© Wayne Howe 2018
© Wayne Howe 2018
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:
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.
© Wayne Howe 2016
Down home American comfort food – fresh Maine Lobster and macaroni – combined to create a high-class dish that is bursting with flavor and a winter lobster dish favorite. Follow this recipe to make a glorious Lobster Mac & Cheese Casserole that will have your family and guests swooning.
The lobster mac and cheese dish starts with a selection of four of your favorite cheeses, Campanelle pasta and a hard-shell, two pound or larger, live Maine Lobster.
Feb. 25, 2013 — Lobsters-Online starts the New Year with a deep breath as the prior Christmas and New Year holiday period is our busiest time of the year for shipping live lobster. During the six-week holiday period folks from all over the country use the lobster shipping service to order New England seafood for their dinner celebrations. From Michigan to Florida, Georgia to California, the orders were shipped to families in every state in the country.
Just wanted to send a note of appreciation as we close out 2011 with another great lobster, shellfish, seafood dinner. — Don P., Parker Colorado
Many Lobsters-Online customers are what we affectionately term ex-patriots, or more narrowly, former residents of New England. And while they have left the Northeast and have ended up living in various places, all these people have one thing in common. They miss their Maine lobster, shellfish and other New England seafood treats.
Lobsters-Online always enjoys when we hear back from our former New England natives. Today seemed like a good time to share a few of their much appreciated comments:
“I recently ordered two 5 lb lobsters for my husbands 65th birthday. I have to tell you that he was very surprised and they were absolutely excellent. We are both from Connecticut and now live in Florida. Floridians have no idea what real lobster is until they try Maine lobster. You gave us not only a wonderful meal but brought back memories of New England. I have put your name on Facebook to all my friends so you will be getting more orders. Thank you so much. And Happy New Year.” – Maxine D,Spring Hill Florida.
“Just wanted to send a note of appreciation as we close out another great
lobster, shellfish, seafood dinner. This is either our third or fourth order in just
this past year and your products and services are consistently excellent. My
wife is a native New England “coastie” and these meals go a long way toward keeping
the beatings (on me) to a minimum for my dragging her to Colorado. Have a great New Year.” — Don P., Colorado
“Just a note to thank you again for taking such great care with my order this past Christmas season. I have been sending a gift to my parents for several years from your company. However, this year they were absolutely thrilled as I sent them live lobster, and your New England lobster chowder. Thank you for taking such good care … start to finish. It is so nice to know that you continue to do an incredible job.” — Steve L., Tampa Bay, Florida
“This is our third year ordering from your service. This year we ordered the jumbo lobster tails for Christmas Eve dinner along with your chowders. The tails were big, fresh and delicious. We baked and stuffed them with crab following my mother’s recipe. She is from Maine, and knows good lobster when she sees it. A good time was had by all. Thank you again for your service.” — Annette P., Punta Gorda, Florida.
© Wayne Howe 2013
Off season, winter keeps the lobster boats close to home, and only the biggest lobster suppliers can be prepared to make sure there is plenty of lobster available all winter. The Lobster Trap Company works hard year round to continue to be able to supply ocean fresh lobster to customers.
What does all that snow mean for lobster lovers?They do this by building natural environment environment salt water lobster pounds that can hold millions of pounds of fresh lobster. This keeps the lobster strong and healthy until they are ready to make their trip to the folks.“We filled our Maine and Canadian pounds with enough lobster to keep filling the FEDEX planes thru the rain, sleet and snow of this year’s terrible winter, just to make sure our customers stay full – and get their fill — of their favorite crustaceans!” Said Dave Madden, Lobster Trap Company vice president of sales.Lobster Trap operates four lobster pounds located in Machiasport and Steuben Maine, providing access to 4,000,000 pounds of live lobster. The company also operates storage facilities throughout Canada providing holding capacities in excess of 2,000,000 pounds. All this means great lobster eating year round, even when the fishing season ends.
So while the snow may be falling, the lobster keeps flying.
© Wayne Howe 2013
The 2012 Spring and Summer lobster season has seen an abundance of low quality, soft-shell lobster flooding Maine and Massachusetts markets. This has created a great deal of confusion for lobster lovers who see news reports of record low prices for soft-shell lobster. The problem is that this crop of soft shell lobster — or “shedders” — is very soft and can not be shipped any distance or successfully kept in holding tanks. The “extra soft” shedders are in a super weakened state and mortality rates are twice as high as normal. They will last only last a few days in a holding tank and they experience double or triple the normal mortality rate even when shipped just a few dozen miles.
Hard shell lobster are the only choice when shipping lobster longer distances as they travel better because they are healthier and stronger. For home delivery, always demand hard shell lobster.
The 2012 live Maine lobster market confusion is being caused because 80% of the daily catch in Maine and Massachusetts is soft shell lobster instead of a more normal 60-40 summer split. Shedders arrived early in 2012 and the over supply of soft-shell lobster are being sold at a loss to Canadian processing plants. The overflow is flooding Maine and Massachusetts restaurants and supermarkets. Meanwhile, the demand in the rest of the country for hard-shell lobsters is over the top while supplies are abnormally low causing hard-shell prices to rise.
“Some of the lobsters that are being caught haven’t even had a chance to feed or harden at all,” said Carla Guenther, Fisheries Science and Leadership Advisor at Penobscot East Resource Center, speaking to the Island Ad-Vantages Community News. “They’re more like jellyfish than lobsters, almost liquid that will slide through your fingers.”
For local lobster lovers and processors, the low shedder prices are a boon. For the fisherman, dealers and wholesalers, not so much. Many fishermen are complaining its not worth going out and wholesalers have no space to hold the glut of soft shell lobsters.
On the upside, the quality this season of hard-shell Maine lobster is excellent, according to Lobster Trap Company Sales Manager Dave Madden of Cape Cod.
“With the early shedder glut, it is ugly out there for sure,” Madden said. “But I’m glad to say our customers have all been happy with the quality of the hard shell lobster they are receiving!”
But soft-shell lobster shipping mortality rates aside, the truth is aficionados prefer hard-shell lobster because of the meat texture and the taste. The meat is firmer, flavorful and is more easily grilled or baked. Meat from a soft-shell lobster is often watery and stringy though some people think there is a special sweetness to the flavor. But you can’t put a soft shell lobster on a grill as the meat will often fall apart. It can be tricky to bake-stuff one as well.
More meat per pound
Hard shell lobsters are often desired as they offer more meat per pound. A soft shell lobster will have more water weight than a same-size hard shell lobster. That is because after a lobster molts, or sheds its old shell, the new shell underneath is larger. Until the shedder grows into that new shell, that extra space is usually filled with water.
But in truth, you will find some local folks in Maine who prefer the shedders for their taste and ease of eating. A post-molting lobster in its weakened state is not considered low quality. They just don’t transport well and are not expected to be crammed full of meat. The price per pound is often less as well and when eating, their shells are more easily opened.
However, when ordering for home delivery one should always demand hard-shell live Maine lobster. Even in normal times, a soft-shell will lose water weight in transport and there is a very high risk the lobsters will perish en route. Quality lobster delivery services will rarely, if ever, ship shedders for home delivery.
Molting process is fascinating.
In order to grow, an adult lobster will shed its old shell dozens of time during its lifetime (females more often than males). The lobster grows a new shell beneath the old one. When it molts, the old shell splits along the back and the new shell is like a thick skin, soft enough to allow the lobster to twist and wiggle itself free from the old shell. It is not unusual for the lobster to then feast on the old shell to help quickly regain the lost calcium.
Molting is most common when the Atlantic Ocean begins to warm in June. The new-shell season will run all summer through October and beyond, depending on the drop in water temperature. Over the winter the new shell will harden and become next season’s hard shell lobster.
The question of hard shell vs. soft shell is usually one of preference and opportunity. For connoisseurs, the lobster eating experience is not complete unless you have to work to crack and pick the shells apart to get to the succulent meat inside. For those people, hard-shell lobster is always the way to go.
© Wayne Howe 2012
With New England and New York in the Super Bowl for 2012, it is only fitting that everyone’s favorite East Coast fare be part of the super celebration. Yes, we are talking about lobster; lots of fresh, great tasting Maine lobster for a Super Bowl lobster dinner.
Saturday delivery of live lobster is now available in most parts of the country. So even if you are sitting out there in Kansas, you can still be part of the New England lead up. Order the lobster online and have them delivered right to your house. Live Maine lobster can now be part of Super Bowl celebrations all across the country.
Easy to Prepare
Keep it simple with a traditional boiled lobster recipe. Boiled Maine lobster is easy to prepare, fun to serve and will be a big hit with the guests. After all, how often do the New England Patriots and the New York Football Giants play one another in the Super Bowl? (You don’t have to answer that.)
After all, how often do the New England Patriots and the New York Football Giants play one another in the Super Bowl?
Yes, with this second time around, the New York–Boston rivalry is alive and well. So why not celebrate this East Coast championship match by ordering the New England eight-lobster special.
When the lobster arrives on Saturday, you may keep them overnight by adding some wet newspapers and frozen gel packs to the carton. Don’t take them out of the carton to play with. It is important they stay cool and moist until ready to cook. If it’s below freezing outside, don’t leave the lobster in the box outside either.
When ready to prepare, just follow the directions for traditional boiled lobster:
Eating the lobster begins by twisting off the claws and the tail and cracking the shell to get at the meat. Providing your guests with traditional lobster bib kits makes the job easy; the the kits come with handy eating instructions.
To round out your lobster dinner, consider adding some traditional prepared lobster fare like a Maine lobster pizza or fresh steamer clams and oysters.
Enjoy the game!
© Wayne Howe 2012
|The Lobsters-Online web site today.|
|Lobster Trap Company trucks loading at Cape Cod facility.|
|Lobster Clambake Source: M. Cellania|
© Wayne Howe 2011