Executive Vice President, the James Beard Foundation; Author, Kitchen Sense (Clarkson Potter, 2006)
"To the uninitiated, lobster rolls are a strange concept. A specialty of Maine, they are basically hot dog buns stuffed with lobster salad. (Some insist it should be a split-top potato-bread roll, but even so, it still looks and tastes a lot like a hot dog bun.) The lobster salad should be chilled and dripping with mayonnaise. When the lobster meat is sweet and in big chunks, and the roll is warm and dripping with butter, the combination of flavors and textures is downright addictive. Here's a simple recipe that will produce a very satisfying lobster roll for those who know them and an entrée into the world of the lobster roll for those who don't. You can substitute chilled cooked shrimp or lump crab meat with perfectly delicious results"
- 12 ounces cooked lobster meat, from 2 to 3 one-pound lobsters, cut into chunks (about 2 cups), chilled
- 1/2 cup Hellmann's or Best Foods mayonnaise
- 1 celery stalk
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablspoons minced flat-leaf parsely, tarragon, chervil, or chives, or a combination (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 hot dogs buns or potato rolls
- 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Iceberg or other lettuce, for garnish (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, parsley, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Mix well to coat the lobster with the mayonnaise. Chill.
Flatten the hot dog buns without splitting them apart, if you can. Generously butter the cut side and sprinkle with some salt. Heat a cast-iron or nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Place the buns in the pan buttered side down and toast until golden brown, 4 or 5 minutes. (You'll smell the delicious, buttery aroma when the buns start to toast.) Remove the buns to serving plates, toasted side up. Place a lettuce leaf on top, if using, and spoon one fourth of the lobster salad on each sandwich. Pull up the sides and serve.