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Best of Maine Cooking

Best of Maine Cooking


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August is a beautiful time to be in Maine. The summer is winding down, there’s a crisp yet enjoyable chill to the air, and fall foliage is starting to poke through. For many, a late summer trip to Maine means blueberry picking, oceanfront walks, and lots and lots of lobster. If you’re a Maine enthusiast, and more importantly, a lobster enthusiast, you may have heard of the humble roadside stand Red’s Eats, considered to be one of the world’s best lobster shacks.

Click here to see the Best of Maine Slideshow

Since its opening in 1938, Red’s has made quite the impression on locals and visitors alike because of its down-home, comfort food that is ordinary yet tastes extraordinary. This is the case for all menu items, but most specifically the lobster roll, which has garnered national attention for its enormous size, simplicity, and amazing taste. It is, after all, the subtle yet impactful touches that make Red’s Eats so famous, and that’s because of Al "Red" Gagnon, owner of Red’s Eats for more than 31 years, who placed an emphasis on simple yet good food and personal relationships.

Gagnon’s passing in 2008 was a sad one, but it only further encouraged his family to live out his legacy with Red’s Eats. Along with running the shack and serving his famous recipes, his family pays homage to Gagnon and the work he did to maintain a small business such as Red’s through their own memoir, Red’s Eats: World’s Best Lobster Shack, written by daughter Debbie Gagnon Cronk and friend Virginia Wright (Down East 2010).

The book paints a picture of Red’s Eats that spans far beyond the lobster roll, and tells the story of how the humble roadside shack in Wiscasset, Maine, fell into Gagnon’s hands and its story since then. Filled with adoring quotes, celebrity sightings, recipes, some fun lobster facts, and the truth behind heavy mayonnaise, the book is a way to bring a personal relationship with Red’s to many of its fans that have been worshiping the place for years. The Daily Meal spoke with Cronk about her book, her favorite aspects of Maine cooking, and how to build the famous Red’s lobster roll.

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce


Maine's Seaweed Farmers Are Already Having a Record-Setting Year

Lobster fishers have been steadily increasing hauls of this kelp crops in their off-season.

We&aposre already a month-plus into spring and in Maine, spring isn&apost just about April showers (rain or snow) or May flowers: it also marks the start of the state&aposs seaweed harvest. According to the Associated Press, Maine is the spot for the United State&aposs seaweed farming industry, and this year already looks like one for the record books. 

Atlantic Sea Farms, which works with more than two dozen seaweed farmers, told the outlet that it expects this year&aposs briny crop to tip the scales at more than 800,000 pounds, which almost doubles last year&aposs harvest of 450,000 pounds𠅊 state record at the time. 

Over the past several years, Maine has moved from collecting wild seaweed to farmed varieties, and the annual harvests keep getting bigger. In 2018, the total haul of farmed seaweed was around 54,000 pounds, then grew to 280,000 pounds in 2019. A projection from the Island Institute suggests that the annual take could top more than 3 million pounds by 2035. 

"The uses for seaweed go beyond food products," Afton Hupper, an outreach and development specialist at the Maine Aquaculture Association, told National Fisherman. "Seaweed can play a huge role in self-care, which is becoming a top priority for people as they continue to spend time at home in 2021 and are looking for ways to boost their overall health and wellness."

That&aposs not to say that the seaweed industry hasn&apost faced pandemic-related challenges: Atlantic Sea Farms previously told the Associated Press that they also had to hurriedly find new sales outlets, following restaurant closures and drastic reductions in wholesale orders. Fortunately, the company was able to get its products into supermarkets and other retailers, which kept it afloat—no pun intended—last year. 

"Four ounces of a kelp in smoothie cubes is not the same as kelp on every salad in Sweetgreen that&aposs going out the door," Bri Warner, chief executive officer of Atlantic Sea Farms, said in December. "We&aposre being very creative about how we sell." 

The farmers that Atlantic Sea Farms has partnered with are mostly lobstermen-and-women, who grow kelp during their off-seasons from lobster fishing. The heterokonts they harvest are then turned into fermented seaweed salad, kimchi, a beet and kelp kraut, thaw-and-eat kelp for pastas or salad bowls, and frozen pureed kelp cubes that are smoothie-ready. 

"[W]e were so glad this year to have seen our partner farmers absorb some of the shock of the volatility of the lobster industry through their kelp farming income," Warner said. "These industries are entirely complimentary𠅍ifferent seasons, same basic equipment𠅊nd we are excited to show that kelp farming is a viable supplemental income source [. ] I hope that some of the innovation that was found during these incredibly difficult times continues to expand and lift all boats in the long term." 


Maine Lobster

JodiJacobson / Getty Images

A sweet and succulent Maine lobster is, by many people's consideration, the very height of good eating. If you live in Maine, you probably have a good lobster source figured out already, For visitors, though, the New England expert recommends Pine Point Fisherman's Co-Op for fresh, Maine lobster. Once you have your lobster in hand, you just need to know how to cook and eat it. Dip it in melted butter and bless the state of Maine.

The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine every summer is famous.


Maine Lobster Tails: Boiling Is Best

To get consistently perfect results in cooking lobster tails, the best way is to boil your tails in water. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to a soft boil and add sea salt. Drop the tails in one at a time and set your timer. Review the average cooking times based on the tail quantity and size.

Another recipe for cooking delicious lobster tails involves broiling them. Follow these easy steps:

  • Preheat your broiler.
  • Arrange lobster tails on your pan.
  • Cut lobster shells lengthwise along the top with a sharp knife or kitchen shears.
  • Pull shells slightly apart.
  • Season with paprika, salt, butter and white pepper.
  • Broil about 5-10 minutes until meat is opaque and tails are lightly browned.
  • Serve with lemon wedges.

To make “exploding tails” you’ll need to boil the tail first for about 3 minutes. Then, cut the tail lengthwise through the top of the lobster shell. Brush lemon and butter on the meat and bake in the oven on 425 F for 3-4 minutes.

For specific instructions on cooking lobster tails, check out our resources below!

Lobster Soups and Sandwiches

Sandwiches are a great option for a casual gathering, and soups are an easy and tasty addition to any meal. Maine Lobster Now has lobster bisque and lobster stew as well as lobster roll packs you can order directly from us. That way you can get right to eating when the food arrives at your home.

Creating your own dishes is also fun, though. Try these recipes for your fresh lobster meat:

Bisque is a rich, creamy dish and a little goes a long way in satisfying your hunger. This simple recipe takes about 40 minutes to complete and involves processing the ingredients in a blender and then cooking over low heat. Bisque is a versatile dish that can be a start to your meal, or it can be the entrée when paired with a salad and bread.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound Maine Lobster Now meat
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can chicken broth (usually 14.5 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups half-and-half
  • ½ cup dry white wine

In a large pan, melt butter over low heat. Add all vegetables and cook until soft. Stir in the broth, cayenne and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer.

After simmering 10 minutes, pour the hot liquid and vegetable mix into a blender and add one-fourth cup of lobster meat. Blend until smooth. Pour the blended mixture into the pan. Stir in remaining lobster meat, wine and half-and-half. Once all ingredients are mixed, stir frequently over low heat. It’ll take about 30 minutes for the bisque to thicken.

You can vary bisque in several ways — some bisque recipes call for tomato and tomato paste, among other liquors — but most will have your standard soup base of celery, onions and carrots. Nom nom.

This lobster stew recipe uses four fresh lobsters, heavy cream, butter and milk. Making it a day in advance enhances the flavor. Stew is also a great dish to enjoy all year long, rather than just in the colder months.

Ingredients:

  • 4 live lobsters
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6-8 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper

Boil lobsters for 18-20 minutes. Set lobsters aside to cool and reserve the juices.

Remove the meat, tomalley and roe from the lobsters. Sauté the roe and tomalley in about two tablespoons of butter in a pot. Do this for a few minutes. Add some of the lobster meat and more butter into the pot. Continue adding butter and meat until everything has been sautéed for about five minutes.

Add cream, the reserved lobster juice, and the milk. Simmer on low heat, uncovered, for up to two hours — don’t let it boil. Depending on your flavor preferences, add pepper and salt to taste. Defer on less of both if you’re serving to guests who would rather season to their liking.

Mixing lobster meat with celery, lemon juice, chives and mayonnaise is the basis for creating the filling for this lobster roll recipe. This sandwich is a crowd-pleaser and is served at many restaurants along the coast of Maine. Maine Lobster Now even supplies local Maine restaurants with lobster rolls to serve at their businesses!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1½-pound live lobsters
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 celery finely chopped celery stalk
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 6 New England-style split-top buns
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt

Fill a large pot with one inch of water, salt water and bring to a boil. Add lobsters. Cover the pot and cook for ten minutes. Put lobsters aside to cool.

Once cooled, crack those lobster shells. You’ll want to pick the meat from the tail and claws, cutting it into half-inch pieces. Mix lobster, lemon juice, celery, chives and about two tablespoons of the mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Season with pepper and salt. If you desire more mayonnaise, add more.

To toast the buns, use a large skillet over medium heat. Spread butter on each bun, place them butter-side down in the pan, and cook until golden — about two minutes. Fill bread with your yummy lobster mixture — and get your chow on.

LOBSTER GRILLED CHEESE SANDWHICH

Havarti cheese blends wonderfully with the flavor or lobster meat to create this twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Make each sandwich with sourdough bread and about a quarter pound of lobster meat.

Ingredients:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of your bread slices and place mayonnaise-side down in the frying pan.

Layer two slices of cheese, lobster meat and another two slices of Havarti on the bread. Season with salt. Place the other slice of bread on top, and alternate sides, grilling the sandwich until the bread is golden brown on both sides.

Lobsta’ Pasta

There are so many possibilities for dinner when it comes to pasta. You may choose to make the pasta from scratch or use prepared pasta as a complement to your delicious sauces and fillings — and, of course, lobster. Try one of these delightful lobster pasta dishes:

Lobster and butter have always made a great pair, and this recipe calls for brown butter, which takes the flavor up a notch. This ravioli is filled with brown butter, lobster, shrimp and ricotta cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lobster tails
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, uncooked, deveined and peeled
  • 1 pound fresh pasta dough, rolled into lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly-chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Prepare the pasta dough: Rolling dough into lasagna sheets. Once completed, cover and set aside.

Prepare the pasta filling: Cut through the top of the lobster tail shell lengthwise with a knife or kitchen shears. Pull the meat away from the shells. Use a large pot of water to steam the shrimp and lobster tails for about seven minutes. Once steamed, remove meat and set aside to cool. You’ll finely chop the meat once it’s completely cooled.

Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. After about two minutes of stirring, brown bits will appear on the pan bottom. Immediately remove from heat and whisk briskly for another 30 seconds.

Add the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper — plus the crushed pepper flakes if you prefer them. Stir in the lobster and shrimp. Mix in the ricotta cheese. Breathe in the yumminess. Set the filling aside.

Prepare the ravioli: Heavily flour your ravioli mold or counter, and lay one sheet of pasta on top of the heavily floured surface. Place about a tablespoon of filling into each ravioli well. Use water to spritz the pasta so the layers stick. Put second pasta sheet on the first, then seal with a rolling pin. Use a pizza cutter to cut ravioli squares apart. Lay each ravioli on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Keep making ravioli until all your lobster filling is gone.

Prepare for deliciousness: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli in the boiling water until it floats — should take about two minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, and enjoy with your favorite pasta sauce. Add fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese to taste.

LOBSTER MACARONI AND CHEESE

Macaroni and cheese has a long-lived reputation of being a comfort food. An easy way to upgrade this popular dish to add lobster.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of Maine Lobster Now meat
  • 1 pound boxed macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • 1 cup vegetable or fish stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons white truffle oil

Boil water for the pasta. Pasta should be cooked after 8-10 minutes. Drain well — any excess water can dilute the flavor in the final dish.

While the pasta is cooking, add oil to a separate pan and cook lobster meat — you’ll know it’s done when it’s no longer translucent. Set aside.

In another large saucepan, melt butter and add garlic and onion. Be careful not to burn it. Once translucent, add flour gradually. Some flour absorbs more than others, so you may not need much. Mix in the bay leaves.

To form a smooth sauce, add the stock a little at a time. Allow 10 minutes to simmer, then take out the bay leaves. Now it’s time for the cheddar and heavy cream, as well as white pepper and salt. Add the lobster meat to your delicious cheese mixture, then stir in your pasta. Add as much pasta as you need to give it the right balance of pasta to cheesy goodness.

Pick your favorite serving bowl, drizzle the truffle oil on top and garnish with chives. Looks good enough to eat!

Creating an elegant meal in about 20 minutes that will both impress and delight your dinner guests is a winning formula. This recipe for linguine with chives and tomatoes makes the lobster shine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 live 1-pound lobsters
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • Linguine
  • 1/2 small, finely-diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Put the lobsters headfirst into the pot and cook, uncovered, for five minutes. Take the lobsters out to cool, but save the water.

Pull the meat from the tail, and cut into small pieces. Remove the lobster meat from the claws and set aside. Combine other ingredients in a saucepan — garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, onion and one-half cup of the lobster cooking water. Season with salt and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about five minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add salt to the cooking water from the lobsters. You’ll reuse this to cook the linguine and pick up the flavor. When the pasta is almost done, add the tomato paste. The pasta should absorb most of the liquid, but don’t cook it too long or the pasta won’t be al dente. Remove from heat and mix in the lobster meat. Sprinkle with chives.

If you weren’t hungry before, you should be now!

Bacon, Cajun spices and cheese blend together to create this dish with a bit of a spicy kick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of Maine Lobster Now meat
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cajun spice
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in a pan over medium heat. Remove the bacon and drain off the fat. Put a tablespoon of the fat to the side.

Add the garlic and pepper to a pan and cook on medium heat for about three minutes, then add in the green onions and cook for another minute.

Chop the bacon and add it to the pan. Add all the spices to the pan and turn the heat down to medium low. Add the lobster and heat for three minutes, then add the heavy cream.

Serve lobster sauce over pasta with optional parmesan cheese and scallions on top.

Whole Lobster

Preparing whole lobsters will present you with many opportunities for your meal. In New England, friends and families regularly come together to feast on lobster and it’s common that these gatherings take place outdoors when the weather is nice.

Here are some recipe ideas for your next whole lobster shindig:

A lobster bake is a combination of live lobsters, corn, potatoes, seasonings and, sometimes, other seafood, all cooked together. The flavors from each of the foods in the pot mesh together to create one harmonious blend.

Ingredients:

  • 4 1-pound live lobsters
  • 1 pound of steamer clams
  • 8 small red potatoes
  • 2 ears shucked corn, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Rinse clams and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and set aside 30 minutes, drain and rinse.

Add two inches of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and corn. Steam covered for five minutes.

Add lobsters headfirst. Then add the clams. Steam, covered, for about 5 minutes. Combine butter and lemon juice in a pan and cook over low heat until butter melts.

Place lobster, clams, corn and potatoes on plates and cover broth from the pot into a bowl for dipping clams. Serve with butter mixture.

GRILLED LOBSTER WITH GARLIC AND PARSELY

This grilled lobster with garlic-parsley butter doesn’t require many ingredients, and it is still packed with flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds of live lobster
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 8 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix garlic, parsley, red pepper, butter, lemon, salt and black pepper in a bowl.

Split the lobster in half lengthwise from the head to the tail. Remove the tomalley but leave the meat in the shell, and break off the claws. Place the lobster pieces on a baking sheet with meat facing upward.

Place the claws on the baking sheet. Drizzle all the lobster with olive oil and sprinkle the salt and black pepper.

Heat your grill and place the lobster, with the meat touching the grill, on the hottest part of the grill. Cook for about three minutes.

Spread the butter mixture on the lobster meat then grill for another three to five minutes. Eat and enjoy.

This recipe is a classic combination of lobster and seasoned stuffing. Is your mouth watering yet?

Ingredients:

Stuffing Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces chopped haddock
  • 2 scallops, quartered
  • 1 ounce lobster meat
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup crackers, crumbled
  • Lemon juice, for seasoning
  • White wine, for seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prep the lobster: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Bring a little water to boil in a large pot. Cut open the lobster by splitting the belly from head to tail with your knife. Remove the guts and heart, but not the meat. Steam the lobsters in the pot for 7-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Make the stuffing: Melt butter a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all the seafood and saute until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Mix in the crackers, and add lemon juice, wine, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Stuff the lobster: Stuff the lobster’s opening with stuffing. Place the now stuffed lobster belly-side-up in a roasting pan. Add some water to the bottom of the pan to keep the lobster moist while cooking. Squirt the stuffed lobster bodies with the lemon juice and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or just until the claws begin to split. Do not allow the lobster to dry out.

Delicious lobster recipes can be found all over. Check out two more of our own: Father’s Day Lobster Cobb for those who want to keep things simple and clean, and Lobster and Scallop Scampi for those who want a warm dish to cozy up with.


Bring Home

Cozy Harbor Maine Lobster

Check out our product locator to find out where to buy Cozy Harbor seafood locally.

About Cozy Harbor Seafood

Cozy Harbor is the oldest and most experienced processor of Lobster in the US. We are a primary processor with our main processing plant in Portland, Maine. In business since 1980, Cozy Harbor has established itself in the US and world markets as the most respected source for high quality seafood products from Maine. Maine lobster and local ground fish keep Cozy Harbor busy year round producing the best that Maine has to offer. We sell to major supermarket chains, wholesalers, importers and distributors. Our reputation for quality, safety and service is evidenced by our regular certification with BRC, USDC, FDA and other third party auditors. Whether it is premium frozen lobster or fresh fish for local markets, Cozy Harbor continues to set the bar.


3. Grilled Redfish and Crab Meat with Lemon Butter Sauce

Image source: https://www.neworleans-food.com

Did someone say crab meat?

And did I hear butter sauce in there?

Just tell me where to sign!

Whether you’re trying to really wow your friends and family or trying to channel your inner Rachel Ray, this is a great recipe to try.

Consider this the BMW of redfish recipes. Instead of the ultimate driving machine, its the ultimate redfish recipe. Refined, tasty, and sure to take your pallet on a luxurious ride.

This recipe is more difficult and requires more prep time but its well worth it.

The full redfish with crabmeat recipe can be found here.


Basic Boiled Lobster

​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

If you have never boiled a lobster at home before, here's a simple and easy recipe anyone can follow. Adding a piece of seaweed gives the meat a nice, briny flavor, but feel free to omit it if you can't get ahold of seaweed or don't like the sea-forward taste.


Cooking Lobster

The most popular ways to cook whole, live Maine Lobster are boiling, steaming, and grilling. Each produces delicious results, so the method you choose depends on what flavor and texture you are in the mood for.

Boiling

Boiling is the best approach f or recipes that call for fully cooked and picked lobster meat.

Get step-by-step boiling instructions, and directions on how long to cook per pound of lobster here.

Steaming

Steaming is a gentler cooking technique that produces a slightly more tender, flavorful meat. This method is more forgiving on the timing front - it’s harder to overcook a steamed lobster.

Get steps and tips on how to achieve an evenly cooked lobster and recommended steam times here.

Grilling

Anyone can throw burgers on the grill, but adding lobster to the mix is sure to elevate your meal and earn you the title of backyard barbecue royalty.

Get instructions on how to season and grill the perfect lobster for the ultimate barbecue experience here.

Pro Tip: Is it Done Yet?

Cooked lobsters will turn bright red, but that’s not the best indicator of doneness, especially for large lobsters. They may still be underdone when the shell turns red. Chef Jasper White recommends cooking the lobsters for the recommend time, then cracking one open where the carapace meets the tail. If it’s done, the meat will have changed from translucent to white.

Remove Meat Like a Pro

Once you have your cooked lobster, you need to know how to break down the shell without leaving behind a single delicious morsel.


Maine Seafood Chowder

The New England state of Maine is rightfully known for their seafood. Lobster is a particular icon over there, but just about anything that comes from the coast will likely redefine everything you once thought about fresh seafood. It’s the equivalent of going to Japan and eating the finest sushi, with outside experiences hardly ever comparing.

With winter coming up in Australia, we thought it best to source a seafood chowder recipe from a well-known cook in the state. Annie Mahle, who is the culinary mastermind onboard the Maine windjammer J. & E. Riggin, runs a blog called At Home At Sea and has shared her recipe for an authentic Maine Seafood Chowder.

At-home cooks in Australia should be sourcing fresh catches and cooking this up if they want to satisfy a bit of New England wanderlust until international travel is safe once again. And for more context to the recipe, check out the original blog post “here”.


Classic Maine Lobster Rolls: Kennebunkport’s hottest (and most hotly debated) food

This recipe and article comes to us from Barbara Gulino: media spokesperson, guest chef on Portland Maine’s WCSH6 and food blogger. Barbara blogs at The Spirited Cook and will be sharing her inside scoop on recipes for TABLE that are perfect for summer living in Maine.

When I first moved to Maine many years ago, Brooklyn girl that I was, I thought a lobster roll was a Chinese egg roll made with lobster instead of shrimp.

Clearly, I have come a long way in 29 years.

A true Maine lobster roll is a celebration of summer, and not meant to compete with too many other ingredients. This is where many a cook has strayed—adding an assortment of things, in various shades of green and otherwise – aromatic herbs, shredded lettuce, olives, capers, and even more horrifyingly, stuff like chipotles and mango, all in the vein of making it better, missing the point that a lobster roll is all about the lobster and nothing else.

Perhaps a small amount of finely chopped celery is okay. This addition is hotly debated amongst lobster roll purists.

A few chives on top can add contrast (if you need to get all fancy-like), but steer clear of the shredded lettuce route. It is disappointing to find lettuce lurking under the lobster in the roll. It is used to make the roll look fuller than it actually is. A little bit of mayonnaise is required to bind the lobster together. My favorite is Stonewall Kitchen’s Farmhouse Mayo – flavorful and seasoned with enough salt that I find I don’t need to add more.

Lastly, the griddled New England-style hot dog roll is part of the charm. They were honestly an ingredient I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to until I discovered the sturdier, larger and made-from-scratch-version baked by Mainly Grains in South Portland.

My lobster roll game is on! What I really want is a roll that can hold MORE lobster not less.

These rolls only need to be gently sliced apart which reveals their beautiful sides perfect for buttering and griddling resulting in a perfectly crispy-sided warm roll, and piled with lobster.

The best and most efficient time to make lobster rolls is the day after a traditional lobster bake or boiled lobster. Toss a few extra lobsters in to steam, refrigerate overnight, remove the meat and try to keep a few pieces of claw meat intact for an eye-catching garnish, but if you can’t, no big deal. Slice the tail meat in half length-wise and cut into chunks.

These fat and pudgy rolls allow for a generous ¼-pound portion each. Serve with sides of coleslaw and potato chips and hopefully a dose of sunshine.

This is, (I am quite certain) “The Way a Lobster Roll Should Be.”


What’s the best way to cook lobster: steamed or boiled?

Everyone loves the taste of sweet, tender Maine lobster, but when it comes to cooking it, the process occasionally baffles some: which is better, to steam or to boil?

Prepping the lobster

As far as research goes, evidence around whether lobsters feel any pain continues to be inconclusive, with The Lobster Institute In Maine taking the position that since the lobsters only have a primitive central nervous system (and no brain) they &ldquodo not have the capability of processing the sensation of pain.&rdquo

In fact the Institute recommends one method of preparing the lobster that will ease anyone&rsquos anxiety and sedate the lobster is to chill it in the freezer (without freezing it) for 10-15 minutes before cooking. According to The Institute&rsquos executive director, Robert Bayer, that will &ldquoput the lobster to sleep.&rdquo

Once ready to drop the lobster into the pot, carefully remove the rubber bands on the claws (and mind your fingers). The rubber imparts a bad taste in the water.

Pick a 4-5 quart pot for two lobsters, and if you&rsquove got a crowd, use a 19-quart pot for five or six lobsters.

Advantages of steaming

LobsterAnywhere.com advises the steaming method when you plan to serve lobster for two as a sit-down dinner. For a 1 lb to ½ lb lobster, factor in 7-11 minutes of cooking time. A pot filled with less water comes to boil faster, which is one advantage of steaming, but the real proof is in the quality of taste. Lobster that is steamed is more tender as less water infiltrates the shells.

Advantages of boiling

If you have a crowd of people, boiling is the way to go, as it&rsquos the best method for cooking four or more lobsters at one time. LobsterAnywhere.com cites the main advantage here is the high, intense heat from the boiling water. It cooks the lobster meat quickly, which makes it easier to remove from the shell. If you plan to pick the lobster immediately, for a deconstructed dish or lobster rolls, this is the method you want to use. Factor in 5-8 minutes for a 1 lb to ½ lb lobster.

Lobster Anywhere.com has a handy cooking chart comparing the two methods and times needed for each.

Now that you&rsquove learned how to properly cook a Maine lobster, check out our blog, chock-filled with local and chef-inspired recipes on making the best lobster dish that will make you the envy of your friends and family this holiday season.

We hope to see you August 4-8, 2021. Check us out: Maine Lobster Festival.


Watch the video: Burger Sauce Recipe. Perfect Burger Sauce. Delicious and Easy (July 2022).


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  5. Moketaveto

    if you were a more principled person, like many of your colleagues, you would do much better ... learn!

  6. Gadhra

    Sorry, but this option does not suit me.

  7. Mardel

    I think you are wrong. I can prove it. Email me at PM, we'll talk.

  8. Zuluzuru

    I think they are wrong. Let us try to discuss this. Write to me in PM.



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