Linda Gassenheimer with Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless

Feb 11, 2016

02/11/16 - 1:30pm - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman interview with Celebrity Chef, Rick Bayless, famous for his  authentic Mexican cuisine, a winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, his PBS series Mexico One Plate at a Time and his award-winning Frontera Grill in Chicago.  He also has 4 other restaurants.  He gives us tips for some hot and spicy Valentine’s dinners. 

~~Dinner in Minutes~~

A Valentine Special - Grilled Lobster Tail with Black Bean and Rice Salad

Succulent Florida lobster is in season and is an elegant, simple dinner special enough for Valentine’s Day or for any day of the week.  This lobster is also known as spiny lobster or spiny crawfish.  Unlike Maine lobster it doesn’t have claws.  The large tail provides the meat.  Buy it fresh or frozen and grill or broil it.

Black Beans and Rice is a Latin dish that has become mainstream throughout the States.  For this quick dinner, I made it into a salad that can be eaten warm or at room temperature.



2 Florida lobster tails (spiny lobster) 10 ounces each

2 tablespoons sherry

1 teaspoon butter

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 small garlic cloves, crushed

Split the hard side of the tail with a sharp knife or poultry shears.  Butterfly the lobster in its shell by slitting the meat in half lengthwise, cutting to the other side of the shell, but not through it.  Spread out the shell.  Sprinkle the meat with sherry.  Mix the butter, oil and garlic together and spread over the meat.  Place on the grill or on a baking tray under the broiler with the meat side up.  Cover the lobster with foil.  Cook until the meat is opaque, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes 2 servings.


1/2 cup long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons low-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1 tablespoon frozen chopped onion

1 small garlic cove, crushed

1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil.  Add the rice and boil 10 minutes.  Drain in a colander and run cold water through the rice.  Mix the dressing, onion and garlic together in a salad bowl.  Add the rice and black beans. Toss well.  Add the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again. Makes 2 servings.

 Nutrition InformationGRILLED LOBSTER TAIL: Per serving: 241 calories (30 percent from fat), 8.0 g fat (1.8 g saturated, 3.9 g monounsaturated), 167 mg cholesterol, 32.0 g protein, 3.8 g carbohydrates, 0.1 g fiber, 13 mg sodium. BLACK BEAN AND RICE SALAD: Per serving: 320 calories (8 percent from fat), 2.9 g fat (0.4 g saturated, 0.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 11.2 g protein, 61.8 g carbohydrates, 5.9 g fiber, 72 mg sodium.Shopping List

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 2 Florida lobster tails (spiny lobster) 10 ounces each, 1 small bottle dry sherry, 1 small can black beans, 1 package frozen chopped onion and 1 package cilantro.

Staples: Butter, canola oil, garlic, long-grain white rice, low-fat oil and vinegar dressing, salt and black peppercorns.

Helpful Hints

  • Ask the seafood department to split the lobster tail for you.
  • If you prefer, substitute any firm fish, shrimp or crab for the lobster.
  • Parsley can be substituted for the cilantro.
  • Red kidney beans can be substituted for black beans.
  • A quick way to chop cilantro is to snip the leaves with a scissors.


  • Preheat grill or broiler.
  • Start rice.
  • Prepare lobster.
  • Make salad.
  • Grill lobster.

Copyright © Linda Gassenheimer

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 20 books including her newest, The Flavors of the Florida Keys and Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.  Follow Linda on Twitter: @LGassenheimer, Facebook: Linda Gassenheimer