Thursday, August 2, 2012

New England Summah - The Lobstah Roll

Fair warning: you're getting the accent for this entire post 

If you ask me, it really doesn't get better than summatime in New England.  For the past 11 years that I've lived in Miami, I've looked forwahd to my annual trip home in July when my family would rent a beach house on my favorite beach in the entire world, Long Beach in Rockport, Massachusetts.  Last year, my folks lucked out and found a place up fah sale that they were able to make their own.  It's a cozy cottage with plenty of bedroom space for visitahs and a screened in porch that has a bed for catchin' some Z's while listenin' to the waves crash on the shore.  Needless to say, the frequency of my trips home has increased.

I've written about our summah beach blast before and all the family and friends that come to enjoy the treasures from the seas that grace our dining table - oystahs, clams, steamahs, and my favorite, lobstahs!  This year, the lobstahs were fantastic.  On my trip last weekend, I declared the 2-pound lobstah I ate on our porch the best I've evah had.  It had it all - briny, succulent, meat that needed no dip in butter whatsoevah.  It was loaded with flava!

The best thing about getting lobstah for a group is that there is almost always leftovahs.  And you know what leftovah lobstah means???  Lobstah rolls!!!  Much like how I am with makin' an Old Fashioned, I'm very particulah about my lobstah rolls.  Here's where I'll share with you how to get 'er done!!

1.) The Roll

New England split top hot dog rolls are where it's at when making a lobstah roll
When it comes to a lobstah roll, the bun is key.  After all, it's the vessel that will be carryin' this big bite of awesome intah your mouth.  As important as capacity is, flavorin' is equally important.  That's why the only way to go is with a New England style split top hot dog roll as shown above.  The sides are flat and perfect for gettin' 'em buttahd up and toasted on a flat top1 so all that buttery flava gets baked on in.

Buttahd & toasted is the play
2.) The Lobstah Mix

Ok, so you're gonna need some lobstah to make this magic happen.  Boil or steam2 up a lobstah or two, let cool, then shell those bad boys for everything they've got - claws, knuckles, tail, legs, fins have all got good meat in them although the legs and fins are probably bettah for consumption while you shell the rest of the meat.  Reward yourself for your hahd work!  Lobstah rolls are best when you use as much claw and knuckle meat as possible3.  This meat is much more tendah and flavaful than the tail. My favorite paht is tip of the claw which adds a dry, rich flava.  Since we don't want to advocate wasting perfectly awesome lobstah, toss in some tail meat too.  I advise breakin' it down into bite sized nuggets to make it easiah to bite into and chew.  You can do this easily by hand by pullin' apaht the tail down the middle (which will allow you to toss out the intestinal tract that's usually filled with poo), then pullin' off each little nugget of meat formed by the shell. 

Go easy with the mayo!
A key thing to remember when makin' a lobstah roll is this: you're makin' this because you want to eat LOBSTAH!!  Sounds pretty obvious but I can't tell you how many times people forget this and the proof is in their lobstah mix.  Most often, the main offense is a heavy hand with the mayo.  The mayo here is mainly a light flavaring agent and bindah for the mix.  The flava of lobstah is delecate and the mayo need only to coat the lobstah ever so slightly.  Don't go crazy, a little goes a long way!  As you'll see in the picksha below, I used a tiny bit on a knife when I made this mix for three lobstah rolls.  If you ahn't confident in your mayo distribution skills, there is an easy way out...  Instead of addin' mayo to the mix, you can put a thin coating on the inside of the roll.

A little goes a long way!!
While I prefer not to add it, many people like tossin' some diced celery into the mix.  If you're gonna go this route, make sure to dice as finely as possible so that the celery adds a little crunch but not an overpowerin' flava.  Half moons of celery are a huge foul!!  Some people also add lettuce leaves which I strongly disagree with.  Lettuce leaves in a lobstah roll are like tuckin' the tablecloth intah your pants.  When you bite intah the roll, the lettuce usually isn't bitten through all the way and as you pull away to chew the lettuce pulls the rest of the lobstah out of the roll and into your lap.  Dumb idea.

3.) The Assembly

The Main Event!
It's showtime!  Grab a toasted bun and load it up with your lobstah mix.  I like to load tail and knuckle meat in as a base and save the hunks of claw meat for the top of the roll.  Once loaded, I hit the spice rack and add a little bit of seasonin'.  First I make a pass over the roll and hit it with some dill then I follow that with a very light dustin' of paprikah.  I find the dill adds to the fresh flava of the lobstah and the paprikah gives it a tiny kick while letting the lobstah flava continue to shine.  Now set that bad boy on a plate, gahnish with some crispy potato chips and maybe a slice of pickle or two and getcha grub on!!

Nothin' says summa like a lobstah roll and greasy chips


1 You can also toast on a grill. You'll add a chah flava but you'll lose a little of the buttery-ness.  I also find it dries out the bun a little too much.

2 Or maybe you lull your lobstah to sleep first?

3 I'm going to staht this off with an apology to my Florida readers. I'm sorry to tell you that when it comes to a lobstah roll, Florida spiny lobstah simple does not produce anywhere near as good a product as New England lobstah!! Spiny lobstahs don't have claws, just tails.  So do yourself a favah and do this the right way with a New England lobstah, ok?


Frodnesor said...

Footnotes and everything! When do they start serving these at the BTS?

P said...

Nice work.

SteveBM said...

@Frod - Yes, I finally figured out how to make footnotes haha! There could be a lobster roll date at The BTS before summer's end!

@P - Thanks, glad you enjoyed.