photo by Mary T. Cesar
Although lobster is not a seasonal commodity, as summer draws near, I have a particular craving for the delectable crustacean.
Access to fresh lobster is easy for me- I live in coastal Connecticut and buy mine from a nearby dock. But even if you don’t live on the New England coast, you can most likely buy live lobster from your local supermarket. Lobster supplies are bountiful, thanks to record-breaking catches in recent years (in 2010, an unprecedented 90 million pounds). According to Seafood Source, despite inflation and the rising cost of fuel, buying a lobster today costs the same as it did in 2002. Example: one thousand miles from the Maine coast in Westerville, Ohio, Kroger’s Supermarket sells fresh lobster for $11.99/lb. At that price, a lobster feast is a cinch.
In the coming summer months I will feature my favorite feasts in my Lobster Lust Recipe Series. Try them, taste them.- and share your own recipes with me.
My very first Foodie Fatale post paid tribute to the glorious Connecticut Lobster roll, and it is with this that I begin.
The Connecticut lobster roll originated in the 1930s at a seafood shack in Milford, CT called Perry’s (for this and other interesting Connecticut facts read Connecticut Magazine editor Charlie Monagan’s book Connecticut Icons). The basic recipe is uncomplicated; the lobster takes center stage: a perfect combination of freshly picked lobster meat, dunked generously in butter and served on a “hot dog” or “grinder” roll (In Connecticut we call subs “grinders!”).
One of my favorite lobster rolls on the Connecticut Shoreline is Branford’s Lobster Shack. As I described in my first post two years ago: ” The lobster roll is just delicious. The bread itself is particularly tasty- not your average hot dog roll. The lobster meat is cut into generous chucks- and in addition to salty butter, is delicately sprinkled with fresh lemon juice. The lemon gives the roll a lovely lingering taste. Sublime.”
The Lobster Shack recently moved to a new location just yards away from its former. When I visited last week, owner Arlene Crismale generously shared the recipe for her lobster rolls with me. If you can’t visit her, you can make your own at home- Enjoy!
Arlene Crismale, owner, Lobster Shack (Branford, CT)
Arlene Crismale’s Lobster Shack Lobster Roll
- 1/4 lb freshly-picked lobster meat (tail and claw)
- Grinder or hot dog roll (Arlene uses Vermont’s Koffee Kup Bakery Grinder Rolls, sold locally in CT at Big Y and Shop-Rite)
- Salted Butter, melted
- Fresh Lemon
Take 1/4 lb lobster meat and warm (Arlene warms in a mesh bag in hot -not boiling- water for 1 minute. I warm by sautéing in a pan)
Take the roll, cut out the center, and toast on a grill
When completely toasted, take the hot lobster meat and spread on top of the cut roll
Ladle melted butter over the meat
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over roll
The Lobster Shack
7 Indian Neck Ave
Branford, CT 06405-3583
Hours (weather permitting):
Monday- Thursday 11:30am to 5:30pm
Friday and Saturday 11:30am to 7:00pm