Cooking lobster and recipes Lobster roll recipes

Make Your Own authentic Maine Lobster Roll Right at Home

Make Your Own authentic 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 authentic Maine lobster roll right at home 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.

Jumbo Maine Lobster Roll on New England bun
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.  Steam or 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.

It’s All About the Maine Lobster

Remember, it’s all about the lobster!

Here is Chef Hughes recipe, adapted from his cookbook Garde-Manger:


Maine Lobster Roll Recipe

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 Recipe

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

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Cooking lobster and recipes Holidays Lobster Seafood, shellfish and Maine lobster

What About Serving Jumbo Lobster for New Years Eve Dinner

jumbo maine lobster cooked on a plate

 

Serving Jumbo Maine Lobster New Year’s Eve

Every New Year holiday there is heard the same debate about what size lobster to order for the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration. Do bigger lobster have more meat? Are bigger lobster tough when cooked? Are jumbo lobster priced better?

Jumbo Maine Lobster

There are differing opinions on the quality of taste between a smaller lobster and a jumbo lobster, but these opinions are based on legend and not fact. Cooked properly, a six-pound lobster will be just as delicious as a 1-1/2 pound lobster. However, care must be taken not to overcook a large lobster. Overcooked lobster meat will toughen quickly. Steaming is the most forgiving way to cook a jumbo lobster. So follow cooking instructions and tips carefully and your jumbo lobster will be just as succulent as a smaller lobster.

Fresh is Best

Among the most important factors affecting taste is freshness. Ocean fresh is best. For example, supermarket lobster that sit in tanks for weeks at a time will begin to lose weight as the claw meat shrinks. When cooked, the supermarket lobster won’t taste as succulent as an ocean fresh lobster.

The next important factor is to make sure the lobster is flavorful is to order what is called the “hard shell lobster.” Lobsters “molt,” which means they shed their shell as they grow. After molting, the lobster’s new shell is soft. During this growth period, lobsters are in a weakened condition and do not travel well. Soft-shell lobster also have less meat for their size and some people are of the opinion soft shells are not necessarily as flavorful as the hard shells. The connoisseur won’t take a chance and will usually avoid soft-shell lobster.

So the keys to succulent jumbo lobster is careful cooking, freshness and selecting hard shells, but are jumbo lobster also a good value?

Larger lobster have a higher volume-to-surface ratio, yielding a little more meat per pound. Not a big difference, but there is a difference. On a practical level, jumbo lobster have larger legs, swimmerets, body and shoulders. The meat in these parts of the lobster is considered a delicacy. The truth is, on a large lobster the meat in those places is much easier to get at then on a smaller lobster. The legs especially will have a higher volume of meat. The larger claws on jumbos will also offer up to 20% more of the very desirable sweet claw meat.

Wild Caught Lobster

The Maine lobster lives in the ocean and is still harvested much as they were in the 19th century. Lobster fishermen go out in season to collect lobster from their traps and the lobster is delivered to market daily. Since the harvest varies from month to month, lobster prices go up and down with supply and demand. Waterfront Maine lobster pounds such as the ones operated all throughout New England allow the storage of ocean fresh lobster, helping to stabilize prices in the off season.

Jumbo Lobster Delivery Service

Jumbos begin at 2 ½ to three pounds with the weight measured wet, or right out of the tank. Some years the price-per-pound for jumbos is higher than quarters, halves and selects. Some years the price per pound is less. It just depends on the supply and the demand.

Many lobster services  ship only hand selected, fresh lobster. The hard-shell lobster are lively, healthy, and ocean fresh. By operating water-front lobster pounds in Maine, Lobsters-Online.Com is able to offer customers ocean-fresh jumbo lobster year round.

So go ahead an order some jumbo lobster for your New Year’s Eve dinner celebration. And have a Happy New Year!

© Wayne Howe 2018

 

Cooking lobster and recipes Holidays

Pan Roasted Christmas Eve Maine Lobster Dinner a Family Tradition

Christmas Eve Maine Lobster REcipe

The Christmas Eve Maine Lobster seafood dinner is an Italian-American holiday tradition that is immensely popular in New England, so much so that serving wonderful seafood dishes on Christmas Eve has been embraced by people of all heritages. The historic seven-fish dinner has given way over the years to include elaborate spreads of cold shellfish such as oysters, clams and of course shrimp. But the starring role in the Christmas Eve celebration is now reserved for fresh Maine lobsters prepared any number of ways.

Pan Roasted Christmas Eve Maine Lobster Dinner Recipe

My neighbors always prepare several lobster courses on Christmas Eve with the favorite a pan roasted lobster flavored with Bourbon and served sizzling hot  in a creamy butter sauce.  Pan roasted lobster is a little tricky to prepare but with this favorite recipe the flavor is explosive and your family and guests will love it.

This favorite pan roasted lobster recipe allows the potent bourbon flavor to mingle wonderfully with the sweetness of the lobster. The use of fresh chervil imparts a hint of anise flavor to the lobster as well.

pan roasted maine lobster

And pan roasting lobster gives it a surprisingly tender texture.

For best results, you will need a large, heavy iron sauté pan or deep skillet, metal tongs and a large chef knife.  Make sure to use fresh, live hard-shell Maine lobster. Care must also be taken not to place the lobster pan too close to the heat in the oven or broiler.

The Christmas Eve pan roasted lobster recipe can be served as a main course for two or as a first course for four.

Pan Roasted Maine Lobster for Two (Based on Summer Shack Chef Jasper White Recipe)

  • 2 live, 2 pound hard-shell Maine lobsters (must  be hard shell)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 shallots (1 ½ ounces),  diced
  • ¼ cup bourbon (or cognac)
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced small and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon chervil finely chopped  (substitute parsley and tarragon mix if not available)
  • 1 tablespoon chives finely chopped
  • sea salt (or Kosher)
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler or oven as hot as possible (550F). Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
    1. Kill the lobster by splitting them lengthwise. Remove any tomalley and roe found. Cut off the claws where the knuckle meets the carapace. Cut the lobster halves into quarters. Including the claws, you will now have 6 pieces of each lobster. Place the pieces shell side down on a plate.
    2. Place the tomalley and roe in a small bowl and use a fork to mash into small pieces.
    3. Place the 12-inch pan over the highest stove surface heat possible. Allow the pan to heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the peanut oil and heat until it forms a film on the pan. Slide the lobster pieces, shell side down, into the hot oil. Using tongs, move the pieces to sear the shells evenly.  Hold the lobster pieces m with the tongs and press the shells into the hot oil to sear. The claws need to be seared on only one side. When the shells have all turned bright red, which should take no more than 2 minutes, turn the pieces over. The oil will also be beautifully red tinged. Add the tomalley and roe to the pan.
    4. Place the pan in the oven. If using the broiler, cook for 2 minutes. If using the oven, cook for 3 minutes. The shells should be slightly browned, even a bit charred in places.
    5. Remove the pan from the oven and return it to the stove at maximum heat. Turn off the oven and put in your serving plates in to warm. Remember, the handle of the pan will be red-hot and will stay hot until the dish is complete. To avoid burns, wear oven mitts.
    6. Add the shallots to the fat in the pan and stir. Add the bourbon and ignite. Shake the pan until the flames die down. Add the wine and let the liquid in the pan reduce.  Turn the heat to low.
    7. Quickly remove the pieces of lobster and place, shell side down, on warm plates. Try to “reconstruct” the lobster so that it looks similar to a split lobster. Arrange the claws so that they lean into the center of the lobster.
    8. Return the pan to the heat and add the butter, chervil and chives. Swirl or stir the butter in the pan to create a creamy sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon the sauce over the lobster pieces and serve at once.

 

Note on wine pairings: Champagne and other sparkling wines pair beautifully with shellfish and lobster dishes that have butter.  They work well with notes of anise, ginger and mild curry, as well as toasty flavors from breadcrumbs or nuts. Try a top of the line champagne with your pan roasted lobster.

© Wayne Howe 2018

 

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