12/01/2014 04:39 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST

Lobster three ways: Deviled eggs, cucumber crostini and skewers with tenderloin

While delicious at any time of the year, lobster is ideal to feature during holiday entertaining because it is so versatile.

Matt Dean Pettit, author of "The Great Lobster Cookbook: From Claw to Tail," suggests creating canapes or skewers featuring lobster.

When cooking lobster for use in recipes, shock it in an ice-water bath to prevent overcooking, he says. The meat can be used for tacos, salads, soups or on top of desserts.

Here are three recipes from the book to try.

Lobster Deviled Eggs

Pettit suggests you start prepping this recipe about four hours in advance. The longer you keep the egg whites in the beet juice, the richer and more amazing the dark purple-reddish colour will be. If you're in a hurry, you can buy a jar of sliced beets and soak the egg whites in that liquid instead of roasting whole beets.

6 beets

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

1 live lobster (about 625 g/1 1/4 lb), boiled and meat removed

6 eggs

15 ml (1 tbsp) white vinegar

5 ml (1 tsp) kosher salt

30 ml (2 tbsp) mayonnaise

15 ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard

5 ml (1 tsp) smoked paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 bunch chives, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

In a bowl, toss beets in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 2 hours or until soft. Remove beets from oven and peel while hot. Cut each beet into quarters and set in a bowl of ice water for 2 hours.

Finely chop lobster meat and place in a bowl.

In a heavy 3-l (3-qt) saucepan, cover eggs with 7.5 cm (3 inches) of cold water, then add vinegar and salt. Partially cover saucepan and bring water to a rolling boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process. Let stand for 5 minutes. Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully remove yolks and place in a small bowl. Carefully place whites in beet juice bowl. Mash yolks with back of a fork, and add mayonnaise, mustard and paprika. Stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Place yolk mixture in a food processor and add chopped lobster meat. Blend until smooth.

Place lobster-egg mixture in a piping bag or a small sealable plastic bag with one bottom corner snipped off. Pipe some lobster-egg mixture into each egg-white half. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.


Dana's Lobster Cucumber Crostini

Almost as easy as 1, 2, 3. This is the ultimate versatile dish: perfect for a dinner party appetizer or a snack on the couch with a beer in hand. It's best served cold.

45 ml (3 tbsp) Sriracha Mayo (recipe follows)

1 live lobster (about 625 g/1 1/4 lb), boiled and meat removed, or 2 fresh frozen lobster tails, baked and meat removed

1 lemon

10 ml (2 tsp) Old Bay Seasoning or your favourite seafood seasoning

1 English cucumber

Prepare Sriracha Mayo.

Chop lobster meat into chunks and place in a medium bowl. Squeeze lemon over lobster to cover it in juice, then sprinkle with seafood seasoning. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and no more than 6 hours, as the citrus will cook the lobster meat.

Meanwhile, cut cucumber into 1-cm (1/2-inch) thick slices and place in refrigerator to keep cold.

When ready to serve, place cold cucumber pieces on a serving plate and top each one with lobster meat.

Garnish with a drizzle of Sriracha Mayo.

Makes 6 servings.


Sriracha Mayo

30 ml (2 tbsp) sriracha sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon

30 ml (2 tbsp) mayonnaise

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine sriracha sauce with lemon juice and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Makes about 50 ml (1/4 cup).


Lobster and Tenderloin Skewers

The ultimate surf 'n' turf. Make these for your next dinner party to give your guests the best of both worlds. You can use any colour of pepper and other vegetables such as onions and even grill the lemon for an additional burst of flavour. Pettit recommends pairing these skewers with baked potatoes loaded with bacon, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and green onions.

2 fresh frozen lobster tails, parboiled and meat removed

30 ml (2 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil

15 ml (1 tbsp) red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

250 g (8 oz) beef tenderloin

1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) smoked paprika

Vegetable or canola oil

If using wooden skewers, place in cold water to soak for at least 1 hour before you plan to serve dinner. (If you want to make these often, Pettit suggests you buy metal skewers. Not only will you always have skewers on hand, you will also be able to skip the wooden skewer soaking stage.)

Cut lobster tail meat pieces into large cubes and place in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil and red wine vinegar with lemon juice and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and whisk together. Set aside.

Cut beef tenderloin into large cubes, roughly the same size as lobster meat, and place in marinade. Add lobster meat, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to marinate.

Preheat grill to medium heat (around 180 C/350 F).

Spike a piece of beef on a skewer, followed by a cube of lobster meat and then a piece of bell pepper. Continue in this way until skewer is full, then sprinkle with smoked paprika. Repeat with remaining skewers until all the meat has been used.

While grill is warming, season grate with a little oil to ensure meat does not stick. Grill skewers for 3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Watch carefully to ensure they don't burn. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: "The Great Lobster Cookbook: From Claw to Tail" by Matt Dean Pettit (Appetite by Random House, 2014).