I like to indulge my family occasionally with a fancy weekend brunch at home. So, a couple of weeks back, I made these delicious Maine Lobster Rolls. I picked out 4 large lobsters to obtain about 4 cups of lobster meat, following the recipe. The mixture of fresh herbs with the lobster meat, especially tarragon, really brought out the flavor of the lobster. The rolls are garnished with celery and pickled red onions. Hah, my mouth is starting to water now whilst I am describing the taste of these lobster rolls. :-) I am thinking of making it again now. Anyway, the buns for the lobster rolls needs to be buttered and brown in a frying pan first. (The pictures shown without butter and browning.)
Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook.
Maine Lobster Rolls
1-½ lbs (about 4 cups) Cooked Lobster
3 to 4 Tbsp Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Minced Red Onion
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Peeled Celery
2 tsp Finely Chopped Tarragon
2 tsp Finely Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
2 tsp Finely Chopped Chives
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
6 New England-Style (top-slit, if available) Hot Dog Buns
4 Tbsp (2 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Celery Stalk
1 Head Butter Lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, dried, and torn into pieces
Pickled Red Onions
2 Large Red Onions (about 1 ¼ lb each)
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
Make the pickled red onions: Cut off the top and bottom of each onion and cut lengthwise in half. Remove and discard the outer layer. Cut a V-shaped wedge from the bottom of each half to remove the roots and the very centerpieces of onion. Put the onions cut side down on a cutting board and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch-thick slices, following the natural lines on the outside of the onion; cutting with the lines, or grain, rather than across them will help the onions soften more quickly in the pickling liquid. Pack the onions into a 1-quart canning jar; reserve and slices that don’t fit.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pout the hot vinegar mixture over the onions. Once the onions begin to wilt, you can add any remaining onion slices to the jar, gently pushing them down into the liquid to submerge them. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 1 month.
Put the lobster meat in a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, and stir gently to coat. Add the onion, celery, tarragon, parsley, chives, salt, and pepper to taste and stir gently to mix. Squeeze the lime over the salad and fold in the juice. Cover and refrigerate.
If using top-slit buns, brush butter on both outer sides of each bun. If using unsliced buns, slit them open from the top, trim each long side to create a flat surface and brush with melted butter. If using regular hot dog buns, open the buns and brush with melted butter. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Just before serving, put the rolls in the pan and brown the buttered sides.
To serve, peel the strings from the celery with a vegetable peeler. Using a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer, or a sharp knife, slice the celery lengthwise into thin ribbons. Line each bun with a couple of small lettuce. Mound the lobster salad in the buns and garnish with the celery and pickled red onions.
Serves 6 to 8