Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lobster rolls for dinner

Last night I felt a strong compulsion to cook up a storm. With a slow August recess in front of me, I have more time on my hands to look for new recipes and shorter hours at work, allowing me the opportunity to be a bit more spontaneous with my meal planning than usual.

I set out to make raspberry muffins, homemade mac 'n cheese and lobster rolls - a slightly odd combination but, alas, my food cravings work in mysterious ways.

The only catch was that my husband arranged for a contractor to come over at 7pm and give us quotes on carpeting or covering the upstairs with wood. Nice guy, but man did he love to talk. And talk he did about carpet and his second job at, of all places the 930 Club. What kind of a guy knows everything there is to know about carpeting your home and rock music? Maybe I'm too judgmental? Maybe I've become too "DC" in my thinking about work? But now is not the time for self-critique. We're talking about a serious meal here.

By 9:30pm I was ready to throw him out of the house.

The muffins had gone cold.

The lobster mix was beginning to smell funny and the mac 'n cheese was beginning to feel as hard as a rock to the touch.

15 minutes later, carpet man had left and we sat down to a meal that would have been delicious if consumed immediately. I hate it when that happens.

Regardless of how our evening meal turned out, I highly recommend the lobster roll recipe. It's so easy. As you know, lobster is pricey so that's the only catch. But given the two steps involved in putting these rolls together, it's a sure bet for "wowing" special guests.

Lobster Roll Recipe

2 pounds cooked lobster meat*, chopped roughly into 1/2 and 3/4-inch pieces
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise (Charles insists on Hellman’s; I didn’t argue)
Squeeze or two of lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 top-loading hot dog buns or 64 miniature burger buns (described above) or small dinner rolls
Unsalted butter
Snipped fresh chives for garnish (though we mixed ours right into the salad, for convenience)

In a large bowl, combine the lobster meat, celery, mayonnaise, lemon and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Do ahead: Cover the mixture and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It will last for up to two days.

How they prepare the buns at the restaurant: In a small sauté pan over low to medium heat, melt two teaspoons of butter. Place the hot dog buns on their sides in the butter. Flip the buns a couple of times so that both sides soak up an equal amount of butter and brown evenly. Remove the buns from the pan and place them on a large plate. Fill the toasted buns with lobster salad.

How we prepared our miniature rolls: On large roasting pans, we split each of our rolls and lightly toasted them, open side up, before quickly slathering both sides with butter and filling each with a generous tablespoon of lobster salad.

Sprinkle your rolls with chives and serve with a salad, slaw or shoestring fries.

(Via Smitten Kitchen)


  1. Just got back from Maine and the lobster has never been so affordable! We had it every other night!... yummm... I just read that you will be visiting Maine too soon. Bar Harbor is really close to Small Point. Talk to you soon! Love, Les

  2. Yay! Can't wait to hear more about the trip in person this week!