I never had a true lobster roll until a recent trip to Maine to visit one of my best friends from college. She married a Mainah (aka Mainer) and he showed me the way his family makes lobster rolls. In my first bite, I literally gasped. I have not had a lobster roll that good at any restaurant, truck, or lobster shack across the US. Why? The secret is to eat it while the roll is sizzling hot right out of the skillet. That combination of textures - crunchy, buttery, hot roll with the creamy, cold lobster salad...It was a moment my taste buds will never forget. I know lobster can be expensive, but I promise you, these rolls are the worth the splurge: refreshing, indulgent and completely evocative of summer in a way so few foods can be.
Makes 6 lobster rolls
4 lobsters (each 1.25 lbs)
3 ribs celery
2 tbsp mayonnaise
salt & pepper, to taste
6 top-split, white-bread hot dog buns
room temperature butter (for toasting buns)
lemon wedges (optional)
STEAMED LOBSTER RECIPE
1. In the largest pot you own, put no more than 3/4" of water. Add 1 tbsp salt.
2. Place over high heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add in a couple of lobsters at a time, pausing briefly after each addition to avoid losing the boil.
3. When the lobsters look bright red, try to bend a lobster antenna in half. If it snaps cleanly with a pop, then the lobsters are done. Remove lobsters from the pot and let cool until you can work with them easily.
LOBSTER ROLL RECIPE
1. Remove the lobster meat. Bend the tail backward and twist it to separate it from the body. Crack the shells using lobster / crab crackers, kitchen shears, or give them a whack with a mallet or the back of a heavy knife. Once you've separated the lobsters into sections, get to work peeling off the shells. (Now would be a good time for a podcast or some tunes). Separate the meat into two bowls, one for claws/knuckles and one for tails. When you’re assembling the lobster roll, you’ll want a little bit of each to get a variety of textures and flavors of the lobster.
2. Rough chop the meat (about 1/2 -1 inch) and place back in the bowls, being sure to keep the tails separate from the claws/knuckles. A rough chop makes it easier to eat but still provides texture, as well as more surface area for mayo coverage.
3. Dice the celery and add to the bowls.
4. Add 1 tbsp of mayo to each bowl. You want just enough mayo to bind everything together. Toss and taste. Add some salt and pepper.
5. Spread some butter on the sides of the rolls and place in a hot skillet (low-medium heat). Gently toast (about 5 minutes total) until they turn an even golden brown. The key to the perfect lobster roll bun is low, slow cooking.
6. Once the buns are toasted, fill them up with lobster salad, being sure to include some of the tail pieces and knuckle/claw pieces in each roll. Optional: Top with a little squeeze of lemon juice.
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Farm to Table Family focuses on bringing people together through tasty, healthy, and beautiful foods. The recipes are modern takes on traditional favorites inspired by the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients.
Music by Winona Wilde
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