Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Lovin' with Lobster Rolls

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It’s officially summer! And what better way to enjoy the warm weather and soak up the sun than a picnic in the park, or on the beach, or just plain dining al fresco. I love getting away for the weekend for a daytrip and packing up a picnic. I don’t have to worry about finding food in the middle of nowhere, and I can eat what I like.

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Sandwiches are often the most easiest to bring on a picnic, but I absolutely detest the plain old white bread with cold cuts sandwiches. A dressed up sandwich though, that’s another story. This pack weekend, I packed some delicious lobster and prawn rolls, made with homemade lemon aioli.

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I like to add a bit of kick to my lobster sandwich (I also added some prawns), but you can always forgo the cayenne pepper if you’re not a fan of spicy. The aioli can also be used to make a fabulous coleslaw to go with the rolls. Pack some steamed corn, and some fresh fruit for dessert and you’ve got a complete meal!

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Lemon Aïoli Lobster and Prawn Rolls
Adapted from Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition
Makes 4

2 lobsters, each about 1 ½ lbs
½ pound green prawns, cleaned and deveined
½ to ¾ cup Spicy Lemon Aïoli
½ cup very finely chopped fennel (or celery)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 long Italian rolls, or top-split hot dog rolls
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
4 small lettuce leaves

For spicy lemon aïoli:
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp harissa or sriracha
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil

To make the aïoli: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, harissa or sriracha, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste, until combined. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking nonstop until the mixture begins to emulsify. St he mixture thickens, whisk in the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice and continue to whisk in the oil until the mixture has achieved a thick, mayonnaise-like consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Aïoli will keep, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Fill a large pot with 1 to 2 inches of water, place a steamer rack on top and bring the water to a boil. Fill a clean sink or very large bowl with ice water. Steam the lobsters, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Plunge them into the ice water to halt the cooking. Twist the tails off the bodies. Cut each tail lengthwise into 2 pieces, removing the intestinal tracts. Remove the claw meat by snapping off the little pincers first. Sing the back of a heavy chef’s knife or good kitchen scissors, crack open the claws and remove the meat. Remove the knuckle meat too. Cut the meat into generous bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, steam the prawns for about 8 to 10 minutes, and plunge them into the ice water. Remove the shells and give the prawns a rough chop.

In a medium bowl, gently toss the lobster and prawn meats with the aïoli and fennel (or celery). Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, cut open the rolls as wide as you can to accommodate all the lobster meat, without cutting through. Spread some extra aioli in the rolls and place a lettuce leaf in each roll. Taste the lobster salad again to see if it needs more seasonings and divide it among the 4 rolls, overstuffing them. Garnish the lobster with the chives. If taking them on a picnic, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.


The Food Junkie June 22, 2010 at 10:22 a.m.  

Oh my goodness, that is one classy roll. Seafood and all =) 10000x better than Subway! Yummy~

Kaela June 22, 2010 at 10:23 a.m.  

mmmmmmm those look so good!! I'm headed out east in a couple days, and lobster rolls are always a mandatory snack when we go :) as always, this post makes me hungry.

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