Long holiday weekend. Gorgeous weather-sunny, breezy, 70 degree temps. Family, good food, a deck in the shade, kids and dogs playing in the yard. After dark, marshmallows get toasted over the fire to be made into s’mores. Bring on the giant sparklers and other assorted loud goodies.
It just doesn’t get any better than that.
But I may be able to sweeten the deal a bit with these Classic New England Lobster Rolls. Yeah, I’m sure I can!
Before I go any further, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the men and women that have served, and are currently serving in our Armed Forces. It’s because of you that we have the freedom we are so blessed with. Thank you for your sacrifices.
One thing that makes long holiday weekends so much fun is the food. Yes--it’s a great time to indulge in the things we don’t have on a regular basis. Being a born and bred New Englander, one thing that’s always been an indulgent treat is the Lobster Roll. Well, I’ll clarify…as a kid, I wouldn’t touch these with a ten foot pole! Fried clams, either. But now? It’s a whole new ball game. Bring ‘em on, baby!
There are rules for the Classic New England Lobster Roll. It can’t be helped. We’re a stubborn bunch and don’t like messing with perfection. In fact, I don’t think you can stay here more than one or two days and not have a lobster roll. I’m pretty sure there’s a Lobster Roll Patrol, and they’ll find you. If you haven’t had one yet, you’d better get to it, or they’ll force you to find one or leave the vicinity. If you’re allergic to shellfish? I think we can fix that with NH maple syrup. (I’m obviously not a doctor and I don’t really recommend you try curing seafood allergies with maple syrup. Seriously!)
Don’t even think of being a weenie and asking for more mayo, or spices or hot sauce or anything that’ll change the perfection that is the New England Lobster Roll. You’ll be scoffed at. We may comply, because though we’re stubborn, we’re super nice, too. We. Can’t. Help. It!
“What’s the big deal about New England Lobster Rolls,” you ask? I’ll tell you. It’s rich, sweet lobster-caught fresh right off the coast. The lobster meat is tenderly broken into bite sized pieces. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over it. Mayo is next--bring out the Hellman’s and bring out the best! (This may just be my personal preference. But I’ll hunt down and torture anyone that tries to use that other sweet sandwich “spread.”) Now, just add a touch of mayo! Lobster salad shouldn’t be white from too much mayo. Let the lobster take center stage here. A bit of finely diced celery--just for some crunch. That’s it! I may even be breaking the law using a lettuce leaf in each one, but I needed to keep the buns from getting soggy while taking photos.
You’d also better be having it on a top loading hot dog roll, too! Why? So you can grill the sides and make it buttery and toasty, that’s why. Again, it’s perfection, and you can’t mess with it.
Super easy recipe!
Classic New England Lobster Rolls
makes about 4-5 rolls
4 small-ish to medium-ish lobsters, boiled and taken apart (this should give you about 1-1/4 pounds of meat)
NOTE! It's really nice to keep the claw meat as intact as possible, to top each roll with.
One stalk of celery, ends trimmed and finely diced
Top loading hot dog rolls
Butter for grilling rolls
Optional: 4-5 romaine lettuce leaves
In a bowl, squeeze half the lemon (about 2 tablespoons of juice) over the lobster meat. You can add more later if you like.
Throw the celery in.
Add 1-2 (maybe 3) tablespoons of the mayo. It may not seen like much, but once you stir to coat, it blends in nicely.
Stir ever so gently, so you don't bruise the tender lobster meat.
In a skillet, melt a few tablespoons of butter. Add the rolls, and get them nice and golden brown on one side, then flipping them to the other side to brown. Add more butter, if need be.
If using the lettuce, line each roll with one leaf.
Spoon in some of the lobster meat.
Top each roll with a meaty claw.
Sit back and enjoy the heavenly, sweet, succulent Classic New England Lobstah Roll!
And don't mess with it! Resist the urge to add more stuff. Remember--how do we usually eat lobster meat? Just as-is, with drawn butter. That's it. Adding any more to this delicacy will cover up the flavor of the lobster meat, which is the star here.
Here are some photos of Memorial Day in NH: