March 22, 2010

Lobster Roll

2 lobsters' worth of meat (3 cups, chopped)
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

New England style rolls (split top)

Toss the celery and lobster, together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk mayo, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the lobster and celery and stir until the lobster is lightly coated. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes. Melt a bit of butter in a skillet and lightly toast the rolls on either side. Generously fill with lobster.

Yield: 6 lobster rolls

My thoughts:
Unfortunately our trips this year do not include a visit to the lobster roll epicenter, Maine. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a lobster roll. We bought a couple of lobsters (and since the store offered, let them steam them since we knew we'd be eating them cold anyway) and I tried to get as much meat out of them as possible, my years of crab practice really paid off. Lobsters are so much easier! I was sort of tempted to buy the (cheaper) lobster tail but I am glad I went for the whole lobster, the meat was juicy and claw meat was super sweet. A welcome addition to the mix. The trick to the lobster roll is not overwhelming the lobster. I wanted to add some zip so I decided on using the subtle tarragon vinegar and a splash of lemon juice to thin out the mayo without being overpowering. I was excited to find the "New England style rolls" at Wegmans last week, while technically you could use hot dog rolls, these rolls were perfect. The sides toasted up wonderfully and they weren't as deeply split as hot dog rolls are so they really support the lobster. I hate when you bite into a sandwich and the filling falls out. Not a problem with these lobster rolls. They are crisp and slightly buttery and warm and super lobster-y. The perfect sandwich to ease you into spring.

Note: Since lobsters are pretty pricey I decided to stretch them even further by making lobster stock. I added the shells, any juices I could save, a sliced lemon, 2 onions (cut up), 3 carrots, a bunch of limp celery, parsley stems and a couple of shallots (cut up) to a big (lobster) pot of water and cooked it until a bunch evaporated. Then I divided up in 2 and 4 cup portions and froze it for future use. It will be great in risotto or any sort of seafood dish.