I had never stepped foot on Cape Cod until a few years ago. I didn't know much, though, in my mind, it was all about sporting Nantucket Reds, mastering sailing, hobnobbing with the Kennedys, and lobster rolls. While I can't attest for the first three, what I can tell you is that it is very much about the lobster rolls -- at least thats the case with the friends who are hosting me. I stepped foot in my friend's family's house and before I could shake hands, his 90+ grandmother looked at me in her 5-foot-and-nothing frame and shoved a lobster roll in my face. She said, "Welcome to the Cape, have a lobster roll."
Okay, that may not be exactly how it went down, but that's the memory I've cobbled together. That lobster roll was amazing - not only because I was ravenously hungry -- but because the lobster was super fresh, the mix so simple, and the rolls just toasted. While I cant bring you with me to the Cape, I figured the rolls were easy enough to share with you. And, since I cant really imagine being anywhere else more Patriotic than near Plymouth rock on this holiday weekend, Im trying to make the experience and not the food take center stage.
small dice (about 2/3 cup)
small dice (about 1/2 cup)
at room temperature
Add 1-inch of water to a large pot, bring to a boil over high heat, and salt generously. Add a steam basket then add lobster tails, cover, and cook until bright red and meat is opaque throughout, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Crack lobster shells, pick meat from tail and claws, and cut into 1/2-pieces.
Lobster meat can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate then combine with remaining ingredients just before serving.
Mix lobster, cucumber, celery, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and chives, in a medium bowl. Season well with salt and pepper, taste, and add more, if desired.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Spread outsides of rolls with butter. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side; fill with lobster mixture and serve immediately.
If you can't find New England style rolls, take a classic hot dog but then trim off 1/4-inch off each end to make the roll into a rectangle shape. Then use a serrated knife to trim off the outer bit of crust so that the roll is exposed and can get even toastier!
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp