The New York Times
From Our NYT Files: Maine Coast Lobster Rolls
Here is the simplest of recipes, brought to The Times in 2001 by Jason Epstein in the low, dispiriting weeks that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He was inspired, he wrote, by the food writer M.F.K. Fisher’s account of a disastrous love affair, and quoted her in his article about cooking for friends at that time: “We returned to the life that had been so real, like fog or smoke, caught in the current of air. We were two ghosts [but] very live ghosts, and drank and ate and saw and felt and made love better than ever before, with an intensity that seemed to detach us utterly from life.” Thus, of course, lobster rolls.
1 pound cooked lobster meat
4 stalks crisp, cold celery
1 to 1 ¼ cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise
6 hot dog rolls, top-sliced (not side-sliced)
4 tablespoons butter, melted (optional)
Cut the lobster into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Chop the celery into medium-fine pieces and stir into lobster. Stir in just enough mayonnaise to coat the lobster mixture.
As is traditional in Maine lobster shacks, fry the rolls in a skillet or on a griddle in butter. Otherwise, toast them on both sides under a broiler. Add the lobster salad and sprinkle with paprika and a few capers.