Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lobster Rolls with Duck Fat Fries

If you've been around these blog parts for a while, you know how much I've been looking forward to making lobster rolls.  After a little fake-out with the preserved lemons, the August RSV wine club came through with a recipe for lobster rolls to accompany their 2010 Pinot Gris Los Carneros.

We found split-top (New England style) buns at Marczyk Fine Foods and ordered two live lobsters from Cherry Crest Seafood.  Once we got down to cooking, this meal came together rather quickly.

We prepared the RSV lobster roll recipe, and also made plain lobster rolls dressed only with melted butter.  Both were delicious served alongside duck fat fries.



Lobster Rolls
We prepared the RSV lobster roll recipe pretty much as written to serve two people, but reduced the quantities for the dressed rolls by a fourth since we also made warm butter lobster rolls.

Two live lobsters, approximately 1 1/4 pounds each
1/2 large celery rib
2 Tablespoons good quality, full fat mayonnaise (light mayo is a little too sweet for this kind of dish)
Fresh lemon (reserve two wedges for serving)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 split-top rolls
Unsalted butter, melted
2 butter lettuce leaves

Place a few inches of salted water in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil.  Put the lobsters into the pot head first and replace the lid.

Steam the lobsters for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the pot.


Remove the meat from the shell and cut into large chunks.


Place half of the lobster meat in a medium bowl.  Add the celery, mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon, and toss lightly.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To prepare the buns, heat a medium nonstick skillet over a medium-high flame.  Brush the sides of the buns with melted butter and toast.


After toasting the buns, add melted butter to the same pan.  Toss the rest of the lobster meat in the melted butter.  Divide the buttered lobster between two of the buns.  Place a butter lettuce leaf in each of the other two buns and fill with the mayonnaise dressed lobster.  Serve with duck fat fries.

Duck Fat Fries
These are based on another RSV recipe, from last year's shipment of 2006 Marcien.  These fries would be almost as tasty using all canola oil, if you can't find or prefer not to use duck fat.  Or you can make them in the oven, but then I don't think you can call them "fries" at all.  Fat is flavor, and in moderation should be a part of every deliciously healthy diet.  We sprinkled them with rosemary sea salt, but you can use plain sea or kosher salt.

2 medium russet potatoes, well scrubbed
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 cups duck fat
4 cups (approximately) canola oil
Rosemary sea salt

Cut the potatoes into 1/2" square sticks.  Rinse them with cold water and then soak for several hours (or overnight) in a bowl of water with vinegar; this will remove the starch from the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack over it.


Place the duck fat and oil in a large pot.  To avoid the oil boiling over when the potatoes are added, it should come no further than halfway up the sides of the pot.

Insert a thermometer and bring the oil to 325 degrees.


Add the potatoes and immediately increase the heat to try and maintain the oil at 325 degrees.  Fry the potatoes for about 5 minutes.  This first step cooks the potatoes, but they may not turn golden at this point.  Do not overcook at this point or your fries may be dry inside when you finish the second fry.


Drain the fries on the prepared rack, and allow them to cool.  Meanwhile, raise the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees.  Fry the potatoes a second time until golden and puffed, about 8 minutes.  Drain and sprinkle with sea salt.

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