Big Joe Henry’s Vineyard Lobster Rolls
For about five years in a row I would head up to Martha's Vineyard after a summer holiday weekend and rent a house with a group of my wonderful friends. We’d have a great time and one of my favorite treats up at the Vineyard was the lobster rolls. I was eating them like peanuts!
I took my own interpretation of their recipe and fed it to my comrades who I usually vacation with and it was a “home run.” There is really no easy way to make these rolls since it gets messy, but I really think it’s worth the effort.
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.
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.