Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lone Star Lobster Rolls

At the request of the lovely Gour-Maybe readers, I have slaved over a hot stove all day (aka ran errands, sat by pool, cooked for an hour), so I could give you the one, the only, the Lobster Roll. Tarragon Dijon Mustard and basil - not usually found in lobster rolls - plus super toasted/garlic butter buns and fresh herbs along with classic ingredients and freshly-cooked Lobster make this a Gour-Maybe classic. Thanks to Mr. Thomas Keller for the inspiration, but I like mine:) I really do! Shockingly simple as well once you get the hang of it. Thanks to my friends for being taste testers and having a real (ridiculously cool) house with amazing light for these pics. Get the scoop on the roll after the jump.

Lobster Rolls might sound like a whip, and it is just a little bit of an undertaking, but honestly, who cares??? It’s chunks of lobster, with mayonnaise, on a toasted, buttered bun! Get your priorities straight people. I grew up in Texas (hence Lone Star Lobster Rolls), not Maine, so I have no point of reference for a “traditional” lobster roll. I can tell you though, that this tastes really good so it might be a little different, but hope you like it too. I do agree that you want all the other ingredients to just accent the lobster, not overwhelm it. I think this does that!

Lone Star Lobster Roll (serves 4 regular people or 1 lucky person)
You will need:         
For lobsters:
  • 2 live lobsters (appx 3lbs total), boiled, steeped, meat removed. Gour-Maybe note*** If you do not have the heart to kill the lobsters yourself in boiling stock, have your seafood place steam them, but don’t blame me when it doesn’t taste the same! 
For buns:
  • 4 fresh Pan Au Lait hot dog buns (or other good quality bun)
  • 4 T melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves torn off into 3 inch pieces  (optional)
For stock:
  • 2 32 oz Vegetable Stock
  • 2 lemons, cut in 1/2
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 C water
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped in chunks
  • 1 T black peppercorns
  • ½ C roughly chopped celery
  • 2 C Sauvignon Blanc (or other dry white wine)
For mayonnaise base assembly: (all herbs are fresh)
  • 1.5 tsp minced chives
  • 1 T minced celery
  • ½ T minced yellow onion
  • ½ T minced shallot
  • 1 tsp minced basil
  • 1.5 tsp minced tarragon
  • 1 tsp minced parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 3 T good-quality mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Edmond Fallot Tarragon Dijon mustard
Start with mayo mixture, so the flavors have time to combine. Chop herbs, onions and shallots and combine all ingredients listed under “mayo base assembly” in a small bowl. Stir well. Place in refrigerator to chill. 

Make stock. I start with prepared vegetable stock. You can also make your own stock (Mr. Keller recommends a court bouillon), but I think this tastes just as good, and making your own cuts down on pool time (remember what I said about priorities?). Bring stock, water, bay leaves, black peppercorns and onions to a boil in a LARGE stock pot. Using stock vs just plain water adds good flavor to the meat in case you were wondering. Add wine, lemons (squeeze juice into the water as you drop them in). PETA friendly Gour-Maybe moment – kill the lobsters quickly. I do one at a time to regulate the process. I set a timer for 12 minutes to help me gauge time. Open your pot, and drop the lobster headfirst into the boiling water. Cover immediately. Let the lobster boil for 2 minutes. Then, remove from heat and let it steep for 10-11 more minutes. This works every time for lobsters of this size. (about 1.5-1.75 lbs). Remove carefully with tongs and transfer to bowl. The lobster should look like the above picture. If it is still moving, something is wrong. Return stock to boil, and repeat. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, break it down, removing the tail, claw and knuckle meat from the shell. I could describe how to do it in 5 more paragraphs, but this video is super helpful. Seeing will help you learn and then you’ll be a pro! Some lobsters are harder to crack but just be patient and you should be fine. Remove all meat from both lobsters, cut into ¾ inch chunks, place in a bowl and place in fridge to chill for about 15-20 minutes.

Prepare the buns. I like to do a little trick to make my buns super buttery and toasty. I slice a thin layer off the top, bottom and side of each bun so there is more exposed surface (not crust). See picture above. Split buns almost in half, so they are still connected on one side. Melt butter and garlic over low heat in a small sauté pan. Brush the outside areas and interior with butter. Heat grill or griddle on medium high heat. Place buns interior side down first on grill/griddle surface, toasting until golden brown. Flip them and toast the outside. Place one bun on each plate, and add a few pieces of butter lettuce if desired. Remove chilled lobster and chilled mayo mixture from the fridge, add meat to mayo base, stirring to combine. Spoon equal portions onto the butter lettuce or bun. (I prefer it without the lettuce) Serve immediately (I tear some fresh Tarragon leaves on top) and laugh at how good life is!

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