Hello All! First... Thanks so much for the kind words and your concern. Please accept my most sincere apologies for my (unplanned) month long absence from the blogosphere. I'm sorry if I had anyone worried. We're doing pretty well... just a little bit tired. OK... Really tired. Between tons of work that needed to be done around the house, a family graduation party, a memorial service for a dear, dear friend who passed away, the Hubbers having some vacation time and then two weekends in a row of house guests, I've been recovering from a lot of health related "payback" and have had zero time to log on to the interwebs. Seriously.. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Pinterest, no Blogosphere. Oh My!
So... Even though I'll be out of town for the next couple of days on a bit of a "girl's weekend during the week" with a couple of my besties, I wanted to squeeze in a post that was a little bit special. Now, I don't know about you, but for me, there's not much in the culinary realm that's more special or maybe even decadent, than lobstah.
If you've been following my blog(s) for a while, you already know that one of my favorite places on Earth (aside from my own little nest) is Ogunquit, Maine. Hubby and I have been making an annual trip to this "beautiful place by the sea" for the last 30 years and it's become a tradition for us to roll into town at about noon, check in to our room at The Beachmere Inn, throw on our walking shoes and head down the incredible Marginal Way cliff walk to Perkin's Cove and have a big ol' lobster roll and an icy cold beer, at one of the cove's many excellent restaurants/lobster shacks. (The videos attached to these links are not mine/were not taken by me or by anyone I know. They're just some that I found that showcase the area really well.)
Several years ago, we decided to take this much cherished trip in September, after all of the kiddos have gone back to school and the Maine coast is a little less crowded. The downside to that is that throughout the summer months, we tend to get a hankerin' for those luscious lobster rolls. Luckily, it's easy to satisfy those cravings, because a classic lobster salad is seriously one of the most simple recipes there is to make. OK... I know that times are tough and the star ingredient in this recipe tends to be a tad on the pricey side, but 1) I don't make them that often 2) The cost per roll ends up being less than the price of any we've purchased - even at the coast, and 3) The satisfaction you get from that first delicious bite, is always more than worth the occasional splurge.
That being said... A lobster roll can definitely create a lot of controversy among those who consider themselves to be "purists". I'm pretty sure that I can safely say that I'm one of those people. And just what gives me the right to consider myself a purist, you ask? Well, being a life-long resident of the northeastern US and having spent at least 2 days (up to 3 weeks) on the Maine coast, every single one of the past, oh... 42 of my 50 years, I've sampled multiple versions of this classic New England sandwich, purveyed by the smallest of stands/shacks to the highest end restaurants.
Hence, I figure at an average of 2.5 lobster rolls per visit x 42 years, that equals 105 lobster rolls consumed. (and greatly enjoyed, thankyouverymuch!) And this number doesn't even reflect the lobster rolls that I've prepared and eaten at home! I think that qualifies me as a bona fide lobster roll purist. Of course, I know there are folks who can top that and you are always welcome to disagree, but please... do so with kindness. :~)
What follows, is my idea of the classic or traditional lobster roll, but even among purists there are still different methods of preparation that are considered to be THE only way to prepare/serve a lobster roll. After all, purists can have personal preferences too. These include;
- Spreading a small amount of mayonnaise directly on the inside of the roll and then piling the lobster on top.
- Combining the lobster and mayo, but omitting the celery entirely.
- Tossing the lobster with melted butter instead of mayo, immediately before serving, OR
- Piling the roll high with "naked" lobster meat and serving the mayo or melted butter on the side.
Classic Maine Lobster Roll
- 14-16oz Cooked Lobster Meat (knuckle and claw), cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 Stalks Celery, chopped fine
- 1/4 Cup Real Mayonnaise
- Kosher Salt
- 4 Frankfurter Rolls
- 1 Tbls Butter, softened
The Salad: Cut the thawed and drained lobster meat into generous, bite sized pieces and combine in a medium bowl with the finely chopped celery, mayonnaise and a good pinch of kosher salt. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving. (you want the salad chilled, but not too cold)
The Rolls: Butter the sides of the frankfurter rolls and toast them over medium to medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet or griddle pan until just golden brown and crispy.
To Serve: Load up the frank rolls with 1/4 of the Lobster salad and serve immediately with some crunchy potato chips and a pickle, or maybe a scoop of Sweet and Sour Coleslaw.
In about 95% of the restaurants and shacks that I've been to, a traditional or classic lobster roll contains only the knuckle and claw meat, a bit of mayo or melted butter and in some instances, if they do use mayo, there's a small amount of very finely chopped celery. (I use the inner ribs of celery, because they're more tender) And with a couple of exceptions, it's always served on a frankfurter roll.
If you're not sure of the difference between a frank roll and a hot dog roll, well... it's all about the way that it's cut. A frankfurter roll is basically a hot dog roll with the sides cut off. When my neighborhood grocery store has been out of these rolls, I've been known to buy the basic rolls and carefully cut the sides off with a sharp knife, if necessary. This is the only way to get those golden brown, buttery sides.
Hubbs is perfectly happy with rolls that are unbuttered before toasting, but I am a buttered roll girl, through and through.
As much as I adore a traditional lobster roll, keep in mind that you can always serve up a hearty scoop of this delectable salad, along with one or two other salads, like a tangy coleslaw, a sweet and savory broccoli salad or some creamy cottage cheese, to make up a lovely "cold plate" lunch on a sunny summer afternoon.
(There are some exciting things coming up here at GATAB in the next few weeks! What might they be, you ask? Well, think spectacular multi-blog linky party, a fun blogoversary celebration and who knows what else might be in the works... Stay tuned for more details!!)
These are the fabulous parties where I'll likely be sharing this week: