Lobster Brioche Sliders
Lobster Brioche Sliders
In the 18th and 19th centuries, lobster was known as poor man's chicken, prisoner food, and farm fertilizer. New England lobster today is one of the world's delicacies and most expensive foods. For most, eating lobster is a luxury reserved for special occasions and summer vacations. So happens peak lobster season, from mid summer to mid fall, coincides with sunshine, blue skies, and picnic table eating. During this time lobsters shed their old shells and the new bigger shells let salt water into to bathe the meat helping to develop softer texture and sweeter tasting meat. On every American's bucket list should be a trip up the Maine coast for lighthouse gazing, puffin gawking, and an excursion out to sea with local lobstermen to experience the hauling and trapping of this coveted crustacean. All of course before tying on a bib and heading to a no frills roadside lobster shack where you can gorge on a 2 pounder without breaking the bank. In the meantime, get crackin' at home! The debate continues regarding the best way to eat a lobster roll--this is the no frills, purist lobster and hot butter only winning version. These limited ingredient, served hot, ready in minutes, crowd pleasing lobster brioche sliders are perfect for 4th of July backyard bbq's when frankly it is just too darn hot to build a fire.
2 (1.25 to 1.5 pound) lobsters
1/2 pound unsalted European butter
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Fine sea salt
8 brioche slider rolls
1. Bring a LARGE POT of water to a boil and season the water with 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Place the lobsters head first into the boiling water and place a cover over the pot to return the water to a boil as quickly as possible. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the lobsters for 12 to 18 minutes (hard-shell lobsters will take the longer time), until the shells turn bright red. Remove from the pot and put in a colander. Run cool water over the cooked lobsters to keep them from continuing to steam in their shells.
2. Place the butter in a SMALL POT and slowly melt it over low heat. Lightly salt the butter. Turn the flame to low.
3. Warm a CAST IRON SKILLET over medium heat. Slice the rolls in half. Dip a pastry brush into the melted butter and generously brush each side of the brioche. Place the brioche halves face down in the skillet and toast until crispy and golden brown.
4. Remove the meat from the cooked lobsters and cut into bite sized pieces. When ready to eat, lower the lobster meat into the pot of melted butter making sure to submerge all the pieces of meat in the butter bath. In 1 to 2 minutes the lobster will be warmed and ready to put onto the toasted brioche buns. Serve immediately.
Many markets and most fishmongers will steam lobsters at no additional charge. Buying steamed lobsters cuts preparation time by 30 minutes and insures the lobster is cooked perfectly. Chicken lobsters, a.k.a. one clawed lobsters, are less expensive and perfect for making lobster rolls. European butter has a higher fat content, tangy taste, and lower water content than American sweet cream butter, making it a rich and luxurious addition. The cooked lobster meat may be refrigerated for one day--simply leave in the butter bath until the lobster meat is warmed, about 4 to 5 minutes. Any slider roll will do, but naturally buttery brioche complements the sweet tasting, buttery lobster meat.