My parents used to vacation in the Northeast all the time. And my mum, who barely eats any shellfish, used to eat lobster rolls. I've heard stories about lobster rolls for years, but it was not until I moved to...New York City that I actually tried one. Yes, NYC, not Maine, not anywhere in the Northeast, but New York. Weird right? Well the "clam shack" craze has come to Manhattan. And there are a ton to choose from...Mermaid Inn (my personal fave), Luke's Lobster, Ed's Lobster Bar and numerous others. Lobster rolls are even served on trucks (red hook lobster truck, associated with Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Nauti, associated with Luke's)!
Each time I've gotten a lobster roll, however, I wonder why the heck I'm paying for it. There's nothing really difficult about the recipe...in fact, it is pretty darn easy. The only thing keeping me from making them at home is...lobster screams.
Enter Ardmore Seafood at the Ardmore Farmer's Market. You know what they sell? Pre-cooked lobster tails. PRECOOKED, PRE-KILLED lobsters! Do you know how much this simplifies a recipe that was already pretty darn simple?
Below is the recipe I used to make my lobster rolls. If you don't have access to precooked tails, there are tons of websites dedicated to step-by-step instructions of killing and cooking those little ocean-dwellers. I recommend this one, which even has pictures to ensure you do this correctly.
Lobster rolls in Pennsylvania? Or in a small apartment in Manhattan? The very fabric of my universe has officially changed...
New England Lobster Rolls
(for one sandwich)
1/4 lb. cooked lobster meat
1/4 cup (or so) full-fat mayonnaise
Sprig fresh tarragon
Freshly ground pepper
Hotdog bun (I used regular ones, but for a traditional roll, buy New England-style rolls--they're sliced on the top rather than the side)
1. Make your lobster salad: dice your lobster into bite size pieces. Add mayonnaise and toss. The lobster should be lightly coated in mayo, NOT completely overwhelmed by it (you want that good lobster taste!) Add diced tarragon, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice and continue to toss.
2. Toast your hotdog bun...if you have a top-loading toaster, use that, if not, utilize your oven's broiler. When using a broiler, put the butter on before putting it in the oven...if using a toaster, smear with butter immediately upon taking out. I tried both techniques, and I prefer the broiler (just saying).
3. Put your lobster roll together by adding the lobster salad onto the buttered bun.
my very very stuffed lobster roll, take one. I had a lobster roll Saturday for dinner and also Sunday for lunch. It was a lobster extravaganza!
The second time I used a bit less mayo than the first and I think it turned out a lot better...much more lobster-y!