National Lobster Day is on June 15. Celebrate with (Reinvented) Lobster Rolls: chopped lobster meat with tomalley aioli and chives served on toasted baguette bread.
This recipe is inspired by MasterChef Canada contestant Mike Green’s Deconstructed Lobster Rolls. His recipe earned him first place in the mystery box challenge, which featured lobster as the star ingredient. The Deconstructed Lobster Roll combined chopped lobster meat, smoked paprika corn, sautéed capers, and tomalley aioli, served on garlicky croutons.
As for our take for on the (Reinvented) Lobster Rolls, we also opted for aioli instead of the classic mayonnaise. Aioli is similar to mayonnaise in texture and in taste, but differs with its heavy garlic notes, which always pairs so well with seafood. This sauce is made of garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Like a traditional lobster roll, the lobster and aioli are served cold, while the baguette bread is toasted.
A traditional lobster roll contains chopped lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise, all of which is served cold in hot dog bun that has been buttered and toasted. French fries or potato chips are typically served as a side. In Atlantic Canada and on the East Coast of the United States, one of the lobster seasons runs from April to June, and it is during that time of year that folks can enjoy the freshest lobster rolls. Fun fact, the small town of Shédiac, located along the East Coast of New Brunswick, is considered the Lobster Capital of the World. An enormous lobster sculpture that weighs 50 metric tons welcomes visitors as they enter the town.
The first documented lobster salad recipe was published in the New York Evening Post Cookbook in 1908. However, it would have been served over toast. Since hot dog buns only came into existence in 1912, this technically would not be the original recipe of the lobster roll.
To many, it will come as a surprise that the lobster roll was invented in Connecticut (not Maine.) The lobster meat was served warm (not cold) in melted butter (not mayo,) all of which was served in a toasted and buttered hot dog bun (well, this did not change.) According to John Mariani’s book Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, the lobster roll was invented in 1934 by a small seafood shack called Perry’s in Milford, Connecticut. Today, this variation of the lobster roll is referred to as the Connecticut-Style Lobster Roll.
As for the lobster rolls served cold with mayo, these would have been invented by yet another restaurant years later. Mariani adds that The Lobster Roll Restaurant in Long Island, New York, invented the cold lobster roll in 1965. The restaurant proudly displays their title as the cold lobster roll inventors on their website. This variation of the lobster roll, referred to as the Maine-Style Lobster Roll or Lobster Roll Salad, gained popularity and spread rapidly over the East Coast of America and Atlantic Canada.
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon (3 ml) Dijon mustard
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed in a paste
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) tomalley (optional)
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 baguette, cut into ¼ inches (5 mm) slices
- Meat of two cooked lobsters, chopped and cooled
- Fresh chives
- In a medium bowl, combine egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard and salt.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the extra-virgin and vegetable oil together.
- Add the oils drop by drop to the medium bowl with the other mixture, whisking constantly and vigorously. Whisk until the two mixtures are emulsified.
- Whisk in the garlic paste and tomalley (optional) until well combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and chill the mixture (called aioli) for at least 20 minutes.
- In the mean time, preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C.)
- Cut the baguette in about ¼ inches (5 mm) thick slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned.
- Spoon aioli and lobster meat on the baguette and garnish with fresh chives.