Epic Lobster Rolls
Bar Boulud Boston, Boston
Looking for your next picnic hit? Michael Densk of Bar Boulud takes this classic sandwich to the next level with a layer of prosciutto folded in with the traditional lobster meat, yielding an extra-luxe crowd-pleaser.
- Two 1 1/2-pound live lobsters (or 8 ounces store-bought cooked lobster meat)
- 1 small carrot, coarsely grated
- 1 small celery stalk, peeled and coarsely grated
- 1/2 small fennel bulb, trimmed and coarsely grated
- 6 medium pink radishes, trimmed and coarsely grated
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon small capers, rinsed, dried, and chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced cornichons
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
- 6 dashes Tabasco
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 top-split brioche hot dog buns (or any high-quality hot dog buns)
- 4 thin slices (about 1/4 pound) prosciutto
Cook the lobsters: fill a tall stockpot (large enough to hold at least 1 lobster with the lid on) three-fourths full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Plunge the live lobsters into the pot and cover immediately. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes; remove the lobster and drain. When cool enough to handle, crack the shells and remove the meat from the claws (be sure to take out the piece of cartilage near the “thumb” joint), knuckle, and tail. Make a shallow incision lengthwise along the back of the tail meat and remove the center vein. Cut the lobster meat into 1/2-inch chunks. To store, cover the lobster meat with a damp kitchen towel, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.*
Mix the filling: Squeeze the grated carrot, celery, fennel, and radishes between your hands to remove the excess liquid; transfer to a medium bowl (alternatively, use a piece of cheesecloth to remove moisture). Add the mayonnaise, capers, cornichons, lemon juice, mustard, chives, parsley, tarragon, and Tabasco, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Gently add the lobster chunks and stir until mixed well.
Build the sandwich: Open the hot dog buns like a book. Line the top half of each baguette with a slice of prosciutto and then spoon the lobster filling into the center. If not serving immediately, wrap the sandwiches in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate or store in a well-chilled portable cooler stocked with plenty of ice packs.
*Note: it’s important for lobsters to be alive until—or just before—they are cooked. Once lobsters die, the texture of the meat starts to rapidly change from firm to mushy. Some people find it preferable to kill lobsters before boiling them. To do this quickly and forcefully, insert a sharp heavy-duty chef’s knife lengthwise into the center of the lobster head. The lobster is killed instantaneously and, arguably, painlessly.