Classic New England Lobster Roll
To me lobster rolls are the epitome of summer. I think of hot summer days, the humidity hanging heavy in the air, and time spent lounging by the pool at my family’s house in New Jersey, only moving from my lounge chair to venture briefly between the pool-yard and the air-conditioned house. We all gather around the outside bar area and my dad makes plenty of lobster rolls to feed everyone with the leftovers from the lobster boil the day before.
Whenever we buy lobsters we make sure to buy enough that next-day lobster rolls are a guarantee. My dad has been making lobster rolls ever since I can remember and I favor his to any other I’ve tried. He keeps it simple, adding only some salt and pepper with a little cayenne to season the filling, adding just enough mayonnaise to make it creamy. It’s simple but it lets the sumptuous and delicate flavor of the lobster shine, piled high into a butter-toasted top-cut roll. With mayonnaise a lobster roll is considered New England style, but when melted butter is subbed for the mayo, it is considered Connecticut style.
1 pound cooked lobster meat, chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely diced celery
3 tablespoons finely diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 top sliced New England style rolls
¼ teaspoon paprika
Lemon wedges, for serving
In a large mixing bowl combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, celery, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne.
Chill the lobster salad in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to an hour.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the rolls and toast until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove and set aside on a platter.
Fill each roll with about ½ cup of the lobster salad. Garnish with a pinch of paprika and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Makes 4 lobster rolls.