“Summertime…..and the living is easy….”. My friends, Summer is my favorite of all seasons. It’s when everything is in bloom, in season, pools, beaches, swimming, lounging outside, Summer is my season. The foods of Summer reflect its heat and sunshine. Tomatoes, corn, Watermelon just to name a few are some of the reasons I love summer’s food so much. There’s one American sandwich that is the epitome of Summer for me. The American Lobster Roll. Now please, this is not a blog that entertains the silly “my style is better than your style” nonsense. How can you say they are not ALL GOOD??? Succulent North Atlantic Steamed Lobster meat, coarsely chopped and given a bath of warm butter or a light coating of Mayonnaise lovingly piled into a Top Split New England style Hot Dog Bun. The bun is toasted on its sides in more butter. Maine, Connecticut, they all have their “styles”. I suggest you try them all. Why does one have to “win”? However I’m most partial to the lightly mayo’d one, but would be happy with the warm butter as well. I generally make them in the more Maine style. With a touch of Mayo. There used to be no “green” involved if it were to be called a Maine Lobster Roll but only a few months ago I was up in Kennebunkport (A Lobster Roll and Maine Seafood Central) and in two different spots, the Lobster rolls did contain a bit o’green. Some lettuce on one…some chives and celery on the other. Let’s cut to the chase. To make 4 Lobster Rolls I steam 4 Lobsters. You see, once you start to crack the cooled steamed lobsters open, you’ll be coarsely chopping the claw and tail meat and popping chunks mindlessly into your mouth before they get into the bowl. I’ve done the research. Trust me.
Steam 4 1 1/2 lb Lobsters. Let them completely cool before cracking them open and removing the meat. Once the meat is removed, pick over for any shells and coarsely chop. Reserve in a bowl.
Whisk together the following:
3/4 cup Hellman’s Mayo (this is my version remember, this is what I use)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon, freshly squeezed (for the love of all that’s sacred in food, NEVER BOTTLE LEMON JUICE)
Pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt
1 celery stalk, finely minced
1 tsp fresh chopped chives (this is entirely optional, if you find this offensive in your lobster roll, forget you even read this …LOL)
Blend all this then add the lobster and blend well. Let this sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
The rolls, New England Top Split Hot Dog Rolls. I don’t live in New England, I live at the Jersey shore. And I used to live in Staten Island NYC. And in both places I was able to get the top split rolls. They are essential to making this a Maine or New England Style Lobster Roll versus making a Lobster Salad Sandwich. They have Flat sides. Toast both sides of these rolls in butter. Good salted butter. Sort of like the way you would toast the bread on a grilled cheese sandwich.
Load up 4 rolls with the Lobster mix. That’s it. Now you can get fussy or creative but the more you add to this the further away from the traditional Maine style you’ll be getting. I’ve seen recipes that use paprika, capers, olives, mesclun or other greens, tarragon, parsley, etc. My version? Basic. Pretty much. Let the Lobster be the star…oh sure, Lobster Tarragon Salad is wonderful and delicious and i Love it on a Kaiser Roll, but it’s not a Maine Lobster Roll. There’s a little uniqueness about it. I’ll stick with that.