Easy Baked Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter Recipe

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine the rich, succulent flavors of lobster tail, enhanced with the golden touch of garlic butter, all baked to perfection. That’s exactly what we’re diving into today. Baked lobster tails with garlic butter is a luxurious dish that’s surprisingly easy to make at home. It’s a perfect choice for a special occasion or when you’re looking to treat yourself and your loved ones to an exquisite dining experience.

Ingredients

To create this indulgent, sophisticated dish right at home, you’ll need some specific, high-quality ingredients. Each component plays a crucial role in delivering the rich flavors that make baked lobster tails with garlic butter a memorable meal.

Lobster Tails

  • 4 fresh or frozen lobster tails (about 8 ounces each), fully thawed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Garlic Butter Mixture

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Required Tools and Equipment

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable cooking experience while preparing our Baked Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter, having the right tools and equipment is as crucial as the ingredients themselves. Let’s delve into the essentials you’ll need to bring this decadent dish to life.

Kitchen Shears

First on our list are kitchen shears. These are indispensable for cutting through the lobster tail shells. You’ll want a strong, sharp pair to make a clean cut without damaging the delicate meat inside.

Baking Sheet

A sturdy baking sheet comes next. This will serve as the platform on which your lobster tails will be transformed under the oven’s heat. Opt for one that distributes heat evenly for perfectly baked lobster tails every time.

Small Bowl

A small bowl is necessary for mixing the garlic butter sauce. It’s the magical concoction that imparts rich, buttery flavors with a hint of garlic to your lobster tails.

Pastry Brush

To evenly coat your lobster tails with the delicious garlic butter sauce, you’ll need a pastry brush. This tool ensures that every nook and cranny of the lobster tails is covered, infusing them with flavor and moisture.

Meat Thermometer

Lastly, a meat thermometer is essential to guarantee your lobster tails are cooked to perfection. Lobster meat should reach an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat and deliciously tender.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing a luxurious meal like baked lobster tails with garlic butter doesn’t have to be a last-minute rush. With our make-ahead instructions, you can enjoy every bit of the elegance and flavor without the stress. Here’s how to get a head start on this sophisticated dining experience.

Preparing the Lobster Tails

You can prepare the lobster tails a day in advance to save time. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut through the top of the lobster shell then gently pry the shell open to expose the meat. Carefully loosen the lobster meat from the shell, keeping it attached at the tail end. This technique is called ‘butterflying’, which not only makes for a stunning presentation but also allows for even cooking and easy flavor infusion. Place the butterflied lobster tails on a tray, cover them with cling wrap, and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. This preparation step ensures that your lobster tails are ready to be seasoned and baked with minimal effort on the day of serving.

Preparing the Garlic Butter Sauce

The garlic butter sauce is the heart of this dish, infusing the lobster with rich, aromatic flavors. You can easily prepare this sauce in advance. Simply melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until it’s fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, being careful not to let it brown. Remove it from the heat, then stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice and your choice of herbs and spices. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate. Before using, gently reheat the garlic butter sauce until it’s melted and easy to brush over your lobster tails. Preparing the sauce ahead of time not only marries the flavors more deeply but also streamlines the cooking process.

Storing and Final Touches

If you’ve prepared both the lobster tails and the garlic butter sauce ahead of time, storing them properly is key. Keep the lobster tails covered on the tray or in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The garlic butter sauce should also be refrigerated in its airtight container. When you’re ready to cook, simply preheat your oven, arrange your pre-prepped lobster tails on the baking sheet, and give them a generous brushing with the melted garlic butter sauce. Bake as instructed, and you’ll have deliciously succulent baked lobster tails ready to impress.

Prepping the Lobster Tails

Getting your lobster tails ready for that luxurious baked treat begins with a few key steps. Let’s ensure they are perfectly prepped to soak up all the flavors of our delicious garlic butter sauce.

Thawing

Start the process by properly thawing the lobster tails if they’re frozen. To do this, place them in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you plan to cook them. This slow thawing method ensures that the lobster meat remains tender and juicy, avoiding any toughness that can occur from rapid thawing. If you’re in a pinch for time, you can also submerge the sealed lobster tails in cold water for a couple of hours, changing the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold. However, the refrigerator method is definitely our recommended approach for the best texture and flavor.

Cleaning

Once thawed, the next step is to clean the lobster tails. Start by rinsing them under cold water to wash away any ice glaze or debris. Next, using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, carefully snip away any visible grit or shards of shell. It’s important to remove the intestinal tract, which runs along the center of the tail. You can do this by making a shallow cut along the top of the tail to expose the tract, then gently pulling it out. Cleaning the lobster tails not only helps in achieving a more appetizing presentation but also ensures there are no bits of shell or grit to interfere with the enjoyment of your sumptuous dish.

Butterfly Cutting

Butterflying the lobster tails is a simple yet crucial step for ensuring they cook evenly and present beautifully on the plate. First, use kitchen shears to cut lengthwise through the center of the top shell, stopping just before the tail fin. Be careful not to cut into the meat. Then, gently spread the shell open. With a knife, make a slit along the middle of the meat, being careful not to cut all the way through. Lift the meat through the slit you’ve made, resting it on top of the shell. This not only makes for a striking presentation but also allows our savory garlic butter sauce to better permeate the meat, promising a flavor-packed bite every time.

Preparing the Garlic Butter

After ensuring our lobster tails are prepped and ready to soak up all the delicious flavors we’re about to introduce, it’s time to focus on the star accompaniment of our dish: the garlic butter. This rich, aromatic sauce will elevate the baked lobster tails from merely good to utterly sublime. Here’s how we make it:

Ingredients for Garlic Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melting the Butter

Start by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. It’s important to keep an eye on the butter to ensure it melts evenly without browning. As soon as it’s fully melted, we’ll lower the heat to medium-low.

Infusing the Garlic

With the butter melted, we add in the finely minced garlic. Stirring frequently, we cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes until it’s fragrant but not browned. It’s this gentle cooking that infuses the butter with a deep, sweet garlic flavor, ensuring our lobster tails will be nothing short of sensational.

Adding Flavor Enhancements

Next, off the heat, we stir in the fresh parsley, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes if using. These ingredients add layers of flavor— the parsley offers a fresh, herby note, the lemon juice a bright zing, and the red pepper flakes a hint of heat that complements the sweetness of the lobster perfectly.

Seasoning

The final step in our garlic butter preparation involves seasoning it with salt and pepper. We do this last to ensure the flavors have melded together, allowing us to accurately gauge how much seasoning is needed. After stirring in our seasonings, we give it a final taste test to make sure it’s just right.

And there you have it: rich, flavorful garlic butter ready to be drizzled over our baked lobster tails. Next, we’ll walk you through how to perfectly apply this buttery goodness to ensure every bite is as luxurious as the last.

Directions

After preparing your lobster tails and garlic butter, let’s move on to cooking. We’ll guide you through each step, ensuring your lobster tails come out perfectly baked and flavored.

Preheating the Oven

First, let’s get our oven ready. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). This is the optimal temperature to cook the lobster tails evenly without drying them out. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle position for the best heat distribution.

Seasoning the Lobster

While the oven is preheating, it’s time to season our prepared lobster tails. Place the butterflied lobster tails on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for an easy cleanup. Drizzle the lobsters generously with the previously prepared garlic butter, ensuring you cover both the meat and the shell. This will not only add flavor but also help keep the meat moist and tender during the baking process. Then, sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper over each tail. If you like a bit of heat, a dash of smoked paprika can be a lovely addition here.

Baking the Lobster Tails

Once your oven is preheated and lobster tails seasoned, bake them in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. The exact time can vary depending on the size of your lobster tails. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C) when checked with a thermometer and for the shells to turn bright red. The meat should be opaque and lightly firm to the touch. Basting the tails with more garlic butter halfway through can add more richness and flavor.

Optional: Broiling for Crispness

For those who love a slightly crispy, golden top on their lobster tails, broiling is a fantastic option. After baking, switch your oven setting to broil, and move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven. Broil the lobster tails for 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to prevent burning. This step will quickly crisp up the top layer of the meat, adding a delightful texture contrast to the tender juiciness of the lobster below.

Assemble and Serve

Once the lobster tails are beautifully baked, it’s time to assemble and serve this elegant dish. Let’s add the final touches that will elevate the presentation and flavor.

Adding Garnishes

To add a splash of color and a hint of freshness to our baked lobster tails, we sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the top. A squeeze of lemon juice not only brightens the dish but also enhances the lobster’s natural flavors. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes can introduce a subtle warmth. Arrange thin lemon slices around the lobster tails for a visually appealing garnish that invites diners to add extra lemon to their taste.

Serving Suggestions

Our baked lobster tails with garlic butter are best served hot, straight from the oven, to ensure the butter remains melted and flavorful. Plate each lobster tail on a warm dinner plate, drizzling any remaining garlic butter sauce over the top for extra richness. Pair with a side of steamed asparagus or sautéed spinach for a balanced meal. A glass of chilled Chardonnay complements the succulent lobster meat and rich garlic butter perfectly, rounding off a truly luxurious dining experience. Whether for a special occasion or a lavish weekend treat, this dish promises to impress and satisfy.

Conclusion

We’ve walked through the delightful journey of making baked lobster tails with garlic butter, a dish that promises to elevate any dining table with its luxurious flair. From the initial prep to the final garnish, we’ve shared our secrets to ensuring each bite is as sumptuous as it is visually appealing. Remember, the beauty of this dish lies not just in its exquisite taste but also in the simplicity of its preparation. Whether you’re planning a special dinner or just want to treat yourself, these lobster tails are sure to impress. So go ahead, give it a try and watch as your kitchen turns into the finest seafood restaurant, all from the comfort of your home. Here’s to a dining experience that’s as rewarding to make as it is to savor. Cheers!

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