I have been telling customers for about 15 years that lobsters are done in Long Island Sound, due to spraying for the West Nile virus/warm water temperatures that caused a big lobster die-off in these parts. (LI is the southernmost reach of the North Atlantic lobster’s stomping grounds.) Years ago we used to sell lobsters at the Greenmarket for $8.95 a pound.
What a surprise when one of the fishermen stopped by with a bucket full of lobsters, in return for Alex saving him bait the past few weeks. I asked him where they came from; he looked as surprised as me, and said, “they’re marching into the Sound, I guess. I don’t know where they’re coming from.”
Well. We steamed two and ate them immediately, and I decided to make lobster rolls with the rest.
Anyone with roots in New England knows that there is a classic way to make a lobster roll that one must not deviate from: top split bun toasted with butter, mayo, celery and lemon only. You can find tons of variations on the internet, with recipes using curry or mustard or cucumber (shudder). I think classic is best because you can really taste the sweet flavor of the lobster (plus, my Dad’s from Boston).
The toughest part is shelling the lobsters. A good pair of kitchen shears works great for this. It definitely takes longer to shell the lobsters that it does to eat the whole roll!
3 pounds cooked lobster meat (about 4 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pound lobsters), chopped into ½ inch pieces
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped dill
Salt and pepper to taste
4 hot dog buns
4 tablespoons butter, softened
Combine the lobster, mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, dill and salt and pepper. Put in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Lightly butter the insides of the rolls. Over medium heat, toast the rolls until the inside is a golden brown.
Fill the rolls to overflowing with the lobster salad. Serve with lemon slices.
Makes 4 generous servings.