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Lobster Rolls (Bay Seafood Seasoning)

An East Coast favorite, these lobster rolls get a flavor boost from bay food seasoning. This classic American blend combines sea salt with a medley of fragrant herbs and spices, including celery seed, cayenne, thyme, allspice and nutmeg.

If live lobster is easier to find, cook the lobster by any standard method 1 day ahead and refrigerate. Another option is to steam 3/4 lb. frozen lobster tails (typically 1 large or 2 small tails) until the meat is opaque throughout (8 to 12 minutes) and refrigerate them overnight.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cooked lobster, about 1 1/2 lb.
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. bay seafood seasoning, plus more, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 soft rolls, split
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:

Extract the lobster meat
Twist off the claws from the lobster body. Using a lobster cracker or mallet, break the shell on each claw and remove the meat. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the lobster in half lengthwise from head to tail. Discard the black vein that runs the length of the body and the small sand sac at the base of the head. Remove the meat from the body and tail. Twist off the small legs where they join the body to check for other chunks of meat.

Make the lobster salad
Chop the lobster meat and place in a bowl. Add the celery, bell pepper, mayonnaise and mustard and stir to blend. Add the 1/8 tsp. bay seafood seasoning and stir well. Taste and add more bay seafood seasoning, if desired, and season with salt.

Toast the rolls
Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with the butter. Place the rolls, buttered side down, in the pan and toast until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rolls to individual plates, fill with the lobster salad and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).