Storey Publishing will bring out my new book on lobster next spring, so I thought I’d give you, dear readers, a sneak peek at the contents.

I was in the midst of recipe development last fall when good friends John and David invited us to dinner, and I offered to bring along some of the testing results as hors d’oeuvres.

They offered constructive critiques – and then we proceeded to mow them all away before sitting down to their scrumptious grilled pork and ratatouille supper.

POTTED LOBSTER MOUSSE

This creamy mousse is an excellent way to turn a bit of leftover cooked lobster into a simple and delicious appetizer.

“Potted” is an old British culinary term for a method of preserving perishable food (especially seafood) in melted butter, and although these days we have refrigerators and freezers for that purpose, I still like the old name.

Makes four to six appetizer servings.

3/4 cup coarsely chopped cooked lobster meat (3 to 4 ounces – see note)

1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small chunks

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce

3 tablespoons snipped chives

Salt

1 tablespoon melted butter

Chive spears

Pulse lobster meat in a food processor until finely chopped and remove to a bowl; do not wash the processor.

Combine cream cheese, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce in the processor and pulse until well blended. Add lobster; pulse until quite smooth.

Transfer to a bowl, stir in the chives, and season with salt to taste.

Scrape into a ramekin and pour a thin layer of melted butter over to seal.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow flavors to blend. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead.)

Remove from the refrigerator about 2 hours before serving. Garnish with chive spears, and spread onto crackers to serve.

Note: Cook one 1 1/4-pound lobster and remove the meat or buy picked-out meat.

LOBSTER COCKTAILS

Ryan Dorr, a third-generation lobster fisherman out of Stonington, prepares this appetizer as a special treat for his family at Christmastime.

I’ve written the recipe as individual lobster cocktails to serve four, but since Ryan is usually making this for 10 or more, he presents the well-chilled lobster chunks on a bed of ice and hangs halved, trimmed tails over the bowl of spicy cocktail sauce.

Serves four.

Classic Cocktail Sauce:

1/2 cup chili sauce or ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or to taste

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Lobster Cocktail:

12 ounces picked-out lobster meat, tails and claws intact (see note)

1 1/4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

4 lemon slices

Stir together chili sauce, horseradish and lemon juice. Taste and add more horseradish to your preference.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 2 days.

Split lobster tails in half lengthwise and remove vein. Trim the ragged bottoms of four half-tails to resemble jumbo shrimp. Split intact claw meat in half lengthwise to retain its distinctive shape. Cut remaining lobster meat into bite-size chunks.

Chill four stemmed 6-ounce cocktail glasses, such as large martini glasses.

Nestle shredded lettuce in bottoms of glasses and arrange lobster chunks over lettuce with split claw meat on top.

Hang a trimmed lobster tail over the side of each glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill thoroughly.

Place each stemmed glass on a small plate, and pass cocktail sauce for spooning over the lobster.

Note: Cook three 1 1/4-pound lobsters and remove the meat, or purchase cooked intact lobster claws and tails.

LOBSTER QUESADILLAS WITH GUACAMOLE

These quesadillas are a nice light supper or lunch, or can be cut into wedges and served as an hors d’oeuvre.

Use your own favorite guacamole recipe, or buy good quality purchased guacamole and add some extra lime juice.

Serves six.

1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (see note)

1 cup cooked lobster meat, chopped medium-fine (about 5 ounces) (see note)

8 six-inch flour tortillas

About 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Guacamole

Toss cheese and lobster meat together in a bowl. Place four tortillas on a work surface and divide lobster mixture between them, spreading it out evenly. Top with a second tortilla, pressing together firmly.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the quesadillas with oil and cook, in batches if necessary, until cheese melts and tortillas are crisp and golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.

Cut into wedges and serve topped with a spoonful of guacamole.

Note: If you can’t get pepper jack, use plain Monterey jack cheese and add half a finely minced jalapeno pepper.

Cook one 1 1/2-pound lobster and remove the meat, or buy picked-out meat.

 

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “The New England Clam Shack Cookbook” (Storey 2008). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula.