"Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a farm and live entirely surrounded by cows–and china."

Charles Dickens

January 6, 2011

Lobstah Rolls!

One of the hardest things about moving from New England has been that we can't get seafood right off the boat (or hours from it). Gone are the days when we could buy lobster, on sale, at our local grocery stores for $6 and under a pound. Or bop off to the coast of Maine for a shore dinner and be home by dark. When we could get lobster affordably, especially on sale, we always treated ourselves to a big lobster feed, followed by lobster rolls the next day. Imagine, this is an ocean crustacean, once so plentiful, that the Pilgrims used to use it for fertilizer!

Our boys at Warren's Lobster House, in Kittery, Maine, in July 2008, chowing down on steamer clams.

We were introduced to Lexington Seafood last fall before my birthday and are delighted by their offerings. The owner gets fresh seafood flown in––even Irish salmon––and we know we can get what we're craving when we cave to the crave. He also smokes his own salmon and let me tell you: the best we've ever tried! So it is probably a good thing that the shop is about two hours away or it would be too tempting on a regular basis. It probably goes without saying that fresh seafood sold in the middle of the country is not as affordable as when you live nearer the source!

Last week, for New Year's Day, we celebrated with oyster bisque (frozen leftovers from Christmas Eve) and lobster rolls. I cheated and bought a 2 lb. package of de-shelled and cooked lobster meat from the freezer at the seafood shop but it was worth it (and it was the holidays––we've been very good all fall eating from the farm freezers and pantries). After all, we can't grow seafood on our farm!

We've been going to Warren's since the 1960s when we'd go each summer with my parents on our visits from Ohio to my grandparents' farm. It hasn't changed at all, except for the prices. [In 1976, a large live lobster dinner––quite a feast (we liked that you got BOTH French fries and onion rings)––was only $13.50!]

We still have some salmon, large ocean scallops, and alligator meat (the boys wanted to try it) in our freezer from our pre-Christmas seafood run. Today, being Twelfth Night, the Feast of Epiphany, we will celebrate with some salmon––and maybe a King's Cake if I don't fritter the day away doing other stuff (trying very hard not to bake for a while, although I have wanted to make a Kentucky Jam Cake forever). We've already decided that this will be an annual holiday tradition for us: seafood run to Lexington!

• Cooked, chilled lobster meat, loosely chopped into bite-sized morsels (you may use frozen, but thaw and drain first: you can also substitute langostino, which is readily available frozen)
• Hellman's® Mayonnaise (or Best® Foods)––the only allowable substitute would be homemade! If you insist on using anything else, make sure it isn't a salad dressing that has added sugar––it will ruin the flavor and the lobster is sweet enough. Trust me!
• Fresh ground pepper & sea salt
• New England-style hot dog buns
• Butter for slathering sides of buns before grilling
• Parsley, chopped, for garnish

Add mayo quite sparingly to lobster meat––your eye will be the judge. You don't need much and you want the lobster to rule the flavor. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt (only a bit) and a few grates from the pepper grinder. Toss gently. Chill or serve immediately, preferably on grilled New England-style hot dog buns! (We have found these at our local Walmart after looking all over the place––the kind with the exposed bread on both sides: lightly buttered and lightly grilled until light brown on both sides.)

You can take the girl out of New England, but...
Optional additions: Minced celery is great for some crunch, as is just a bit of minced shallot. I also like to add a few tablespoons chopped parsley to the lobster salad, maybe a wee squirt of fresh lemon juice. Above all, you don't want to overwhelm the succulence of the lobster. Lobster roll purists will tell you that it's all about the minimalism.

Enjoy! Now to think of what to do with that frozen gator meat––any suggestions?

You come back when you're ready!

Catherine

2 comments:

  1. You just set me back emotionally with all of this talk (and pictures!) of "lobstah" rolls... Destiny

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, yum! That looks and sounds heavenly.

    Joberta

    ReplyDelete

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