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Simply Food: Lobster Roll

August 20, 2013
By Wendy Monro , The Journal

We didn't want to let the summer pass us by without making one of our favorite summertime meals, lobster sandwiches. We absolutely love to eat these in the summer. When Claud was a little boy, he spent many summers in Maine with a family friend. His parents allowed him to get onto a plane in London and fly out to Maine for a couple of weeks each summer. He has some incredible stories about his times spent in Maine. Of course, the one I remember the most is how he loved the lobster sandwiches and ate at least one every day while he was there.

When I met Claud, I had never heard of these tasty sandwiches. They weren't a thing in California. I think they were predominantly an East Coast treat. Even when I lived in Maryland, I don't remember seeing these. He made me one and I couldn't believe the taste. I normally enjoy lobsters simply boiled with a little drawn butter and lemon. I never imagined I would love them in mayonnaise and on a roll. We have always called them lobster sandwiches but I realized, once I started noticing them in different restaurants, that they are actually called lobster "rolls".

One of the best things about these sandwiches is that you can feed four to six people with one lobster. So, it's pretty affordable. Having the lobster meat with all of the dressing and bread make it very filling and one lobster goes a long way. I read an interesting fact about lobster. It wasn't always considered a delicacy. In fact, in colonial times, it was so plentiful that people served it to the poor. Servants, slaves and prisoners were forced to eat them all of the time. Soon, people rebelled and it was considered cruelty to force people to eat so much lobster even in prison. I guess too much of anything, even something as amazing as lobster, is not good.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
A lobster roll makes a hearty, delicious lunch.

The original lobster roll began at Perry's restaurant in Milford, Conn. in 1929. There have been many different variations ever since. Some places cover the lobster in butter and serve it in a hot dog bun without any mayonnaise. Other places make them with mayonnaise and a crusty French bread. Some people make them with tomato and lettuce. Others make them without. They even make these in the McDonald's restaurants in Canada. It's called a McLobster. I am going to show you how Claud makes them.

The only thing I would suggest to do differently, if you want to make this a healthier lower calorie sandwich is to substitute a low fat mayonnaise for the regular mayonnaise and use olive oil or a butter substitute for the butter. You probably don't even need to put butter on the bread. If you were to skip the mayonnaise and use more lemon juice, some fresh herbs, some chopped celery, and a little bit of olive oil instead, I bet it would taste amazing too. I cannot do that. We only make these once a summer and I have to do it the way Claud makes it. I have no choice because he is the one who actually makes it and also I really don't want to mess with his recipe and his memories of those long ago summers. Lobster on it's own is very healthy. It has less cholesterol and calories than a chicken breast.

I cannot stand to stick the live lobster into the pot. Even though I am right there watching it and knowing I am about to eat it and enjoy it, I don't want to actually be the one sticking it into the water. I let Claud do that for me. He usually makes some sort of joke about it and talks to the lobster or pretends it is a lobster phone. This time wasn't any different. He had a short conversation on the lobster phone, making all of us laugh while the lobster tried to pinch his head.

Fact Box

Lobster Roll

Serves: 4-6 people

Time: 30 minutes

1 1- pound live lobster

cup mayonnaise (or 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of one lemon, fresh herbs)

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice from half a lemon

cup butter, softened (optional, or use a healthier substitute)

1 large loaf of French bread, sliced and toasted

2 tomatoes, sliced

Lettuce leaves

Wedges from the other half of the lemon

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place live lobster into the boiling water and cover the pot. Cook for 12 minutes. Remove the lobster and place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Slice the French bread in half and toast it under the broiler for a few minutes. Cut open the lobster and get all of the meat out. Cut the meat into small half-inch size pieces. Place lobster meat into a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spread this onto the toasted French bread. Layer on the tomato and lettuce. Cut into four large pieces or six smaller ones. Serve with lemon to squeeze.

We usually make these when we have company over because everyone seems to really love them. A couple of my good friends came over for lunch this weekend. Claud and I decided that summer was nearing its end and we hadn't done this yet. So, we went out and got what we needed to make them for lunch. They are actually really simple to make and don't take very much time. All we do is cook the lobster and toss it in mayonnaise and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Next, we toast the bread and butter it. Then, we spread the lobster onto the bread and place some sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves inside. That's it. It's so easy and so incredibly tasty.

 
 

 

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