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Lobster Rolls, Summer, Woohoo!

So it’s Memorial Day, which means it’s okay to talk about lobster rolls. Lobsters are available year-round, alive, throughout the United States. So why does summer get all of the lobster roll action? We think any time is the best time for gratuitous lobster consumption, wallet-permitting. Tax refunds come in spring, after all! Still, we can’t bring ourselves to break the seasonality taboo on our blog when it comes to this delectable treat. We will ponder this further as we scarf down a few with a cold glass of rosé in hand.

Lobster Rolls
4 sandwiches

West coasters should feel free to celebrate Dungeness crab season by substituting 2 cups of crabmeat for the lobster.

Place in a large heavy pot enough water so the lobsters will be completely covered when you plunge them in. Add for each quart of water:
     1 tablespoon salt
Bring water to a rolling boil. Carefully immerse:
     Two 1½-pound lobsters or one 2½ to 3-pound lobster
Allow the water to return to a boil, then reduce the heat at once and simmer the lobsters, until they are bright red; about 5 minutes for 1½-pound lobsters, 7 to 8 minutes for a 2½ to 3-pound lobster. Drain, let cool, and crack the claws and tail with the back of a heavy knife. Remove the lobster meat with a pick or skewer, removing any bits of shell. You should have about 2 cups of meat. Combine the lobster meat with:
     2/3 cup finely diced celery
     (1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves)
     2 tablespoons chopped parsley
     1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
     Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Stir in:
     about 3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, aioli, or melted butter
Set aside. Split along the top (but not all the way through):
     4 hot dog buns or brioche or challah rolls
In a large skillet, melt over medium-low heat:
     3 tablespoons butter
Place the buns on their sides in the pan (slit facing sideways) and move them around the pan to distribute the butter. Weigh the buns down with another skillet and griddle them for 5 minutes on each side, or until dark brown.
While they are still warm, fill the buns with the lobster and serve garnished with:
     Lemon wedges



Justin Caudill's picture

Loved the recipe, all until I discovered that you would suggest the use of HOT DOG BUNS....instead of a airy, crunchy deli hoagie roll from your local bakery. Is this the assumption based on the fact that I would spend all of my money on quality lobster and not on respectable deli bread?.. Next time you want to use the words garnish and hot dog buns in a sentence, come over for my family reunion where we throw down on the grill.
john's picture

Ha! Point taken Justin! It must be said, not all hot dog buns are created equal. The main reason we phrased it that way is because it seems that most East-coast lobster roll fans prefer a vary particular kind of bun: Martin's Long Potato Rolls ( Though they might look normal in our picture, I did class-up the proceedings when we tested and photographed this recipe with some buns from a local bakery that uses a buttery, eggy brioche dough ( They were very tasty, and lived up to the expensive lobster filling. Regardless of quality, the key is to do the top-cut so they function sort of like taco shells or pitas. PS: you can garnish anything! I don't care how low-brow! Steak'ums, Manwichs, gas-station hot dogs, Frito pie... all are as garnish-appropriate as the finest Maine lobster (most probably need garnishing more urgently, and in greater quantity!).

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