Lobster Rolls

Perfect Lobster Rolls

Perfect Lobster Rolls

A lobster roll is a simple thing;  basically it’s lobster meat stuffed into a warm bun.  The quintessential New England sandwich, it’s the street food of the coast, served in high and low level restaurants, lobster pounds, seafood shacks, supermarkets, gas stations, and home kitchens.  Purists would insist that the “less is more” approach is the only way to prepare it.  Meaning that lobster meat only, either cold with a little mayonnaise to hold the meat together, or warmed in melted butter, and served in a New England-style hot dog bun that has been toasted is the best way to enjoy the sweetness of the lobster meat.

For a lobster roll to be true to it’s classic roots, it should not contain a lot of extra ingredients;  you can bend the lobster-roll rules a little, but you shouldn’t break them.  This recipe, I think, meets the standards for the classic sandwich, with some minimal additions,  and is very tasty indeed.   If you purchase whole lobsters and have them steamed by the fish monger, preparation involves cracking the lobster to retrieve the meat, and adding celery, green onions, and seasoned mayonnaise.  They are easy to make at home and come together in a snap.IMG_4864

With lobster roll in hand you can vicariously meander along the coastline of New England, traveling down some long narrow road to a harbor, take in the big view, sounds of the seagulls, splash of the waves, hear the rubbing of the fishing boats on the piers, and feel the sand between your toes.   Ahhhhh, heavenly.

I made this meal to welcome my visitors from North Carolina, one of whom had never been north to New England.  I tried to put together a typical summertime meal that, in addition to the lobster rolls, included corn on the cob and a mixed green salad.  For dessert I served my Cracker Jack Sundaes.  He was captivated!!  Why don’t you try one?

PERFECT LOBSTER ROLLS

YIELD:  Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chopped celery

     lobster, celery, scallions, lemon, and mayonaise dressing

    lobster, celery, scallions, lemon, and mayonnaise dressing

  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. canola mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 3/4 – 1 pound lobster meat, steamed and chopped
  • 4  top-split hot dog buns, toasted

Preparation:

1.  Combine all ingredients except the buns in a large bowl, stirring well;   Cover and chill a bit.  Chilled, but not quite cold is best.

IMG_4860

2.  Split the buns, brush with some melted butter and slap on the griddle to cook to golden-brown.  Then divide the lobster mixture evenly among the buns and serve.

buns toasting on the griddle

buns toasting on the griddle

A toasted bun, filled to the top with luscious lobster salad.

A toasted bun, filled to the top with luscious lobster salad.

3.  Serving:  a pickle on top is OK,  so is a lettuce leaf, a sprinkle of celery salt or paprika, and maybe a squeeze of lemon or a wedge of lemon on the side.  Add a few crispy chips or onions rings and you’ve got it all.

My meal consisted of lobster roll, salad, and corn on the cob.

My meal consisted of lobster roll, salad, and corn on the cob.

SOURCE:    Cooking Light

Advertisements

Baked Seafood Newburg

Baked Seafood Newburg

Baked Seafood Newburg

New Year’s Eve, a night when many people are out on the town,  Mr. D.  and I are rather low-key in our celebration.  I like to splurge a little on the ingredients for a really nice dinner that includes a good bottle of wine.  After dinner we usually watch a movie.  That’s about as exciting as it gets around here.

This year’s dinner was a baked casserole of Seafood Newburg, along with a salad of mixed baby greens, green grapes, dried cranberries and pistachio nuts, with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  A loaf of crunchy ciabatta bread and a bottle of Pinot Grigio completed the meal.   Amazingly I turned down having any dessert.  I know, I can’t believe it, but that casserole was so darn good I couldn’t stop going back for more.

Seafood Newburg with salad and ciabatta bread.

Seafood Newburg with salad and ciabatta bread.

I must give credit for the original recipe  to The Ranting Chef Blog where on a Monday, the guest blogger Maggie, gave a recipe called Seafood Casserole.  It looked really good so I made note to try it.  Then using it as a basis I added some of my own “twists” to it to come up with this one.  So thank you Pat and Maggie at the Ranting Chef for a great recipe.

These are some of the additions I made.  I wanted this to be a rich and decadent kind of dish so I added the meat of one small lobster to the scallops and shrimp  called for.

Just your everyday friendly lobster.

Just your everyday friendly lobster.

I used a can of condensed cream of shrimp soup as the basis for the cream sauce, and thinned it with one cup of half and half;

Condensed cream of shrimp soup and spaghetti, broken into thirds.

Condensed cream of shrimp soup and spaghetti, broken into thirds.

and for the topping I mixed crushed Ritz crackers, a little melted butter and the Parmesan cheese for a more substantial topping with a lot of crunch.  This is without a doubt the best recipe for Seafood Newburg.  Instead of mixing the spaghetti with the seafood and sauce you could serve the sauce over spaghetti, or on toast points, or in a puffed pastry shell.  Once you have a good recipe like this one there are so many ways to change its presentation or how you use it.  I just love its flexibility!

BAKED SEAFOOD NEWBURG

SERVINGS:   about 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces spaghetti, broken into thirds,  and cooked as directed on the package 

    Scallops, shrimp and lobster.

    Scallops, shrimp and lobster.

  • 1/2 pound scallops,  If large sea scallops, cut in half or quarters.
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound cooked lobster meat,  ( 1 – 1/4 lb. lobster)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can condensed cream of shrimp soup
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 Tablespoons white wine or Sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 10 Ritz crackers, crushed

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F,  Butter a large ( 4 qt. ) casserole

2.  Melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet.  Add the scallops and shrimp and sauté 6-8 minutes till opaque.  Add the lobster meat just to heat it; then remove all the seafood to a bowl and set aside.  Retain any liquid in the pan.

Saute all the seafood in butter.

Saute all the seafood in butter.

3. Add 1 Tablespoon butter to the pan and melt it.  Add the mushrooms and sauté  until browned.  Remove them and set aside.

4.  Empty the can of condensed soup into the skillet and over medium heat stir to smooth it out.  Gradually add the 1 cup half and half, stirring all the while.  Add the wine or sherry and 4 Tablespoons Cheese.

Newburg sauce with peas added.

Newburg sauce with peas added.

5.  At this point taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.  Add the peas and heat through, then add back the mushrooms and all the seafood.

Mushrooms added.

Mushrooms added.

Seafood added.

Seafood added.

Heat slowly over low heat, while you drain the spaghetti.  Add the spaghetti to the skillet and stir to mix in.  Pour all of this into the buttered casserole.

Spaghetti added.

Spaghetti added.

6.  Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter.  Add the crushed Ritz crackers and stir to coat well,  Stir in the remaining 4 Tablespoons cheese.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.

7.  Bake at 375*F for 25 – 30 minutes till brown and bubbly around the edges.

Brown and bubbly round the edges.

Brown and bubbly round the edges.

Baked Seafood Newburg

Baked Seafood Newburg

SOURCE:   adapted from The Ranting Chef Blog

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Several weeks ago we had dinner out and one of the side dishes offered was Lobster Mac and Cheese.  My husband chose this option as part of his dinner and when it arrived it looked soooo good.  On tasting it he said it was the best he had ever had, so of course I had to try my hand at making it.  What could be so difficult about adding some lobster to basic mac and cheese?

Well, before I got around to trying it out a new issue of Food Network Magazine arrived, and in it was a recipe for Lobster Mac and Cheese by Ina Garten from her newest cookbook Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof.  So there was no need for me to develop a recipe when I now had one from a well-known celebrity chef.

With some minor modifications, and making only half the recipe,  I made it last week and my husband said it was the best he has ever eaten.  ( He always knows just the right thing to say!)  Without his having said that, I would have said the same thing:  it is THE BEST I have ever made.  Not only does the addition of lobster elevate it above the ordinary, but the cheeses used made a velvety smooth sauce. I used Panko crumbs and butter for the topping instead of white bread crumbs, and they browned up nicely for a crunchy topping. Served with a hearty mixed greens and vegetables salad,  it was a most satisfying meal.

LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE

SERVES:   6 – 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups grated Gruyere cheese ( 12 ounces )  I used Gouda cheese.
  • 2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar ( 8 ounces )
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds lobster meat, 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs ( 5 slices, crusts removed)

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a large baking dish, or several individual gratin dishes.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook al dente according to the directions on the package .  Drain well.

3.  Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t allow it to boil.  In a large saucepan, melt 6 Tablespoons of the butter and add the flour.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth.  Remove from heat, add the cheeses, 1 Tablespoon salt, the pepper and nutmeg and stir until the cheese melts.

The rich cheesy sauce.

4.  Stir in the cooked pasta and fold in the lobster.

Fold in the lobster!

Pile the mixture into the prepared baking dish, or dishes.

5.  Melt the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter;  combine with the bread crumbs and sprinkle on top.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the pasta is browned on top.

Now that’s Comfort Food!

SOURCE:  slightly adapted from  Ina Garten, via Food Network Magazine