I have always loved the idea of lobster rolls and today I found the perfect recipe – it is quite amazing what a few well chosen ingredients can produce. These splendid rolls are simple in flavour (without the chaos too many ingredients can bring) and they taste sensational.
Getting the right ingredients is very important – the rolls must be soft so they absorb the butter, the mayonnaise should be lightly flavoured so it doesn’t smother the taste of the lobster meat and lobsters, of course, should be fresh. As you can see I couldn’t get my hands on any New England style hot dog buns but I did find some rolls called ‘specialty brioche lobster roll buns’ – not ideal but they are what I had to work with.
Whether you live in Maine or not, Lobster Rolls are quintessential Summer fare. I can picture myself eating these at some sort of beach shack – my toes would be in the sand and I might even have an ice cold beer to wash them down with, I would be feeling sunned up and totally relaxed after spending a day by the ocean…
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup dry white wine
1 large onion, halved
2 celery stalks
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
3 x 1.5 pound live lobster (Maine lobsters are the best)
4 New England style hot dog buns (top split if possible) or regular hot dog buns
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted & divided
1 1/3 cups very thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
2 shallots (scallions) thinly sliced
Hungarian paprika for dusting
Place egg yolks in a small metal bowl. Whisk in lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the simmering water to tough the bottom of the bowl); whisk constantly until the yolk mixture is very thick, 2 – 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over the water and very gradually mix in the oil and then the mustard. Season mayonnaise with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and chill.
Fill and very large pot with 12 quarts of water. Add wine, onion, celery and thyme. Bring to boil over a high heat and mix in 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt. Add lobsters head first, cover and cook until water returns to the boil, checking occasionally – this should take 8 – 9 minutes. Uncover the pot and cook until the lobsters are cooked through, 1 – 2 minutes longer.
Using tongs, transfer the lobsters to a large rimmed baking sheet. Let stand until cool enough to handle, around 20 minutes. Twist the tails off the bodies and using kitchen shears, cut along each side of the ridged membrane on the underside of the tails, lift the membrane and pull out the lobster tail meat. Cut tails in half lengthways and then crosswise into 1 inch chunks. Place tail meat into a bowl.
Twist claws and knuckles off the lobster bodies. Using a hammer or a mallet, crack claws and pull the meat out and add to bowl with tail meat. Repeat with the knuckles, cutting the shell lengthways in half and dicing the meat. Add to the bowl, cover and chill.
Add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (or more to taste) to the lobster meat, stir to coat. Season lobster salad with salt and pepper. Brush the sides of the buns with the melted butter (if you are using regular hot dogs buns, open gently, leaving attached and brush insides with melted butter). Place them in a grill and toast until golden brown and crisp.
Arrange buns on a plate and line each with lettuce (evenly divided), top each with lobster salad, a sprinkle of the shallots and a dash of paprika.
Notes: The original recipe called for the buns to be brushed with melted butter and lightly fried on a skillet – I chose to grill mine because I feel like I have more control over the process.
Source: Adapted from Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck via Bon Appetit
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.