Finally, April is here. The time of year when many of our favorite waterfront clam and lobster shacks begin to open again for the season … and the famous New England lobster roll recipe is again on the menu. There is nothing that says sunshine and sea as the taste of a specially prepared, fresh lobster roll on a toasted New England bun.
Cape Cod, Ipswich, Massachusetts and the Maine seacoast are world famous for the lobster roll made with freshly caught lobster. The lobster meat, cooked to sweet perfection, is served overflowing a top loading bun. Add a side of chips, a cold beer and a sunny table, and you’re there. The recipe may vary a bit from town to town but it always begins with freshly caught lobster.
|A lobster roll from the Clam Box, Ipswich, MA|
This longing for the opening of lobster-shack season was made all the more interesting when recently it was learned that Chuck Hughes, owner of the Garde-Manger Restaurant in Montreal, was named Food TV Iron Chef of America, in part because of his preparation of a good old Maine lobster roll. That’s right. The judges went crazy for his lobster roll!
For those of you who share our passion for the lobster roll but can’t go to Maine or Cape Cod, we decided to share Chef Hughes winning lobster roll recipe. We have only few hints to add.
The lobster must be fresh and healthy, so only order from a reputable lobster online dealer. Ask for a couple of females so that you can collect the lobster roe to make lobster butter. Boil the lobster in a large pot of salted water and take care not to over cook. Overcooking will make the meat tough. When opening the cooked lobster, cut the meat into large chunks. And finally, make sure to pick a quality, top-loading bun.
Remember, it’s all about the lobster!
Here is Chef Hughes recipe, adapted from his cookbook Garde-Manger:
For an added Iron Chef twist, feel free to add a smidgen of chopped dill.
4 lobsters, weighing about 1 1/2 pounds (675 grams) each
2 tablespoons (30 mL) best-quality mayonnaise
2 scallions, cleaned and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 hotdog buns
Lobster butter (recipe follows)
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lobsters for 6 minutes, and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Shell the lobsters and cut the flesh into large pieces. Combine the lobster with the mayonnaise and green onions. Season the mix to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
When serving: Butter the buns with the lobster butter, and toast them in a fry pan until golden. Divide the lobster mix among the four buns and serve immediately.
Makes 1 pound (450 grams)
Lobster butter keeps refrigerated for one month, or can be frozen for up to three.
1 pound (450 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Roe from one female lobster
In a large fry pan, melt the butter and whisk in the (roe) eggs. The butter will be red. Pour into a container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.