I don’t know what it is, when the calendar turns to spring and there’s a warm day or two in the forecast my attention turns to Lobster Rolls. It’s almost like a Pavlov’s dog reaction, While I’m a big fan of a good lobster roll I have taken pain staking hours to find, analyze and prepare what I feel is an outstanding lobster roll.

After long enjoyable trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Maine, I would be in the search of the perfect lobster roll. I wanted something that was simple yet epic in taste. Some of the restaurants were very giving in the simple recipe others wanted nothing to do with me, must be the Jersey.

So after painstaking research, analytical trials and error I have am ready to present to you my recipe for a very good lobster roll. You can make it ahead of time but not more than two hours before you’ll serve it. I have found that the lobster gets a little to limp and the mixture becomes watery if it hangs out too long.

You'll need:

1 pound fully cooked lobster meat or (2 - 2 ½ pound live lobsters)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
¾ cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise (I only use Hellman’s mayonnaise in all of my dishes that call for mayo. There is no other brand.)
1/2 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped
3 small scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper
4 - 5 hot dog buns (I get the potato rolls; they are the best)
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

To prepare the lobster salad:

If using live lobsters, steam them. Be careful, you don’t want them to get over cooked, they’ll get tough. I like steam better than boil because I think the meat remains moist and doesn’t get as rubbery and flavorless as when boiled.

Let cool at room temperature. Use a cleaver or cracker to crack and remove the meat from the claws, knuckles, and tails. Don’t forget to remove the cartilage from the claws and the intestines from the tails of the cooked meat.

Cut the meat into ½ – ¾ inch dice, as I like the bigger pieces. Combine the lobster, celery, vinegar, mayonnaise, dill and the scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400. On a cookie sheet, lay out the hot dog buns. Split each from the top (if not already split). Butter both sides of each bun. Place them in the oven and toast for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown. When the buns are ready, stuff them with the chilled lobster salad.

Place each roll on a plate; garnish with pickles. Serve right away.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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