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New England Lobster Rolls

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Serves 4

  • by Jasper White from Fine Cooking
    Issue 124

This New England summer classic is filled with more than a full lobster's worth meat. The contrast between cool, creamy lobster salad (not to be confused with a Connecticut lobster roll, in which the lobster is served warm and dressed with drawn butter) and warm, toasted bun is a huge part of the appeal. Finely chopped celery and scallions provide crunch and a crisp vegetal note to contrast with the rich lobster. Cucumbers, though not traditional, make a cool, refreshing substitute for celery.

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 5 1-lb. lobsters (or equivalent)
  • 2/3 cup finely diced celery or peeled cucumber
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 small whole scallions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) salted butter, softened
  • 4 New England-style (split-top) hot dog buns
  • 4 small Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
Tip:
For a speedier version, you can substitute 1 lb. high-quality precooked lobster meat for the live lobsters.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, and 1 Tbs. cold water; stir in the tarragon. Transfer to a small covered container and refrigerate. (The dressing may be made up to 5 days ahead.)

Put about 1 inch of well-salted water in a 16- to 20-quart steamer pot, cover, and bring the water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, kill the lobsters (optional).

When the pot fills with steam, put in the lobsters: Holding them by the body, arrange them two by two on top of each other, facing in different directions so the steam can circulate around them easily.

Cover the pot and steam the lobsters until the shells are bright red and the antennae can be easily pulled off, 10 to 12 minutes for 1-lb. lobsters, 2 minutes longer for each additional 1/4 lb.

Using tongs, transfer the cooked lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let sit at room temperature until they’re cool enough to handle. Remove the rubber bands from the claws and then remove the meat from the shells (reserve the shells and bodies for making lobster stock, if you like).

Cut the lobster meat into bite-size pieces. Combine the lobster and celery or cucumber with enough dressing to coat (you may not need all of the dressing). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving.

When ready to serve, stir the scallions into the lobster salad. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Spread the butter on the flat outsides of the hot dog buns. Toast the buns in the skillet, turning once, until golden-brown, about 3 minutes total. Remove from the heat.

Gently open the buns and place a lettuce leaf inside each. Divide the lobster salad among the buns and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 640; Fat (g): 46; Fat Calories (kcal): 410; Saturated Fat (g): 13; Protein (g): 33; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 23; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 20; Sodium (mg): 1770; Cholesterol (mg): 260; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have tried to make it and do add it to my pages, but here, where I live, lobsters are really expensive. I have tried it with crabs but still not with lobster, all I have tried, I've put it on my web page that is in Bosnian language: www.izmojekuhinje.com but now I am working on translating it into English to share my recipes all over the world... I will try to make lobster soon, if I get any and will send my ratings for this one. :) Thank you and greetings from Bosnia.

A local grocery store had lobster on sale for $4.99 a pound, and they steam them for free. What could be easier? With the hot, humid, wet weather we have had this summer, it was a perfect time to make lobster rolls! I gave my husband copies of the recipe for Lobster Rolls (Lori Longbotham), and the recipe for this one - the New England Lobster Rolls. He chose this one because he liked the idea of a little bit of Dijon mustard, and the dash of Tabasco in the mayonnaise sauce. Thinning the mayonnaise with a little water, as per the recipe, loosened the sauce beautifully. It was not at all watery. While I do live in New England, I was born in The Finger Lakes Region of New York State, and don't have the same opinions of exactly how a lobster roll must be made as do many of my fellow New Englanders. I used green onions, and celery (not cucumbers). The tarragon came from my garden. None of these flavors dominated, and the delicate lobster flavor came through beautifully. We have had the very simple Maine version of lobster rolls, and, honestly, we thought these were better - just fabulous! Do yourself a favor and give this recipe a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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