maine. Other fishermen must move even farther north, and depending on whether or not the climate pattern persists, their journey could continue. Fish tend to move toward the poles, but even these wriggly organisms have a limit.
A proposal to alter southern New England lobster size restrictions and amounts was rejected. The hope was that less activity in the waters would allow the lobster population to recover. Even proposals to nurture and propel lobster egg production have been attempted. Lobstermen in these areas are largely unemployed and without a new approach or new regulations.
Impact of Temperature Change on Quality of Seafood
The primary effect of climate alterations on seafood in New England depends on location. The warmer areas of the Northeast U.S. Shelf produce smaller kinds of many fish species, lobster and crab. The maturity of the seafood is consistent in many cases, but with more modestly-sized adult fish and crustaceans.
Upper New England seafood is larger and in more abundance, so the quality of fish in this area is richer and meatier. Regularity in climate and environment also produces a plentiful growth rate and more hearty seafood, especially in mussels.
Even the food that fish feed on react to warmer temperatures and an unstable setting. If the climate continues to compromise these resources, fish may lose their healthy qualities and taste.
Maine Lobster Now
Marine life is facing many challenges with shifts in temperatures, sea levels and uncertain ecosystems. The seafood industry is also attempting to stay current on best practices and how to provide for their seafood-loving customers. While many New England locations are struggling due to the migration of fish to cooler waters, Maine is booming with ocean life and producing delicious seafood for your table.
The haul of lobster in Maine in 2016 was 132 million pounds, significantly dwarfing their previous catches. Lobsters and other sea life are currently enjoying the cooler waters of Maine and the upper New England coast, making this area a notable source of seafood.
Maine Lobster Now has first-hand access to Maine’s abundance of fish, lobster, crab, shellfish, scallops and more. We purchase the finest lobsters from Maine fishermen and send them directly to you.
New England seafood ships to your door with our exceptional service and delivery. For those outside of Maine craving rich fish or succulent lobster, shop our selections from the comfort of your home. Fresh, quality products, perfect for your event or special meal, are only a few clicks away. Browse our selection, order your favorites and dig into a hearty seafood meal straight from Maine.
Crab is a rich and sweet meat — the best sides complement crab without overpowering it. Here are a handful of the best crab side dishes: Steamed Artichokes with Garlic and Butter Cottage-Cut French Fries Roasted Brussels Sprouts Lemon and Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce Brandy-Infused […]