Growing up in the South, I didn’t eat a lot of lobster. Shrimp and crab? Sure. But not lobster. The first time I ate a whole lobster was my senior year of high school on a family trip to Massachusetts. I took one butter-drenched bite and realized what I had been missing. Today I’m sharing a simple summer lunch and table setting, featuring Ina Garten's lobster corn chowder, which is a delicious way to incorporate lobster into your cooking. Served with a salad, this soup makes the perfect lunch. It would also be a delicious starter for a more substantial dinner.
Above: lobsters were harmed in the making of this chowder
Ina’s recipe starts with cooked lobsters in their shells. She mentions buying them precooked from her local seafood shop. I was unable to find a store that sells cooked lobsters in Atlanta, so I just purchased live lobsters and cooked them myself. For three 1 1/2 pound lobsters, bring water in a large stockpot to a rolling boil, add 2 Tbs. salt, all three lobsters, and boil for 12 minutes, or until a meat thermometer in the tail reads 140 degrees. Once the lobsters are cool enough to handle, proceed with the recipe as written. You make a stock with the shells, corn cobs, and milk. Simmer away for 30 minutes, then strain out all the bits and pieces. Add in the potatoes, cooked lobster, bacon, and chives and it’s ready to be enjoyed.
Get the Recipe: The Barefoot Contessa's Lobster Corn Chowder
For a salad, serve Ina Garten’s Cape Cod chopped salad. I made this for our Easter lunch (shown in this post). It was such a hit with my family, I decided to serve it again. Crisp arugula is topped with blue cheese, cranberries, apples, walnuts, and a citrus vinaigrette. I left out the bacon, thinking that it would be overkill with the bacon in the chowder (although my brother informed me that you can never have too much bacon - ha!).
Get the Recipe: The Barefoot Contessa's Cape Cod Chopped Salad
Pick up some fresh bread from your local bakery and you've got a simple summer lunch.
Get the Look:
I think it's fun to set the table even when serving a simple lunch. I served the chowder in Spode Blue Italian jumbo cups. To balance out the vibrant blue china, I kept the rest of the table simple with flax and white striped linen napkins and some white hydrangeas, which I placed in drinking glasses.
Thanks for reading!