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« Cooking with Kids | Main | No Regrets! »

Lobster Rolls on the Grill

By Katie Barreira

Everyone knows that the best thing to do with leftover lobster is make lobster salad. It’s so good, in fact, that when shopping for my annual Cape Cod lobster boil I always buy a couple extra crustaceans just to make sure there’ll be enough pickins for a lobster roll lunch the next day.

Served hot or cold, with creamy mayo or drawn butter, lobster rolls have captured New York foodies in their tasty clutches. Having partaken in a gut-busting lobster crawl across the island of Manhattan, I can tell you that I’m partial to Luke’s Lobster, which serves Maine style rolls – a butter-toasted bun piled with chunks of chilled claw and knuckle meat, topped with a light smear of mayo and a hit of their “secret” spice blend.

But for this year’s homemade version, what I really craved in a lobster roll was some smoke. Living in the city, I don’t get to grill nearly as much as I’d like, so why not give the seafood a little smoke bath? And since that char-grilled flavor evokes the classic surf-and-turf combo, perhaps tossing in some crisp hickory bacon would be nice. The result? Lobsters that tasted like everything they were cracked up to be!

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Smoky Surf-and-Turf Lobster Rolls
Serves 4

Two 1 ½ to 1 ¾ lb. whole, boiled lobsters (many seafood purveyors will prepare these for you), chilled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 strips hickory smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
4 soft rolls (such as, hamburger buns or potato rolls), split
Chipotle Tabasco, optional
Sliced tomatoes, optional

  1. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill over high heat. Working one at a time, place a lobster, belly-side-up, on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, start at the head and cut firmly down the middle of the lobster, splitting it in half lengthwise.
  2. Place the lobster halves on the hot grates, flesh side down, and grill just until beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Flip and char the shells, about 2 minutes more. [Don’t leave lobsters on the grill for too long or the meat will overcook. The goal is to warm the meat through and give it some smoky flavor.]
  3. When cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the tails, claws, knuckles and body cavity. Toss the meat with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, bacon, celery and chives; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Butter the cut sides of the rolls and toast on the grill. Top roll bottoms with lobster salad and a few dashes of Tabasco or tomato slices, as desired; close with roll tops.

More lobster rolls! For a classic lobster roll, or an Asian variation, try Lori’s.

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