May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes…
and some lobster for a French-style lobster Panzanella…What says beach, summer, easy party food in one bite, you don’t need to live near the ocean or a fishing village to enjoy the glorious luscious lobster roll. I find fresh lobsters at our local grocery store and it is nothing to wait for them to be steamed while you gather the rest of your lobster roll party ingredients. I don’t dare enter the Connecticut/Maine lobster roll debate contest since I make them the way I like them as well as each one of those versions, on the now so available top slit buns. I love a good brioche hot dog roll so that is the one I gravitate to for my favorite vehicle for big chunks of lobster etc…simple sides for casual friends gathering, great potato chips, summer farm stand fresh corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, and watermelon for starters.
I love a well-seasoned mayo-based sauce for the lobster concoction served over the final assembled roll instead of a thoroughly coated “mayo-based” version, the flavor of the lobster comes through and let’s face it the visual eye-candy decadent lobster filled roll is certainly drool-worthy. So splurge at least once this summer!
If you have your cooled off lobsters steamed and ready, picked all of the claw and tail meat cut into big chunks, place into an appropriately sized bowl, mince a medium-sized shallot, mince about a teaspoon of fresh tarragon leaves, toss into lobster meat, drizzle with a little lemon juice about (1-1/2 teaspoons for 6 cups of lobster meat), add some minced celery heart ribs (the smallest most tender ones, along with a few celery leaves) season with some sea salt and freshly cracked black, white, or peppercorn melange, and toss thoroughly/, of course, taste and adjust to your liking, but be sure to not overwhelm the lobster, lightly and gently seasoned is best. Refrigerate until serving time/make ahead.
Prep some fresh Boston or bibb lettuce, chill until serving time and lightly drizzle the whole leaves with a touch of EVOO and white balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
After you have toasted the buttered rolls, set them aside for each person to dec out their chosen ingredients.
My favorite mayo-based lobster roll sauce, enough for 8 lobster rolls: slightly adapted from Jeffrey Zakarian
1/2 plus a pinch more for 6 teaspoon Phillips seafood seasoning
1/8th teaspoon Sriacha sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup Dijon whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped tarragon leaves
2 cups of Duke’s mayonnaise
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a bowl, add mayo and whisk until thoroughly blended…season to taste cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Extra lemon wedges for guests to squeeze over assembled rolls.
*Last minute…Before serving add 3 Tablespoons melted butter blend into the lobster salad before filling rolls.
Assemble all of your lobster roll ingredients for guests to serve themselves, suggest dressed lettuce leaves over the toasted roll, add the lobster salad and finally, drizzle with sauce and a touch of lemon juice.
For Bittman’s lobster salad a very adapted recipe, reserve some of the lobster salad for another meal, make a tomato, cucumber red onion Panzanella and dress with a light French tarragon dressing and toss in Italian 5 grain bread croutons…
Lobster and tomato Panzanella with golden Italian 5 grain croutons…