The Transcendent Lobster Roll: A Worthy Splurge

imageFor months now I’ve been reading and hearing about the ubiquitous lobster roll–in Bon Appetit and Cook’s Illustrated magazines, and on TV shows like the Cooking Channel’s Eat Street. I must admit I’ve only eaten lobster on a cruise ship vacation; it is not something I can often afford. Plus, I live in the South and have always associated the lobster roll with Maine and seaside towns like Portland, Oregon. The concept of pairing lofty lobster with the all-American lowly hot dog bun, well, that’s just not something you see every day. So, over the weekend I sequestered myself in the kitchen and set out to make this mystery. I may be in Georgia, but with one bite, I was at a seaside shack on the upper East coast, toes in the sand.

imageWith a little help from the July & August edition of Cook’s Illustrated, the recipe was actually very simple. The most difficult part is getting the meat out of the lobster tail, but no worries. I’ll share a tip that makes it easy. I purchased two lobster tails for $18.95 from Ellis’ Meat Market here in Statesboro, then cooked them for 12 minutes in boiling salted water.

imageMeanwhile, I toasted two good ol’ Sunbeam white bread hot dog buns in butter and seasoned them with salt and pepper on each side. They didn’t know what to think.

imageI managed to get all my ingredients locally, which can never hurt. I picked up some lemons, green onions and celery from L&D Produce. Chop about two tablespoons of celery and a teaspoon of the onion. A little onion goes a long way, it shouldn’t overpower the lobster.

imageOnce the lobster is finished cooking (you’ll know when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tail registers 175 degrees), drain and let it cool. Be sure to take them out of the hot water. I forgot to do this and nearly burned myself cracking the shell because I was so excited to get to the meat. There is more than one way to skin a cat, but to keep the tail meat in one piece, Cook’s Illustrated recommends removing the meat by turning the lobster on its side, and pressing down with both hands until the shell cracks. Then, with the flippers facing you and shell facing down–thumbs on opposite sides–pull back to crack the shell and remove the meat. Works like magic. See? Dice lobster into 1/2 inch chunks.

imageNext, mix two tablespoons of mayo with a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and a splash of lemon juice. Toss in the green onion and celery. Mix well and add lobster meat. Toss to coat.

wpid-IMG_20130825_164422.jpgAnd now for the assembly. I used a lettuce trio including green leaf, iceberg and radicchio. Line the hot dog buns with lettuce. Then spoon lobster salad into the buns, until it’s spilling out and looking irresistible. Finish with a drizzle of melted butter and a final sprinkle of salt and pepper.

imageThe lobster roll is really the perfect, down home dinner party food around. It’s so approachable and unpretentious. That is of course, if everyone brings their own lobster. Ha! Serve it with potato chips or fries, whatever suits your fancy.

imageThe crunch of that toasted bun with the creaminess of the lobster salad is something to write home about. The lemon juice really brightens the flavor.

imageBon Appetit contributor Michael Paterniti says, “For me, the lobster roll is more than just culinary transcendence or proof that simple food made simply is the most soul-satisfying of all. It is summer itself, the baptismal rite after winter and mud season, a diary of days.” That sums it up.

Here’s a quick reference of everything you’ll need.

Lobster Roll Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (Preferably Dukes)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of minced chives or green onions
  • Salt & Pepper
  • A pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Cooked Lobster Tails, Chopped
  • Unsalted butter
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Hot dog buns

Have you ever eaten or made a lobster roll?

Statesboro Cooks Starring Rebekah Faulk

This is it y’all! History in the making. Me on TV!! In this episode of Statesboro Cooks, I star as a guest host.

The show will air on local cable, Channel 99 at the following times throughout the month:

  • Monday        7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday        1 a.m.
  • Wednesday  1 p.m.
  • Thursday      7:30 p.m.

Statesboro Cooks is a multimedia communications team production. My next appearance will be in September. Thank you for watching!

Woke Up This Mornin’, Had Them Statesboro Hunger Pains

L & D Farm Fresh Produce
L & D Farm Fresh Produce

I’ve taken I-16 to I-95 a many a time to blog about East coast restaurants with Southern charm and popular seafood dishes, but here lately I’ve realized that my local market could use some play. I’m a proud resident of the beautiful farm town of Bulloch County, an alumna of the one and only Georgia Southern University and an avid get-out-of-bed-on-Saturday-mornings fan of the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market. As a college student circa 2001, the Boro’s dining scene consisted of about three chain restaurants, Snooky’s and fast food. I moved away for a little while and came back–to a dining scene I didn’t recognize, and one that keeps changing and growing today.

I’ve decided to expand Some Kinda Good to include the food world I dine in almost daily.

My friend Tori and I at Gnat's Landing (1 of  only 3 locations in the state)
My friend Tori and I at Gnat’s Landing (1 of only 3 locations in the state)

You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food establishments covered here. I aim to bring attention to those quintessential mom & pop joints and locally owned restaurants and bakeries that represent small town America. I may even let you in on a few best kept secrets, like where to buy seafood caught fresh off the Georgia coast or where you can get blackberry jam jarred in the Tennessee mountains and peanut brittle sold in a Zip-Lock bag right here at home.

I have a genuine passion for Southern culture and good food, and Statesboro delivers on all accounts. It’s not uncommon to see cowboy boots on a Sunday morning at church or a John Deer tractor barreling down a two lane back road. Cotton and sunflower fields surround the city limits and having traveled the world, I don’t take those things for granted.

This town really comes alive in the fall. Go Eagles!
This town really comes alive in the fall. Go Eagles!

This is the college town that inspired Blind Willie McTell’s Statesboro Blues, home of the six-time national football champions, the Georgia Southern Eagles.

So, come take a little ride with me. Let’s discover the margarita cupcake together at Sweet Cheeks Bakery downtown and the fresh mozzarella panini at my absolute favorite place to blog and brunch: Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe.

Brunch at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe - French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
Brunch at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe – French Toast with Blueberry Syrup.

Let’s shop at the 40-year-old Ellis’ Meat Market for some stuffed jumbo shrimp and low country boil fixin’s. Then, we’ll crank up the radio and take Highway 67 to Strickland Farms for some boiled peanuts and vine-ripened tomatoes. We may even stop for a little antiquing.

Ellis Farm Fresh Meats
Ellis Farm Fresh Meats

I’m tapping into my local food market and I can’t wait to share my classic Georgia home with you. Let’s go!