What should I do with five leftover lobsters from last night’s lobster boil? This is a nice problem to have, I know. Normally in our family, we order one or two lobsters per person, then fill in with a bucket of steamers and some salads and sides. This summer, at $3.99 per pound (and likely to dip lower in August), we can afford to buy a few extras. In fact, this is the SECOND time we’ve had leftover lobster this summer!
The sad part is the lobster fishermen are really struggling. The drop in prices started in 2008 due to the rough economy and a drop in overall demand. The lobster glut was just starting to even itself out last year, when we had an unusually mild winter. This warmed up the ocean water, which, in turn, tricked the lobsters into thinking it was time to molt (one month early). Hard-shells have more meat and are easier to ship so they command a higher price than soft-shells, and so once again, the fishermen are losing money.
Lobsters are so cheap that some fishermen are calling for an industry-wide shut down because they can’t make enough money selling them to cover fishing costs. So, support your local lobster fishermen. Buy a few extras and shell them at the table at the end of your meal, while the table linens (and your fingers) are still messy. Then serve them up the following night cloaked in something other than butter, and you have an easy leftover meal.
Most stores will even cook the lobster for you, so you don’t have to worry that your pot isn’t big enough, or your kitchen will get too dirty, or that you’ll have to kill a live animal. All you have to do is invest in a lobster cracking kit, and you’re good to go.
Now onto the fun part … what to make? I’m not into lobster mac-and-cheese. Something about cheese and shellfish is a big turnoff. If you happen to have some leftover hot dog buns lying around from your weekend BBQ, then lobster rolls are a no-brainer – a no-cook option that’s easy and fast.
There is a lot of variation when it comes to lobster rolls. I like mine with meat spilling out of the bun, barely held together with a mayo-based dressing, and served on a buttered and toasted hot dog roll. Lobster. Mayo. Bun. That’s it. Don’t get sucked into other additions. Let the lobster shine.
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon Cholula or tabasco
- 2 ½ cup lobster meat, chopped into bite-size pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 hot dog buns
- Butter for toasting buns
- Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and Cholula in a medium bowl until combined. Add the lobster meat and fold it into the dressing. Add a few turns of black pepper and salt if necessary, cover, and chill in the refrigerator.
- Heat a 12” sauté pan over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and lay the buns on one side for 2 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. Repeat on the other side.
- Heap the lobster salad into the buns and serve with pickles. If you are entertaining a crowd for lunch or dinner, serve them with hand cut French fries in newspaper cones and a big green salad.
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