I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of a Lobster Roll until I moved to New York City. It was my first month living there and I worked at a restaurant in the middle of Times Square. I had not worked there very long, so I wasn’t all that familiar with the menu. Plus I was still getting used to the “energy” of the city (which is a nice way to say angry, aggressive and in a hurry.). During one of my first lunch shifts, two “ladies who lunch” were seated in my section. These early 70s divas were careful not to leave any red lipstick in the tube. With a thick Jersey accent, one woman said, “I’ll have the lobster roll please.”
“Oh, this is gonna be easy,” I thought to myself. I rushed to my terminal and, with confidence, I punched in her order.
Moments later, their food emerged from the kitchen.
I cheerfully walked over to the table to check on the sassy seniors. With a smile, I asked, “How is everything?”
“Terrible,” grunted granny. “I ordered a lobster roll! This is sushi! I didn’t order this!”
I was so confused.
“This lady is nuts,” I quietly mumbled. Surely dementia was inevitable.
It looked like a lobster roll to me. I was sure that woman was off her rocker. But something told me to double check the menu just to be sure. This particular restaurant served both American and Asian fare so I had to check two menus. Lo and behold, there it was in black and white: Lobster Roll with herb mayo, blah, blah, blah. You get the point.
Fast-forward to now and one of my favorite cities is NYC. And my favorite thing to have for lunch is…you guessed it…a lobster roll. Especially on a warm summer day. Over the years, I’ve perfected my recipe, adding a little of this and taking out a little of that. If you’re in the ‘burbs (or anywhere other than the northeast), chances are there aren’t many spots serving this New England classic. Alas, here is my winning recipe (Assertive, aggressive and angry attitude included.).
Start out with some cooked lobster. If you’re not into cooking live lobsters or don’t have the time, precooked lobster works fine. You can also steam up a few tails and use those. Be sure to let them cool before you start chopping.
Now finely chop the celery.
That’s the most labor intensive part. I know, it’s exhausting. Next, stir everything in a bowl.
- 2 lbs cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1tbs ranch dressing
- 2 tsp dill
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp old bay
- 1 tsp black pepper
- juice of half a lemon
- 6 hot dog rolls
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Serve on buttered, toasted hot dog rolls.