In the brilliant turquoise waters around Spanish Wells, Bahamas, where galleons fell into the embrace of Davy Jones’ Locker on the hidden corals of The Devil Backbone Reef, the spiny lobsters hide. Fished for generations by the seamen of this smallest inhabited island in the 700 Islands in the Sun, lobster offers up a delectable dish.
If you care to visit Spanish Wells and buy lobster from the docks, you will have to fly into Nassau, then take a puddle jumper to North Eleuthera where you’ll catch a taxi to the coast and then a water taxi across the channel to the out-island. Trust me though; it’s worth the trip. The lobster doesn’t get any fresher than this. And you’ll find no shortage of coconuts or sour oranges for this sweet marinade. Palm trees line the pink sand beaches of this tiny treasure and sour orange trees, long ago planted by local farmers, have run wild.
When you get to the dock, ask for Chuck. You’ll find him on his 78 foot boat, the Sea Gem. A third generation fisherman, he can tell you the story of the Spanish Wells spiny lobster better than I. Make sure to ask him about the time he drove home from the Great Bahamas Banks in the midst of a hurricane. And after he regales you with his story, make sure to tell him I said, “Hi!”
3-4 spiny lobster tails (also known as craw-fish)
1 cup coconut milk (canned is fine)
½ stick butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 gloves crushed garlic
Juice of one sour orange or two fresh limes
Dash sea salt
Dash fresh ground pepper
1. Using kitchen shears, cut the lobster tails in half length-wise and remove the intestinal tract.
2. In a large skillet, combine coconut milk, butter, onion powder, crushed garlic, sour orange or lime juice, sea salt, and pepper. Warm until butter melts. Remove from heat.
3. Soak lobster tails in marinade, meat side down, for 20-30 minutes.
4. Spray grill with non-stick spray or brush lightly with olive oil and heat to med-low.
5. Grill lobster 3-5 minutes on meat side and then 3-5 minutes on shell side, watching for opacity to go away and color to turn white. Do not over cook.
6. Baste occasionally with ¼ cup of marinade while cooking
7. While lobster is cooking, bring remaining marinade to a boil and reduce by half.
8. Serve grilled lobster with reduced marinade as a dipping sauce.