It’s Easy to Make Your Own Maine Lobster Roll

There is nothing that says sunshine and sea as the taste of a specially prepared, fresh lobster roll on a toasted New England bun. Waterfront clam and lobster shacks have been serving up lobster rolls all summer. Now, you can make your own anywhere and anytime of year.

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:


Lobster Roll
Serves 4


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.


Lobster Butter
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. 

 

Lobsters Online.Com 2014

 

 

Wellfleet Oysters are the Best in the World!

We are having a family feast for Labor Day 2014.  The guests of honor, as it always is for the Labor Day Holiday, is the Wellfleet Oyster and fresh Maine Lobster.

The late Howard Mitcham, a renowned chef that called Provincetown, Cape Cod home, called the Wellfleet Oyster the best in the world. In his book, entitled “Clams, Mussels and Oysters …”  Mitcham wrote that the flavor of oysters varies widely from region to region. And as anyone who has eaten a raw Oyster knows, the flavor is complex. Oysters can be sweet, salty, earthy, or even melon.

Wellfleet Oysters best in world

Wellfleet Oysters Best in World

After last Saturday, two dozen Wellfleet Oysters later, we are in complete agreement with Mitcham that the Wellfleet Oyster is the most succulent, sweet oyster in the world.   The clean, crisp, cold Cape Cod waters help produce a wonderful abundance of Wellfleet Oysters, and they are prized by locals and visitors alike.

Interestingly, the Wellfleet Oyster is a transplant from Connecticut and the Chesapeake Bay.  After Cape Cod oysters were nearly fished out in the 1800s, the Wellfleet locals introduced young southern oysters into their waters.  The oysters were fattened up on sparkling clean river estuaries and then harvested and sold in Boston.  This created the first aquaculture, as it is known today. The result was a lucrative success for the harvesters and a joy to the taste buds for the rest of us.

Experts believe the cold water and the 12-foot tides combine to help make the Wellfleet oyster plump and sweet by providing them with ample, ocean-fresh plankton.

Generations later, the flavor of a Wellfleet Oyster is as distinct as Cape Cod itself.   Today, people all over the country order Wellfleet Oysters and have the oysters delivered right to their door as fresh as if they were just purchased from a Cape Cod market.

Some people are intimidated by the challenge of opening an oyster.  And everyone has their own special technique. But there some basic steps and advice that proves true.

When selecting an oyster from a fish market bin, try to pick the ones that have a very hard shell as opposed to oysters with a brittle shell.  A hard shell usually signifies a plump, healthy oyster inside. Make sure to keep the oysters cool when you bring them home.

Get a good oyster knife as no other kind of knife will work.  You will need one old work glove or a heavy hand towel to hold the oyster with. When ready to open, scrub the oysters under fresh running water to remove any sand but do not immerse them in water. Place them on ice or on a flat pan in a refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to rest.  This will allow the oysters to relax and make them easier to open.

Hold the oyster with flat side up. Place the knife at the small end of the oyster, or the heel.  Press the knife into the heel and twist. If it is too hard to open, some folks will hold the oyster and knife vertically and then tap the base of the knife handle on a cutting board or stone.  This drives the knife with a good nudge into the muscle and makes it easer to pop open the shell.  Try not to spill the oyster juices. Once open, slice under the muscle to cut the oyster from the bottom shell and place the opened oyster shell on a plate of crushed ice.  This keeps the oyster level and cold. Serve immediately.

The traditional serving is with a side of fresh lemon, cocktail sauce and horseradish.  A robust red wine compliments the complex flavor of the Wellfleet Oyster nicely.  Most adults can eat a dozen or more, so be sure to order enough.

Be sure to check out the Wellfleet Oysterfest 2013 in Wellfleet, MA October 19th and 20th.

© Lobsters-Online.Com 2014

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Great Eats: Atlantic Harpoon Swordfish Are Here

 

This time of summer the  Atlantic Harpoon swordfish are in season.  New England fishermen call it “harpoon” season.  The fisherman, or “strikers,” head out to the Western Atlantic Ocean in small fishing boats and actually hunt the ocean surface for the swordfish. When one is spotted near the surface the striker harpoons the big fish by hand.  A fish caught this way can range from 150 to 600 pounds.

A striker goes after a Swordfish on a calm day.
Each day the daily catch is brought in and sold to local markets, and the Swordfish steaks usually end up on someone’s plate in less than 24 hours, creating an incredible New England seafood experience for enlightened connoisseurs.
The practice of harpooning swordfish predates industrial scale fishing or “long line fishing” where thousands of baited hooks hang on floated lines that can be more than 30 miles long. The long-line hooks do not discriminate between the type and size of fish caught and experts say the practice in the past has depleted swordfish stocks in some places.  International laws are now in place now to limit the catch of the long lines, and these fishermen are closely monitored.
Harpoon swordfish hunters, or “strikers,” take their catch at a much slower, more selective rate.  The strikers only go after the large fish that are well past breeding age and avoid baby swordfish in the breeding grounds.  The fish are then delivered fresh daily to markets and restaurants in New England. The selective practice presents no threat to swordfish stocks.
While swordfish are found worldwide they are only in season in New England during the summer when the water is warmer.   According to research, the big fish tend to congregate where ocean waters have sharp temperature breaks (above 58°F) and where strong ocean currents meet.  This creates a turbulent environment where there is abundant food.  Along with the strikers, sport fishermen also ply these waters with rod and tackle seeking the big Swordfish.

Whether broiled, baked, grilled or on a kabob, fresh from the ocean swordfish is a favorite of first-time seafood initiates as well as seafood connoisseurs. Swordfish has a meaty texture and mild flavor.  Swordfish also offers a low-fat, low-calorie healthy choice for all seafood lovers.  Fresh swordfish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals that are good for the heart.
Atlantic Harpoon Swordfish, fresh off the dock, is among the most popular Boston and Cape Cod seafood treats. This time of summer, many downtown restaurants feature day-boat swordfish steaks. In fact, the delicious fish is almost as popular as a specialty steak in Boston steakhouses. 

Fresh Harpoon Swordfish Marinated and Grilled

The most popular fresh summer swordfish recipe  is also the simplest. Marinated and grilled.
Here is a great recipe for a one-pound, 1 ½ -inch thick fresh swordfish steak.

Mix in a bowl:
  • a teaspoon of fresh chopped basil,
  •  ½ cup of olive oil,
  •  a small clove of chopped fresh garlic,
  •  fresh ground pepper to taste.
  •  If desired, a dash of fresh lime or lemon juice may be added.
Coat the steak and let marinate for one to two hours.  Cook on a medium-high grill for four minutes on each side, or until firm to the touch.  Only flip the steak once.  Do not overcook as the swordfish will get dry very quickly.  Remove from the grill and let stand for one minute before partitioning. Leave the skin on when grilling to help keep the fish moist but remove to partition and serve.
Today fresh Atlantic swordfish can be shipped overnight by a Cape Cod online seafood retailer anywhere in the United States.  This means anyone – from Florida to Kansas – can enjoy delicious swordfish that only 24 hours earlier were swimming in the clean, crisp ocean waters off Cape Cod.
Is it dinner time yet?

Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo Recipe Sets the Standard

Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo, the dish by which all other seafood dishes are judged!  Be forewarned, preparing this seafood feast it not for the feint of heart. But the wonderful culinary rewards are worth it.

To introduce our dish, you should know that “Diavolo” is Italian for devil.  As a culinary term it is used to describe a tomato based sauce that is liberally spiced, with “Fra Diavolo” the Italian term for brother devil: a spicy sauce prepared with linguine and fresh seafood.

Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo with clams and mussels

A Boston Favorite: Fra Diavolo with Lobster, Clams and Mussels

Our dish calls for preparing a homemade lobster stock made from fresh Maine Lobster. A favorite of Boston’s North End, the Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo recipe will feature lobster, clams and mussels and take four and one-half (4 ½) hours to prepare both the homemade lobster stock and the sauce. The recipe will serve four to six people.

The first step is to prepare the lobster stock.  This begins by blanching the live lobsters, cracking the claws and tails and removing the meat.  Set the lobster meat aside. Please see the directions for the lobster stock preparation below.

Ingredients

Boston Style Lobster Fra Diavolo: 

  • 3 fresh, hard-shell Maine lobsters, 1 ¼ pound each, blanched with meat from the claws and tails removed to add to sauce
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 16  mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾  cup small diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cup lobster stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Fresh basil leaves, to garnish
  • ¼ cup crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 3 cups canned tomato sauce

Directions Boston Lobster Fra Diavolo:

Bring 1-gallon of salted water in large pot to a boil and add the pasta to the pot. Partially cook for 5 minutes, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.  While cooking the pasta, place a 14-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and cook until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and sauté about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook the ingredients until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the clams to the pan, cover and cook about three minutes.  Add the mussels to the pan, cover and cook about three minutes. Add the lobster to the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the parsley to the pan. Add the partially cooked pasta to the pan.  Add 1 ½ cup of the lobster stock and continue to cook. Toss the pasta in the sauce until al dente, about four to five minutes. Season the pasta with the salt and toss again.  Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

Ingredients

Lobster Stock: 

  • Par boil lobster for five minutes, cool and remove meat from claws and tails
  • Add lobster body, cracked claw and tail shells
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in quarters
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 small  head garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions Lobster Stock

Heat vegetable oil in large stock pot. Add the empty lobster claw and tail shells and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, tomatoes and thyme. Cut the fennel and garlic bulbs in half and add to the pot. Cover ingredients with two inches of water. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until mixture is reduced by half (about 4 hours). Add salt and black pepper to season. Strain stock and set liquid aside.

Wine Selection

The recipe screams to be served with a sparkling Rose Champagne or a light, traditional Chianti.

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