Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hot Lobster Rolls

North Beach Chatham Ma
In Part One of this post, chronicling our vacation adventures on Cape Cod this past August, I sang this popular destination's praises. Truth be told, there were a couple of things about it that took some getting used to. The main one, which snowballed into creating a few of the others, was the sheer magnitude of people there. The bumper to bumper traffic on the only highway leading to and from the Cape {especially on the popular rental house 'switch days'}, the busy supermarkets with throngs of shoppers daily, and possibly the most challenging to transcend, the slew of beachgoers snatching up every square inch of sand possible. However, with a place as gorgeous as the Cape, can anyone question why?
It didn't take us long to figure out how things worked, so we planned our days around these obstacles. Whether it meant shopping for more than one day's worth of food at a time, or learning different routes to get where we wanted to be - we managed to make the best of it.
When it came to the beach crowds, most of our mornings were greeted with cloudy skies. This turned out to be an unexpected benefit, as it caused many tourists to venture out in directions other than the beach. For us, the overcast weather brought with it an easy parking space, the possibility of better waves, and a guaranteed wedge of sand to call our own. In nearly all cases, the sun eventually made it's appearance while we sat back and enjoyed the afternoons.
Beachcomber Taxi
That was, until we had a break in our luck on our last day of vacation. On this day in particular, it happened to be glorious out. Made even better with the company of some friends of ours, who were staying with us for a few days. Of course, the usual plan was in order - get lunches, bevvies, and the beach gear gathered up, then head to the beach. What we didn't anticipate was that because of the picture perfect weather, every public beach within a reasonable distance of us would be at capacity. We were locked out, down in the dumps, and @*%! out of luck, until my brilliant friend suggested we try an alternate plan.
While vacationing on the Cape ten years prior, she had taken a day trip out to North Beach in Chatham, Ma. It's a barrier beach, which in reality is the southern most tip of Nauset Beach {the one we had been visiting daily}, but has broken away from the mainland after years of storm damage and erosion. Although North Beach is accessible by boat, or by driving there with an over-sand vehicle permit, for the person without these avenues of getting there, there's also an on-demand water taxi that makes trips to and from the beach daily.
North Beach Harbor
Most of the photos in this post were taken during our day at North Beach. We went from a packed beach one day to a secluded, sandy paradise the next. The whole adventure in getting there was half the fun, and although swimming wasn't ideal that day, it was just as well, as we later discovered the area is regularly frequented by Great Whites {Eek, again!}. We entertained ourselves with shell collecting, clamming for steamers, and checking out the massive population of Grey Seals.
Grey Seals
Sunbathing Seals
Chatham Fish Market
As I mentioned in my previous post, we didn't eat dinner out once while away, but we did sample some of the local fare at lunchtime occasionally. If you ever find yourself at the Chatham Pier, you must stop by the fish market there. The clam fritters were by far the best I've ever tasted. Not to mention the fresh seafood, which needs nearly nothing in terms of preparation, yet yields some of the tastiest dinners in point are these Hot Lobster Rolls.
Both of my sons have been obsessed with 'Hot' lobster rolls since experiencing them on Block Island this Summer. For the unacquainted, they differ from the traditional version in that they are served warm, and without mayonnaise.
Hot Lobster Rolls
Fresh lobster sautéed in butter, garlic, and lemon - What's not to love? Enjoy!
Some delicious accompaniments - Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta & Oregano | Macaroni Salad | Coleslaw with Fresh Dill | Roasted Corn & Edamame Succotash

Hot Lobster Rolls

{printable recipe}
Yields: 4 servings
This recipe differs from the traditional, and more well-known, New England style lobster roll in that it's served warm, rather than as a cold salad, and it's also made without mayonnaise. Instead of adding chopped celery, I decided to use celery leaves. It gives the subtle flavor of celery that every lobster roll should have, but without the crunch. Of course, if you'd like some crunch, feel free to add it, but this recipe was specifically created with my two boys in mind...who happen to despise chopped celery in anything.

2 {1 1/2-2 lb.} steamed or boiled lobsters
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper,to taste
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves
4 New England style rolls {I prefer Pepperidge Farms brand}

Remove the meat from the lobsters. I like to use the meat from the knuckles, claws, and tail only for this purpose. Coarsely chop the meat, and set aside.

Prepare a grill {or use a toaster} to lightly toast the rolls. The filling cooks up quickly, so you'll want to time things so the rolls are warm when you fill them with the lobster.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for about one minute. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and most of the chopped parsley and celery leaves. {leaving behind a pinch of each for garnishing at the end}, and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the lobster meat, and cook just long enough to heat it through, about a minute or less. Remove from the heat, and check for seasoning. Add extra salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if desired.

Using tongs, divide the lobster among the four rolls. Spoon some extra sauce over each, and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and celery leaves. Serve right away, while still warm. Enjoy!

Notes on Preparing the Lobster:
I'm what you'd call squeamish when it comes to cooking lobster myself. While I've done it before, I prefer giving the job to someone else. Therefore, I've become skilled in seeking out fish markets that will do the dirty work for me. Lobster is a common 'vacation' food, and many beach communities in New England have at least one market offering the service. If you don't have that option, or you'd simply prefer to do it yourself, there are loads of instructions on how to out on the Web. A great one is, How to Boil and Eat Lobster from Simply Recipes. Her detailed visuals will also be helpful for removing the meat from the lobsters, if it's something you're unfamiliar with doing.


suzy said...

Awwwww! Loves it!

Joanne said...

It's definitely certain...I haven't been to the cape in far too long! Sounds like you guys figured out the best way to maneuver the crowds so that you could still enjoy yourselves while eating all the fresh lobster your hearts desired. :)

Kari Lindsay said...

Your pics make me nostalgic for childhood, sea-side vacations.
The lobster rolls look delish.

Post a Comment