Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Motel Room Cooking: Lobster Rolls

Plate with two lobster rolls and six large shrimp
Total Decadence: Add Shrimp Appetizer

Recipe by Robin


Spending a week or two at the beach in summer can run into high accommodations costs, but you can keep food costs down. Find a place to stay with a 2-burner stovetop, fridge, and microwave, and eat like locals. Or camp and pack your ice chest and cook stove. Fruit and veggies from farm stands or farmers’ markets, along with fresh fish and shellfish from local sources can be prepared into 5-star cuisine for a fraction of what you’d pay at a restaurant. It helps to have these supplies: a sharp knife; a medium skillet; medium and large covered pots, a colander or large strainer, and a large bowl or two.


Lobster getting mixed with mayo and chopped celery
Add Celery for Crunch if You Like
Here are a few of the foods we’ve prepared in a motel rooms: lobster rolls, pan-fried bluefish, grilled swordfish, shrimp cocktail, pan-fried flounder, green salads, corn on the cob, microwaved butternut squash, sautéed veggies, peanut butter and locally made jam sandwiches, and blueberry hand pies (the last requires an oven or toaster oven). All kinds of fruit can be chopped up and combined in a fruit salad, or served with ice cream or whipped cream. Some, like ripe peaches or watermelon, are equally delicious on their own. Berries don’t even need chopping, and can also accompany breakfast cereal. A few squares of high quality chocolate also make a satisfying motel room dessert.

We did the math on the lobster rolls, after paying $24 apiece for some rather skimpy and mayonnaise-y rolls at our favorite restaurant. For two motel room rolls we bought ½ lb. of fresh lobster meat at a local seafood market for $22.45. Two hot dog rolls, a bit of mayo and butter (to toast the buns) added less than a dollar to our cost. Our total spent per DIY lobster roll, eaten on our deck or at a picnic bench, was under $11.50, a savings of over 50%. Plus, our lobster rolls were bigger, fresher, and tastier than those that we had in restaurants.

Later summer and fall is the best time to eat lobster. Give this recipe a whirl next time you’re visiting New England. Or make up your own money-saving motel-made recipes using local resources—and let us know about them in a comment below.

Two Lobster Rolls with Side of Freshly Steamed Corn
Perfect Accompaniment = Farm Fresh Corn
Homemade New England Lobster Rolls
serves 2

½ lb. lobster meat
1 – 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. finely chopped celery (optional)
2 split-top (New England style) hot dog buns
1 – 2 tsp. butter

Pick through lobster and set aside a couple of whole claw sections. Cut and/or break up remaining lobster into bite-sized chunks, about ½ inch, or to your liking. Place in large bowl. Add mayonnaise, starting by stirring in 1 tbsp. Stir in more by half-tablespoonsful to taste. If desired, stir in finely chopped celery. We found that we preferred just lobster in our rolls, with salad or celery sticks on the side.

Melt butter in medium skillet over medium high heat. Place split top buns in pan on their sides and toast to golden brown. Flip to toast other side, adding more butter if needed. This whole process takes about 6 minutes, don’t overdo it.

Open up buns gently but firmly and scoop lobster salad in, packing tightly (rolls will be seriously stuffed!). Top with reserved claw meat. Place on two plates and enjoy with your companion. 

Two Lobster Rolls and Six Shrimp on Table Overlooking Cape Cod Bay
Enjoy the View! (Cape Cod Bay)

2 comments:

  1. While the lobster available on the West Coast is not as good as in New England, the other critical part of this in my opinion is the New England style hot dog buns. It is just not as good in any other kind of roll. But it looks like you can get those buns online at various places like this: http://www.shopfoodex.com/pepperidge-farms-classic-sliced-buns-p-51915.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Merchant%2BCenter&utm_campaign=Feed&gclid=Cj0KEQjwxqS-BRDRgPLp0q2t0IUBEiQAgfMXRI3cXUylGC3qAVHH5oij7fUD2q3Ny-C1t743XLjxMNQaAruy8P8HAQ , on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Freihofers-New-England-Style-Rolls/dp/B01KGJ3VAK/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1472845453&sr=8-3&keywords=new+england+style+hot+dog+buns or you can make your own with King Arthur's bread pan: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/new-england-hot-dog-bun-pan?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Shopping&utm_keyword=New+England+Hot+Dog+Bun+Pan&gclid=Cj0KEQjwxqS-BRDRgPLp0q2t0IUBEiQAgfMXRD2MI0FJ5PNuqa18EX0ldDCz5PCaMSvPk4cr61buV6saAkei8P8HAQ&kwid=productads-adid^75955886673-device^c-plaid^69562840022-sku^4666-adType^PLA .

    Cheers,

    Bruce

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