I heart lobster. It is what I want for dinner every year for my birthday, it would be chosen for my last meal if I ever found myself on death row, and I am certain it must be served 24/7 at that great buffet in the sky. My husband hasn’t always shared my affinity for the briny beast. When we first started dating, he had never tried it, and wasn’t all too enthused to, until he saw me lustily devouring one at El Quijote, possibly my favorite restaurant in the world. We started in small doses…I assured him that he wouldn’t have to do any cracking himself, and I would be the one to don the dorky bib. A dip into drawn butter and one bite later, he was hooked.
I rarely make lobster at home. Normally, restaurants can acquire it at such a lower price than you will find at your local fishmonger, that at many places in NYC you can find a full lobster meal for only a few dollars more than the lobster would cost you to buy. Not so this spring, however. With lobster costs on the rise, due to colder water temperatures, lobsters are pricier than ever (and will have harder shells!). Upsetting, for sure, but this past week, I still needed my fix. Not wanting to deal with drawn butter, messy hands, and cracking my husband’s lobster for him (but it’s ok cause he does all our laundry), I decided to go the trendy route, and make us some delicious lobster rolls.
Kitty’s Rockin’ Lobster Rolls
Makes 2 Full Rolls
One 1&1/2 lb lobster – fresh
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2-3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
kosher salt & white pepper to taste
2 hot dog buns
Step 1: Buy a lobster. I always ask my fishmonger to quickly kill the lobster before I bring it home. They do this by stabbing the lobster behind the head, and it kills them instantly. This is a great idea for anyone who is skittish about dealing with the moving lobsters, or anyone concerned about humane issues. Your lobster will be just as delicious when you do this, but just make sure you cook it within an hour of getting home.
Step 2: Fill a large stockpot or lobster pot with water, and bring to a rapid boil. Throw in your lobster, cover, reduce heat to medium, and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. The tail will curl, and the lobster will turn a beautiful red color. While it cooks, prepare an ice bath.
Step 3: Using tongs, remove the lobster from the boiling water, and submerge it immediately in the ice bath. Swish it around for a few minutes. The tail will take the longest to chill.
Step 4: Start cracking! For a good lobster roll, we want the claw, knuckle, and tail meat. At many restaurants, you would only find claw and knuckle in your lobster roll. Skip the tomalley and tiny legs…unless you want to snack on them while you work.
Step 5: Thanks to your elbow grease, you now have a nice little serving of lobster meat. Stick it in the fridge for an hour or so to chill.
Step 7: Butter up some hot dog rolls, and grill them, face-down, on a griddle.
Step 8: Throw a steak on the grill for your skeptical husband who doesn’t think that you are making him enough food even though you have potatoes roasting in the oven.
Step 9: Spoon the meat into the rolls, and try not to salivate onto your camera.
Granted, this wasn’t a cheap meal, but for a total of about $30 we feasted on steak, lobster, and beer…try doing that at a restaurant. So, until the lobster crisis has commenced, I hope some of you will try this delish recipe.