While we were in Boston, we ate lobsters at every opportunity. Lobster rolls, lobster bisque, lobster salad and, the best of all, boiled lobsters with a dipping sauce made with champagne.
Every time I eat lobster, my first lobster memories come up. My Dad was a Naval aviator, and to keep up his flying hours when he was assigned to duty in the Pentagon (he always hated that), he would check out an airplane and fly to some remote destination to stay in practice.
One memorable time, he flew from Anacostia Field in Washington, DC to Maine and came home with a basket full of lobsters nestled in seaweed. In those days, the largest claws were pegged at the hinge to keep them from pinching but the smaller claws often were unpegged so the lobsters came out of the basket wildly flapping their tails and snapping their claws in an impressive threat display. Sadly, it didn't work for them - they were popped green into boiling water and emerged bright red and delicious just a few minutes later.
This trip, we ate equally lively lobsters with My Beloved's brother and his wife in their home on Cape Cod. In their dreamy kitchen, they boiled an enormous pot of water and served the lobsters simply with nutcrackers and picks at each place, along with a bowl of champagne dipping sauce.
The sauce is lovely - it is lighter than drawn butter but still rich enough to complement the sweet lobster meat. I recommend you try it next time you are lucky enough to find lobsters on your plate. I'm going to try it with Dungeness crab as soon as our local season opens.
Champagne Dipping Sauce
1 bottle of dry champagne (use an inexpensive but drinkable brand)
Leafy tops of 3 ribs of celery
3 shallots, minced
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
Salt and pepper
Bring champagne, celery tops and shallots to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes. Removed and discard celery. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm. Serves at least 4 and perhaps 6-8.