Monday, November 2, 2009

Lobster Rolls for Dinner

For Maine, for this time of year, yesterday was a relatively warm (61 F/16 C) day and sunny, with light winds. In its own Northern way, very lovely.

Ms. Bic and I were both off from work and didn't have anything planned. We decided to drive down the coast to Ogunquit and go for a walk on the town's world famous beach--mostly deserted after the summer's influx of tourists were gone. After a long walk and a lot of sea air, we were both hungry for some good seafood. Nothing ponderous or heavy though. Nothing fried or swimming in a rich butter sauce. Something light. Something fun. We decided to pick up some lobsters on the way home and make lobster rolls for dinner.

Once back home in Portland, we stopped at Harbor Fish Market (probably the best all-around fish market in Maine) and bought a couple of relatively small soft-shell lobsters for just under $10. We then stopped at Whole Foods and bought some hot dog rolls. Yes, hot dog rolls. A good, soft hot dog roll, preferably top-split--is the best thing in the world for making lobster rolls. Just make sure you get top-quality ones. To me, Whole Foods' store-brand plain organic white wheat rolls are the best--with Pepperidge Farm coming in a close second. Only plain, soft white flour rolls and NOT the whole grain alternatives will make a heavenly lobster roll. Your karma will survive the ideological insult--trust me on this.

As soon as we got home, I cooked the lobsters. I wanted them to have time to cool off before I made the lobster salad. Here's how I did it. I stuck the cooked lobsters in the fridge for about half an hour and then I removed all the meat from them and cut it into bite-size (about 1/2") chunks.

Next, I made the lobster salad. Here's my recipe. As you'll see, it incorporates some minced shallot and tarragon. I think these flavors--used in moderation--although not strictly traditional, take the salad to a higher level.

To go with the lobster rolls, I made a salad of simply-dressed mesclun greens with a couple of still warm-from-the-oven, rounds of baked goat cheese nestled alongside. But I guess that should be the topic for another post someday soon.

One last thing: a fun, light-hearted dinner like this calls for a fun, light-hearted wine. Definitely something dry, white, and cold. Actually anything dry, white, and cold! If you want to splurge a little bit, a tart New Zealand or Washington state Sauvignon Blanc, or a Spanish Albarino would work perfectly. Your call!

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