Snackshot of the Day: Lobster Roll
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The lobster roll at Woodhouse Fish Co in San Francisco.
The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking.
Today's Snackshot is of a lobster roll from Woodhouse Fish Co. in San Francisco. The Bay Area is known not only for its Mexican food, but also its seafood (a must-have on any visit is clam chowder, especially in a bread bowl). The lobster roll from Woodhouse is just one of many options there; try the oysters, the Dungeness crab, or the catch of the day, fresh daily. To drink, San Francisco brewery Anchor Steam is on offer, along with riesling from Santa Barbara winery Radog.
Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit a photo, email jbruce[at]thedailymeal.com, subject: "Snackshots."
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Lobster roll recipe
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.
|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
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.
Mediterranean Seafood Paella with Maine Lobster
Ingredients for dinner for four (scale for more people):
- 4 1-Pound Lobsters (or larger)
- 2 pounds Medium Shrimp
- ½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 medium Spanish Onions, peeled and chopped
- 6 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 pounds Ripe Plum Tomatoes, chopped
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- ½ cup Dry White Wine
- ¼ cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 ½ cups Parsley Leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups Bomba (Calasparra) Paella Rice (or other light brown, small to medium light grain rice)
- 1 tablespoon Crushed Saffron
- 20 Fresh Littleneck Clams washed and scrubbed
- 20 Fresh Mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
- 1 ½ Cups Fresh (Or Frozen) Green Peas
- In a large kettle, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Blanch the lobsters two at a time over high heat. Cook until bright red — about 6 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a plate and set aside.
- In the same kettle, add shrimp and cook until pink — about two minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let cool in a bowl.
- When cool, peel the shrimp and add the shells to the boiling water. Place the peeled shrimp aside and cover.
- Twist the tails and claws from lobsters. Use a large chef’s knife to cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise. Crack the claws with the knife. Remove sac from bodies. Set the lobster aside and cover.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer shrimp-shell mixture to make two quarts of fish stock for paella, about 30 minutes (Add water if necessary) Strain liquid and set aside.
- When fish stock is ready, warm olive oil in 13-inch paella pan (15-inch if available) over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté five minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add tomatoes, peppers, lemon juice, and white wine and simmer about one minute. Stir in pepper and salt. Stir in parsley.
- Stir in 1 quart fish stock and add rice. Stir in saffron. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add a second quart of fish stock. Stir in clams, mussels, shrimp and lobster (tails, claws and bodies). Stir in peas.
- Stirring occasionally, cook until all the clams and mussels are open, about five to seven minutes. Discard unopened clams and mussels.
- Bring paella pan to the table and place on a heat-safe pad and serve immediately.
If you like this Lobster Seafood Paella recipe you may also wish to try our Boston Style Lobster Fra Diavolo recipe, the king of all spicy lobster dishes.
So good, you'll think you're sitting seaside on the coast! Our Lobster Roll Kits bring the taste of Maine right into your own home! This is a great gift idea!
Includes: 1 lb. Frozen Premium Maine/ Nova Scotia Lobster Meat, New England Style Rolls for the griddle, Hellmann's Mayo, and Fresh Celery!
Order Our Maine Lobster Roll Kits Anytime Online, But all Orders for Next Day Delivery Must be Placed by 7 PM EST the Day Before Shipment! Maine Lobster Roll Kits Also Makes A Great Gift Idea For Your Favorite Seafood Lover! How Easy Is That!
You can easily place your order online or by calling us toll free at 866-788-0004. We ship Monday thru Thursday for delivery on Tuesday thru Friday (NO Sunday or Monday delivery).
Lobster recipes for National Lobster Day!
Lobster illustration. Library Tag 09192011
Put a claw in the air! National Lobster Day is Friday (June 15) so we rounded up some of our favorite recipes to get crackin’! <Br><br>For starters, if you want to keep things simple, here’s our recipe for easy at-home steamed lobster. Perfection with a side of melted butter. Delish.
<Br><br>Like khakis and blue jeans and little black dresses, double-decker club sandwiches never go out of style. But why not swank it up with a deluxe club of lobster, avocado, and watercress?
<Br><br>”Top Chef” alumna and Sweet Cheeks owner Tiffani Faison spiked her lobster rolls with a roasted corn and onion mayo.
Recipe: Lobster chowder
<Br><br>This chowder has no other thickening, so there’s nothing to dilute the tastes of lobster, golden potatoes, the first corn of the season, and fresh cream. Luxury in a bowl.
Recipe: Grilled lobster
<Br><br>If you want a grilled lobster — its succulent meat stuffed with fresh herbs — stay in your own backyard and light the grill. The shell chars while the meat becomes slightly smoky.
Recipe: New England lobster rolls (Dishing)
<Br><br>As you know, once the lobster is cooked, the roll takes about two minutes to assemble. But the main ingredient is expensive. Luckily, bread rolls are cheap and with a little mayo and some chopped celery, the only missing ingredient is a view of the sea.
Recipe: Lobster pie
<Br><br>Chef Dominic Geraghty shared a recipe for a savory lobster pie with a crispy, crunchy topping made with a mix of potato chips, bread crumbs, and grated Parmesan.
Recipe: Baked stuffed lobster with crabmeat
<Br><br>A seafood-stuffed lobster recipe by Island Creek Oyster Bar’s Jeremy Sewall. At home, he said, lobster is “a great communal dinner.”
How to Close Out Summer with a Memorable Lobster Feast
If you’ve finally recovered from the dog days of summer and are trying to plan one last hurrah before breaking out your fall apparel, there’s no better way to celebrate than by planning an epic lobster feast for family and friends. A Labor Day lobster feast is the perfect occasion for going all-out with top quality crustaceans, a decorative table setting, and mouthwatering seasonal side dishes that threaten to steal the show.
It’s a nice change from burgers and hot dogs and certainly makes for a festive Labor Day party. You have options when it comes to the main event, too you can grill your lobster, go for lobster rolls instead of whole crustaceans, or even lighten up with a lobster salad.
In any case, choose make-ahead side dishes, elegant yet effortless appetizers, and easy desserts and you’ll be surprised how low-stress a legendary lobster feast can be.
Step 1: Choose Your Lobster
The first step in throwing a successful lobster feast starts with the obvious: finding a first-rate lobster. Lobster expert Ben Conniff (one of the founders of Luke’s Lobster, which started in the East Village in 2009 and now has almost a dozen locations) offers some tips for finding the freshest catch: “First of all, the lobster should be frisky and energetic when you pick it up. The longer it’s out of its natural habitat, the more it weakens and its energy wanes.” Another tip? You should be sure to check out the antennae of any lobster that you’re buying from a supermarket tank. Ben’s insider knowledge comes in handy when trying to select the freshest lobster: “You can also spot a lobster that’s spent a lot of time out of the ocean in a tank if it has short antennae, as lobsters in captivity will snack on one another’s antennae when they get hungry.”
Lobsters are most frequently caught in traps, which are maintained by individual lobstermen who visit them daily. There are numerous laws and regulations in place to protect the Homarus americanus, or American lobster, found in the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Maine. Conniff explains the importance of these laws, saying that the “lobstermen adhere to stringent regulations that keep the most reproductive lobsters in the population, such as requiring juvenile vents in traps so that those who have yet to breed have a chance to escape a requirement to throw back both under-sized lobsters and over-sized lobsters, which produce exponentially more eggs and marking and throwing back any egg-bearing females so that they can never be captured.”
Step 2: Treat It Right
What to do once you’ve found the perfect lobster? Now you need to learn how to properly cook it and break it down to maximize flavor and minimize mess. Sometimes, with new shell lobsters, you won’t even need any tools at all. If you have a hard shell lobster, Conniff recommends the use of a “a standard lobster cracker, [which] works great to break into the claws and knuckles.
Pure & Simple Basic Steamed Lobster At Luke’s at Tenants Harbor…the guests traditionally crack their lobster with rocks from the islands, which works just as well. For the tail you shouldn’t need any tools no matter how hard the shell just twist the tail off the body, peel off the flippers, insert your thumb into the little hole where the flippers used to be, and push the whole tail out the larger hole at the opposite end. For the claws, the first thing you should do is bend back and break off the “thumb” on each, then slowly pull out the blade of cartilage attached to it so that it doesn’t get stuck inside the claw.” Conniff recommends eating any leftover lobster (stored in a normal refrigerator at standard temperature) no more than two days after cooking, to be safe.
Step 3: Set the Scene
As for setting the table, keep it casual and low-key by tying a ribbon or some twine around a brightly colored napkin and compostable utensils for a simple, yet elegant (and portable!) picnic place setting. Elevate your lobster feast with small touches like custom lobster bibs for the event, unique candleholders, and mix-and-match plates, cups, and glasses (shatterproof dinnerware is always good for outdoor dining). Festive paper goods, like red-and-blue paper plates and napkins, are a great touch as are picnic blankets, portable chairs, and nautical-themed accessories.
Reusable Nautical Stripe Nakins, 6 for $12.99+ on Amazon
Blue and white stripes are a nice nautical touch on your table.
You could even create a hollowed-out watermelon to use as a decorative flower holder. Make great watermelon cocktails with the inside of the watermelon before preserving the rind as a makeshift vase that screams summer.
Our Favorite Lobster Rolls
When I moved to Connecticut from Massachusetts seventeen years ago, I fell hard for the most quintessential of summer eats: the lobster roll. I was never a fan of the cold, mayonnaise-drenched version proffered in the shacks of my home state. For me, the Connecticut version is sublime: just sweet meat and melted butter. While it’s a bit of a no-brainer, some are better than others and we ate a slew of them to find the best. Here’s our list.
p.s. because lobster prices vary according to market, we didn’t include them here.
Ford’s, Noank (Pandemic Update: Currently open for take-out only, Thursday thru Sunday, 12 – 7pm).
We were smitten with Ford’s the moment we walked in. Mint green walls hung with black and white photographs of lobstering history, de rigueur lobster pots and paraphernalia, plus tables full of locals chowing down on lobster grilled cheese, fish tacos and lobster bombs (1/2 pound of lobster in a bread bowl!). The scene is straight out of the fifties, but the folks at Ford’s are fooling with you. Ford’s is only four years old, but lobstering goes WAY Back in the little village of Noank. We stuck with the classic lobster roll, served on a golden bun (we asked our slightly incredulous waitress what made the bun so delicious and she responded, “it’s a grinder roll!”). Grilling it in butter transforms the thing, and comes stuffed with 1/4 pound of meat wedged inside. On the side? a mountain of crispy, brown fries and absolutely awesome slaw. Add some iced sweet tea and New England clam chowder and you’ve got a summertime feast. Could be my new fave. Plenty of outdoor seating in summer, plus service boat-side when it’s really jamming. Next time we’ll go for the lobster grilled cheese, although our waitress shared that the grilled fish tacos are the bomb. BYOB.
Lobster Landing, Clinton (During the Pandemic, Lobster Landing is open for Take-Out only, call in your order: (860) 669-2005).
I wasn’t intentionally on the quest to find the ultimate lobster roll, but it found me anyway. For years, I’ve heard Lobster Landing in Clinton makes the meanest roll on the Shoreline, but like the New Yorker who hasn’t trekked to the top of the Empire State Building ($20 for the elevator ride!), I’d never been. Driving back from Madison the other perfect summer day, lobster for lunch seemed like a good idea.
That’s how I found myself in a short line at the outside grill at Lobster Landing and a few minutes later, munching the perfect roll: a 1/4 pound of warm lobster meat, tucked into a barely grilled sub roll (“imported” from Vermont), and drizzled with butter and lemon. That’s it. The secret? The roll is sturdy enough so the whole thing doesn’t get soggy and fall apart before you’ve had a chance to savor it, and the unadorned lobster, straight from the pot, is the star. There are many tasty versions on the Shoreline, but for me, this is The One. Sunday – Thursday, 11 – 6, Friday and Saturday, 11 – 7. BYOB.
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, New London (Pandemic Update: Currently take-out only, call or order online: www.captscottsnl.com. Closed Mondays).
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock is a no-frills eatery serving up (very) lightly buttered chunks of fresh lobster in a classic New England style toasted bun. Wedged between the train tracks and a marina, this popular spot has plenty of parking and picnic tables. Find yourself a stool overlooking the boatyard or grab a shaded table under the pavilion and order either the Classic (12.95) or Large (16.95) roll. We like that the sandwich wasn’t dripping with butter, clearing the palate for plenty of fresh, sweet meat. Lots more to order here, from bisque to chowder, to a full-on Shore Dinner (next time) but we were concentrating on rolls this go. Save room for a cone of Gifford’s ice cream on the way out. BYOB.
Guilford Lobster Pound (Pandemic Update: Seating available starting Memorial Day Weekend, mask required).
Year’s ago a friend of mine had the brilliant idea to have her rehearsal dinner at a clam shack on the water before her wedding on Cape Cod. It was, bar none, the best (and tastiest) rehearsal I’ve been to. That memory came flooding back at Guilford Lobster Pound. A simple deck, lined with picnic tables and views of the Sound and Salt Island, would make a perfect setting for a party (and, yes, it’s available to rent). Their roll was as classic as they come: a grilled and buttered, smallish hot dog roll, stuffed with sweet, juicy meat. It’s a happy alternative on a pretty day to lunching on the Green, as it’s just down Whitfield Street. Take a right into the parking lot at The Moorings Restaurant and drive through until you come upon the shack.
Abbott’s, Noank (Pandemic Update: Lobster roll take-out, opening Thursday May 21st for outdoor seating).
When we first arrived in Connecticut EVERYONE told us to head straight for Abbot’s…and we did (until we discovered Lobster Landing). This is more of a fast food experience, though the lobster meat is fresh from the pot. Here it comes Maine style, a cone of meat on a buttered sesame seed bun. You can’t get more classic than a bag of Utz chips and slightly sweet cole slaw served alongside. Outdoor seating on a summer day with a water view is sublime, but this rainy one we chowed down inside. Save room for strawberry shortcake and pick up a pint of Rhode Island broth-based clam chowder to go.
Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook (Pandemic Update: Opening for outdoor dining Friday May 22nd at noon. Call ahead: 860.388.1111).
On a dreary afternoon, the idea of a lobster roll in a cozy room with a view, where river meets the sound, was just the ticket. At Fresh Salt, you can enjoy your roll outside or in, eliminating the necessity of a sunny day. Here, chunks of tender claw and tail are dipped in butter and overflow a grilled brioche bun. Accompanied by a basket of absurdly irresistible house-made, wisp thin, kettle-fried potato chips, plus a half lemon dolled up in a net for seed-free squeezing, complete the experience. I’m not crazy enough to say this roll had too much lobster but I walked away more than satisfied.
Westbrook Lobster (in Clinton!) (Pandemic Update: order online or by phone with curbside pick-up).
This spot is a bit of an anomaly. At first glanc,e it appears to be your classic seafood joint offering up classics like surf and turf, baked stuffed shrimp and lobster pot pie. But they lean new school too, with organic salmon, dayboat scallops and lobster mac’n’cheese on the menu. They’re justifiably famous for their generous happy hour bar bites and craft beer lovers will be thrilled with their extensive local draft selections. But we were here for a lobster roll at lunch and stuck happily to our mission. The moment I sat down, my waitress placed a small loaf of a warm and fabulous whole grain bread and whipped butter on the table. Not that I needed the extra carbs but who could resist? I’ll always take an onion ring over a french fry so loved having the choice here. For $1 extra, you can really pig out and have both (moi). The roll itself was the usual toasted bun with hot buttered lobster and ranks up there with the rest of the bunch. With an extensive selection of non-seafood items and a happening bar scene, this is a good choice for families, picky eaters and cocktail hour, too.
Lobster At Home
I don’t cook lobster at home anymore (we call it TMT – too much trouble), but we know that out-of-town guests love a lobster roll, so here’s my method: I pick up a pound or two of boiled and just-picked-from-the-shell lobster meat at Atlantic Seafood in Old Saybrook, douse it in melted butter and stuff it in a mini Martin’s roll for a super simple summertime snack. (Good idea to call Atlantic Seafood ahead).
Another entertaining option is even easier. Ring Thimble Island Lobster Bakes, and they’ll arrive in the Lobstermobile, ready to serve up lobster rolls or an entire Shore Dinner (steamers, lobsters, chowder, corn and salad) for as few as eight, or up to 200 guests.
Celebrating Lobster: The New England Lobster Roll
I spent a few weeks in New England this summer- specifically– Boston’s South Shore. It’s a family tradition to head to our beach house rental every summer… a time of relaxation, searching for sea glass, family bonding, visiting with our favorite beach house neighbors, and eating plenty of lobster. One night is always reserved for steaming several lobsters in a big pot on a gas-fired device.
We eat many of them with melted butter, corn on the cob and bread to soak up the juices. But I always steam up a few extras to utilize for lunch the following day: Lobster Rolls .
For two lobster rolls, I use a generous portion of lobster meat- about 2 cups.
I add 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise. I don’t like mushy lobster, so just a little bit of mayonnaise is plenty. I add a sprinkle of sea salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.
Using a microplane, I grate about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest into the mix and squeeze 1 wedge of lemon juice. That’s it. It’s a simple mix. It’s all you need. No crunch, nothing fancy. Just the lobster as the star with a bit of lemon to pair naturally with the seafood.
If you have access to those wonderful, soft New England style hot dog buns- use those! If not, use regular old buns. I find that buttering the buns and then placing them buttered-side-down in a skillet gets them nice and toasty and gives them a good basis for adding the lobster mixture.
You can tell from the photo that I tend to overstuff the rolls. I like to get as much lobster in there as I can! You can certainly use a bit less lobster if you prefer it that way. Be sure to add some good potato chips or cole slaw and an ice cold beer. That’s the New England way to do it.
The complete recipe can be viewed & printed out here: Lobster Roll .
- Add 2 to 3 inches of water to a large stockpot that has a lid and add the bay leaves, peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a light boil. Add lobster tails, cover the pot and steam for 3-4 minutes or until the lobster is bright red/orange. Remove lobster tails carefully with tongs and set on a cutting board to cool until you can safely handle them.
- Turn the tail over so that the soft underbelly is exposed. Use kitchen shears (or sanitized scissors) to cut right down the middle. Grip each side of the tail in your hands, palm side up, and twist your wrists outward to loosen the shell and extract the meat. Chop the meat into bite-sized pieces and add to a medium bowl.
- To the lobster, add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter (the rest will be used later), minced celery, the zest and juice of half a lemon and mayonnaise. Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Toss lightly and taste to see if any more salt and pepper is needed. Put the lobster salad in the fridge while you prepare the buns.
- Using the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter, brush the butter evenly over each hotdog bun. Toast the buns on all sides in a dry cast-iron skillet (or your favorite skillet).
- Fill the buttered and toasted buns with lobster salad and garnish with minced chives. Serve with lemon wedges on the side, if you like.