September 7, 2020

New England Lobster Rolls

Lobster rolls were never something I thought to make at home; they had that "restaurant-only" vibe to them I guess.   That all changed when I discovered that Trader Joe's was selling New England style hot dog buns.  The characteristic split-top is mandatory for an authentic New England Lobster Roll.  While this type of bun is ubiquitous on the East Coast, out here in California it's a rarity.   Even better, Trader Joe's buns were made with brioche dough so the bread was going to be extra rich and buttery!   With the proper bread vessel in hand there really was no excuse for me to not make lobster rolls, especially to close out the summer over Labor Day Weekend.


If you've had lobster rolls before you know they're definitely an indulgence.  One small roll can easily go for $25 and there's no guarantee you'll get a decent amount of meat.   By making the rolls at home I was able to pay less than half that cost and tailor it to my taste.

I've never cooked live lobsters before but it's super easy.  All you need is a big pot and boiling, salted water.  The only scary part was putting the live creatures into the boiling water!


For my rolls I went with this mayonnaise based recipe from A Family Feast.  I've had lobster rolls that were basically just lobster meat and melted butter, and that's not a bad thing!, but I just prefer a touch of mayonnaise and some chopped vegetables.  It goes without saying that the split-top bun must be pan fried on both sides with butter.  That's the signature of a truly delicious lobster roll.    

I invited my sister over for dinner and she raved about the lobster rolls.  That's a good sign in my family because compliments aren't handed out so easily.  Will I be making more lobster rolls in the future?  Definitely!  Now if only the price of fresh lobster would go down a bit.

New England Lobster Rolls

1 pound cooked lobster meat cut into bite sized chunks
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped celery (use tender inner stalks)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons green tops from a scallion, minced fine
1 dash hot sauce (we like Cholula)
Pinch is salt
Few grinds freshly ground black pepper
Split-top hot dog rolls
2 tablespoons melted butter

Place the cooked lobster meat in a large bowl.

In a separate, smaller bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, parsley, scallion, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix and taste for seasoning. Once you have the seasoning to your liking, add to the cooked lobster meat and mix.

Brush both sides of rolls with butter and toast both sides in a medium fry pan over medium heat until nicely browned.

Divide the lobster salad between each roll per your preference. Some serve lettuce under the lobster salad but we like it without, your choice.


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