How you doin’? How about a little lobster today? There is this little restaurant in West Los Angeles that specializes lobster rolls (and beer). You might think that this is usually a New England favorite, but at Lobster and Beer they have a few great Lobster Rolls on the menu—one with just drawn butter mixed with the lobster meat and stuffed into a split brioche roll and the California-Style Lobster Salad Rolls. I love them both! For those who don’t live in the vicinity, this one’s for you!
How much do you know about lobsters? Here is a quick primer Lobster 101—read it well… there will be a pop quiz next period. When the first European settlers reached North America, lobsters were so plentiful that they would wash ashore in piles up to 2 feet high. Native Americans used lobsters to fertilize their crops and bait their fishing hooks. They also occasionally ate the abundant crustaceans by covering them in seaweed and baking them over hot rocks. This was the inspiration for the New England clambake.
Lobsters were sooo cheap because they were so many of them. Lobsters were routinely fed to prisoners (where can I sign up?), apprentices, slaves and children when America was just growing up. A servant’s diet was so lobster-heavy they included stipulations in their contracts that they would only be served lobster twice a week.
Lobsters—monsters from the deep. Maine lobsters can weigh more than 40 pounds and grow up to 3 feet long. The largest lobster on record was caught off Novia Scotia in 1988. It weighed more than 44 pounds and was 42 inches long—it was at least 100 years old—twice the lifespan of the average lobster. The fisherman who caught the mega lobster reportedly released him back to the sea.
This is really strange lobster stuff. The lobster, which has evolved little over the last 100 million years, is known for its unusual anatomy. Its brain is in its throat, its nervous system in its abdomen, its teeth in its stomach and its kidneys in its head. It also hears using its legs and tastes with its feet. One of the few things lobsters have in common with humans… they can be right-clawed or left-clawed.
A healthier solution. Although considered a rich and decadent food, lobster meat contains less calories than an equal portion of skinless chicken breast. It also boasts healthy omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and the vitamins E, B-12 and B-6.
Now, put on your bib and let’s eat some lobster!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 lobster rolls
For the lobster salad
1 pound fully cooked, steamed Maine lobster meat, cooled (free of shell and cartilage)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped
3 small scallions, thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
lemon wedge, for garnish
sweet gherkins, for garnish
For the buns
4 to 6 hot dog buns (I prefer King’s Hawaiian split-top hot dog buns)
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
To prepare the lobster salad
ChefSecret: I like to add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (microplane) about 30 minutes before making up the lobster rolls for the freshest flavor. If you get bored with eating too much lobster, you can use the same recipe for shrimp or crab.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: On day 127 of Social Distancing—I struck up a conversation with a spider. Seems nice. She’s a web designer.
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