|Today is National Lobster Day.
Where we live, people are crazy for lobster rolls. Just the merest announcement that some small restaurant in a remote neighborhood is serving them, ensures a pilgrimage with lines down the block.
So today’s tip is: Make your own lobster rolls. Make a lobster roll feast an annual family summer event, with iced tea and potato chips. If you can afford enough lobster to invite guests, have them bring the beer and the desserts.
To start you off on the right foot, the great Boston chef Jasper White shares his famous lobster roll recipe with us.
The recipe can be found in his book, “The Summer Shack Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Shore Food.”
Make it an annual event. Photo courtesy W. W. Norton & Company.
|The recipe collection includes 200 easy-to-make classic seafood dishes and non-seafood favorites. We’re particularly fond of the creamy Cape Cod clam chowder and scallops wrapped in smoky bacon.
Chef White also dispenses advice on the proper way to shuck clams, pick apart a lobster and scale a fish. The Summer Shack is Chef White’s casual restaurant mini-chain, with several year-round locations in Massachusetts.
Pick up a copy of the cookbook for yourself or as a house gift for summer weekend hosts.
JASPER WHITE’S CLASSIC MAINE LOBSTER ROLL RECIPE
Making lobster rolls at home is easy and a guaranteed hit with family and guests alike. To properly grill the buns, you’ll need to find real New England style hot dog buns, which are trimmed on the sides so they can be buttered and griddled. If you can’t find them, you can buy slightly oversized buns and trim them with a serrated (bread) knife to create a flat grilling surface.
For this recipe, you will need a mixing bowl for the lobster salad and a 10-inch skillet, preferably heavy cast iron, to grill the buns. If you have paper bun holders (known as hot dog trays), they are quite handy for holding the rolls as you stuff and serve them. You can buy paper hot dog trays online.
You can mix the lobster salad up to 4 hours ahead. Once the lobster salad has been made, creating the lobster rolls is quick and easy.
This recipe serves 4.
A gift idea for summer weekend hosts and
hostesses. Photo courtesy W. W. Norton Company.
4 New England-style hot dog buns (see note above)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 recipe lobster salad (recipe follows)
4 Boston or bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried
4 dill pickle spears
Potato chips (go for the best, like Kettle brand)
1. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Spread each of the hot dog buns with 1 tablespoon butter (half on each side). Place the buttered buns into the hot dry pan and toast without moving, until golden brown on one side, about a minute. Turn and cook the other side, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
|2. Open the buns and place in a paper holder or on a small plate. Place a lettuce leaf on one side of the center, inside the bun. Spoon the lobster salad evenly among them. Serve with pickles, and potato chips on the side.
LOBSTER SALAD RECIPE
1 pound fully cooked lobster meat or 5 pounds live lobsters
1 small to medium cucumber (4 to 5 ounces), peeled, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice
1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise (or your own homemade easy blender mayonnaise)
2 or 3 small scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1. If you are using live lobsters, steam them until fully cooked and then allow to cool to room temperature. Use a cleaver to crack and remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tails.
2. Remove the cartilage from the claws and the intestine from the tails of the cooked meat. Cut the meat into ½ to ¾ inch dice. You may pick all the meat from the carcass and add it to the meat or freeze the carcass for soup or broth.
3. Place the cucumber in a colander for at least 5 minutes to drain the excess liquid.
4. Combine the lobster, cucumber and mayonnaise. If the salad is to be served within the hour, add the scallions. Season with a bit more pepper if needed; it is unlikely that salt will be needed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 2 cups, which serves 4 or 5 for sandwiches or as a light entrée.
If you like more sophisticated flavors, don’t hesitate to build on the recipe. Our favorite additions include:
Finely diced fennel or celery (in addition to flavor and crunch, it stretches the pricey lobster)
Fresh herbs—basil, dill, parsley
Green mayonnaise, with fresh herbs (Julia Child’s recipe)
Heat, via a very small amount of wasabi
Try adding your favorite flavors for a “gourmet” lobster roll.
Order top-quality lobsters online from one of our favorite gourmet food purveyors, used by top chefs nationwide.