Connecticut Style Lobster Roll

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Until last week, I never saw the appeal of lobster rolls. I know that they’re incredibly popular and even pop up at some fast food restaurants during the summer months, but the thought of loading up perfectly good lobster with globs of mayo and celery just seemed wrong to me. But then last weekend at the Food Truck Drive-In, something caught my eye. Along with “regular” lobster rolls, one vendor was selling what they called a Connecticut-Style Lobster Roll that was simply lobster and melted butter. I had never heard of such a thing before! I was already full from the other trucks so I didn’t get to sample their version, but the idea has been with me all week.

I wasn’t sure if the dish was a real thing or something they made up, so I did what any self respecting food blogger would do: I googled it. Apparently it is real, and boy have I been missing out! From what I gather, the mayo-laden lobster roll that I’m familiar with is actually a Maine-style roll or a lobster salad roll. It makes me wish that I had inspected the many booths hawking lobster rolls at the Taste of Hartford a little closer.

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There seems to be a bit of a feud about which type of roll is better, and many people seem to complain that the butter of the Connecticut style roll turns the bun into a soggy mess before you can finish eating the sandwich. I figured that problem should be easy enough to solve by toasting the bun and using less butter on the lobster itself — which also has the added benefit of producing a lighter sandwich with less grease. I definitely didn’t have any issues with sogginess — instead I had a delicious sandwich bursting with the sweet flavor of lobster. There was just enough butter to highlight to lobster’s richness, and the toasty edges on the bun added a little texture to a sandwich that would have otherwise been too soft and squishy for my liking.

Served with corn on the cob (sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning) and baked salt and vinegar chips (I love the Kettle brand)—, this was the perfect summer meal.

I didn’t feel like dealing with actual lobsters, so I bought a container of frozen meat. Having done that, I wouldn’t have it any other way. $12 got me more than enough beautiful chunks of lobster — mostly whole claws — for two generous sandwiches. It also meant that the whole dinner could be made in under 10 minutes.

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Connecticut Style Lobster Roll
If you really want to be traditional, you should serve this butter-drenched lobster roll on New England style buns — the kind with the cut away sides tat look like white bread. I had these Nature’s Pride rolls at home already though and they were perfectly tasty too (the rolls were sent to me to sample as part of the Foodbuzz tastemaker program).
  • 7 ounces frozen lobster meat (tails or claws), defrosted
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp butter, divided
  • 2 hot dog buns

Drain the lobster and pat dry.

Spread the insides of the hot dog buns with 1 tsp butter. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the buns to the pan, buttered side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the butter has browned and the inside of the roll has gotten slightly crispy. Remove the buns for the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and melt remaining butter in the same pan. Add the lobster and cook gently until just heated through — it shouldn’t be much warmer than room temperature. Toss well with any butter that remains in the pan. Divide the lobster between the rolls.

Serves 2.

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Comments

  1. Love lobster…. and love the simplicity of your lobster roll!!

  2. This is certainly an excellent way to serve up that lobster:D

  3. As a resident of Boston, I suppose I should be a fan of the mayo-laden lobster rolls – but I am so not! With most of these lobster rolls, all you can taste is mayo. No Thanks.

    Your CT-style lobster roll is MUCH more appealing! If I can get my hands on some quality lobster meat, I’m going to have to make these.

  4. I could never be down with a mayo-laden sandwich either. Especially not if there was celery involved as well. Yuck.

    I can do butter though. This looks fantastic.

  5. Beautiful meal! I grew up (well part of my childhood) in New England and these were VERY popular there.

  6. Wow, I never heard of this either. I like it. Looks delicious!! Can’t wait to try it out.

  7. Looks absolutely delicious! I will have definitely have to try this out.

  8. I like how you took the food truck thing and did it on your own – I would so want this version more and yours looks fantastic – I dont think I noticed that they were offering this – oh well this is all the inspiration I need – thanks!

    • they were up in the front section… near the pavilion with the films. And they were kind of pricey ($13ish? I got two for that price at home!)

  9. irishjc820 says:

    I grew up in MA and could never fathom ruining glorious lobster with disgusting gobs of mayo. But I moved to CT seven years ago, and have found two places right near me that serve them just like yours. SO SO GOOD! Both places butter and grill or toast the rolls so they’re nice and crispy and then lightly butter the lobster too. Mmmm…for some reason it’s never occurred to me to do this at home when they’re made so perfectly nearby, but I like the price tag on your version much better!

  10. Hmmm – I grew up in NH and now live in MA and the only kind of lobster rolls I’ve ever seen are mayonnaise-y Maine ones. These look like a wonderful change of pace. I especially love the toasted buns – yum!!

    • yeah, I live about a half hour from the MAss border and have never seen this kind before either. I think it really is a Connecticut-only thing!

  11. Hmmm, what a luxurious roll! Pity I cannot easily get hold of lobster here in switzerland.

  12. I had never heard of lobster rolls until they featured them in a magazine I have last month. I also didn’t know you could buy frozen lobster all ready to go!

  13. Lobster roll with butter sounds so tempting! And corn is always a great companion. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I actually adore traditional New England lobster rolls although I do appreciate it when it is a bit lighter on the mayo. B&G Oysters in Boston does a wonderful lobster roll that I got to try out this past weekend. All that being said, the CT lobster roll sounds delicious!

  15. That looks simply wonderful.

  16. Recent, interesting article from a CT paper about CT lobster rolls

    http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Shell-game-Milford-claims-bragging-rights-as-523288.php

  17. This looks like a great version of the lobster roll- my local Harris Teeter has tails on sale for $2.99/per, soIam going to try this on Friday!

  18. you would think that s much as i love mayo that i would have had a real lobster roll bynow! But mayo-lovin aside i will say that your connecticut version looks hearty and fresh tasting- not goopy like the ones ive seen in pictures of main lobster rolls.
    I really miss lobster- its been ages since i have had it!

  19. I have never seen this kind of lobster roll! Sounds good to me! :)

  20. Oh my goodness – now this I would eat. The biggest reason I have never eaten a lobster roll was because I am not extremely fond of mayonnaise based salads. Looks delicious!

  21. In Rhode Island we got these wonderful, lobster meat and butter-only lobster rolls at Flo’s Clam Shack, so they’re not only a CT thing. Generally if you add mayo and/or celery, scallions, etc… it’s a lobster salad. Simpler is perfect! Now if I could only find the split-top rolls down here in NC..

  22. These lobster rolls sound delicious! :D

  23. I grew up in Southern CT and these were the only rolls I knew, until I grew up and went to School in Boston. Make sure you use TOP CUT rolls,( My friend from MA sends them to me) or found on line and grill both sides of the roll.

    My family, now in Florida, traditionally has them Xmas eve….tomorrow’s the night

  24. Thank you so much for posting your recipe for this. I used to live in the Boston area, and never tried a Lobster Roll before, only because all of the ones in Mass have Mayo in them (no thank you), but I will eat a Lobster Roll that has butter on it instead. You have me wanting a Lobster Roll with your recipe right this very second. Thank you again. Now I can try a Lobster Roll in the style I prefer it.

  25. Hello!

    Thank you so much for this recipe.

    I’m Canadian.. love lobster… hate mayonnaise.

    I’ve never had a lobster roll because of this.

    Now here I go. I may become addicted.

    Have a Joyful Day :~D
    Charlie

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