These Restaurant-Inspired Lobster Rolls Have a Smart Secret Ingredient

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When I moved to the Boston area for high school, I was introduced to many of the things that make New England special. Coming from Dallas, I was most taken with the fact that New Englanders experience four distinct seasons (in Texas, there isn’t nearly as much variation in the weather). I reveled in how unique each season felt — especially summer. After months of cold weather and the rainy spring season, summer felt like a gift in a way it never had before.

Before my sophomore year began, a friend invited me to stay at her family’s house in Cape Cod. Before then, the Cape was a place that I had only ever heard about — mostly in my excessive re-watches of Summer Catch with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel. Being there was very surreal. I felt like an outsider during the duration of the trip, but my friends and I had a great time and, more importantly, we ate some really good food.

That trip to Cape Cod introduced me to so much seafood I had never tried before: clams, scallops, and lobster. After just one lobster roll, I became deeply infatuated: The combination of fresh lobster, so much butter, and pillowy brioche rolls couldn’t be more perfect.

While I love cooking lobster at home as a special treat (the rising cost of lobster won’t allow me to eat it as often as I’d like), I had never made my own lobster rolls. I always considered them a “restaurant food” — something better left to the pros — but as I recently learned, they couldn’t be easier to make yourself.

The recipe I used — my colleague Sheela’s recipe for brown butter lobster rolls — is inspired by Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine, where they give the lobster a toss in brown butter. True to the original, Sheela’s re-creation is all about the brown butter — and it contributes the most beautiful nutty, toasted flavor to the lobster meat.

When I say this recipe is easy, I’m not lying. Brown the butter, add the lobster meat, and toss to combine. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt, divide among buns, and top with chives. Then, dig into the decadent, restaurant-worthy treat you just made for yourself at home.

If You’re Making Brown Butter Lobster Rolls, a Few Tips

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.

Nicole Rufus

Assistant Food Editor

Nicole is the Assistant Food Editor at Kitchn. She writes about recipes as well as developing some of her own. You can usually find her playing around in the kitchen or online “window” shopping. She currently resides in Brooklyn and is getting her master’s in Food Studies.

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