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updated 9/6/2010 11:49:07 AM ET 2010-09-06T15:49:07

Recipe: Lobster roll with lemon aioli

  • 2 pounds lobster meat, poached and shelled
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 1 ounce Romaine lettuce, chiffonade
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 cup celery
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1 pint mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make the lemon aioli, combine in a large mixing bowl the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Mix well.

To make the lobster mix, mix the lobster meat, celery, tarragon leaves and lemon aioli. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly toast the bun on a griddle in the clarified butter. Place the lettuce in the bun and top with the lobster mix. 

Serving Size

Makes eight servings

Video: Light and delicious lobster rolls

  1. Transcript of: Light and delicious lobster rolls

    AMY ROBACH, anchor: This morning in TODAY'S KITCHEN , lobster rolls. Hot chef Michael Lockard is the executive chef for the USTA National Tennis Center overseeing all the menus for fans and players at the US Open , which is currently under way right here in New York . So he stays pretty busy these days running five restaurants, 60 concession stands and 100 suites at the tournament. Michael , good morning. And I 'm exhausted just listing that whole resume. Wow.

    Mr. MICHAEL LOCKARD (Executive Chef, USTA National Tennis Center): Yeah. It's...

    ROBACH: I know we're making lobster rolls...

    Mr. LOCKARD: Mm-hmm.

    ROBACH: ...but I want to talk a little bit first about what it's like to do all of those things, to make all of this food for all of these people. What do tennis stars really like to eat?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Oh, just for the tennis stars, I think they -- we have -- they have their own dining room and they have it set up in a series of stations. It's pastas, it's lean proteins, it's brown rice, smoothies are big, we have omelets in the morning. So it's...

    ROBACH: Dessert? Do they like dessert?

    Mr. LOCKARD: They like dessert, but it's not as -- sushi is big.

    ROBACH: Oh, sushi.

    Mr. LOCKARD: So we added that this year, so.

    ROBACH: So it's all very diet friendly because they've got to keep their physiques.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. And they all -- they have a lot of different ways they eat, too. So we just -- we break it into stations so they can pretty much pick and choose what they like to eat.

    ROBACH: Wow. That's pretty impressive. All right. Let's get started with our lobster rolls today.

    Mr. LOCKARD: OK.

    ROBACH: And this is a signature dish at the Open ? Correct?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. We serve this in Aces , in suites and in Food Village .

    ROBACH: Wow.

    Mr. LOCKARD: So it's served in a lot of areas, but it's been there since I've been there, a kid going to the event, born and raised on Long Island , it's a signature dish of the event and it's near and dear to me, so.

    ROBACH: I think a lot of people might like to get it when they go to a restaurant, but they don't think they can do it at home. You're here to tell them they can.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. It's really, really easy.


    Mr. LOCKARD: We're going to show you how and we have a few variations, too, that would work well.

    ROBACH: OK. Let's start.

    Mr. LOCKARD: So do you want to help me with the mayonnaise?

    ROBACH: Sure. OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: We have garlic and just -- I'll add the cayenne.

    ROBACH: This is garlic. All right.

    Mr. LOCKARD: A little garlic, a little lemon juice and zest.

    ROBACH: Mm-hmm. OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Lemon zest .

    ROBACH: All right. Is this part of -- I heard there's a lemon aioli. Is that what we're making right here?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yes. This is -- this is a lemon aioli.

    ROBACH: Cool. And then you just put in a little bit of the cayenne pepper.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. I just add...


    Mr. LOCKARD: ...and then you can add a pinch of the lemon zest .

    ROBACH: I'll add it. But just a pinch. OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Mm-hmm.

    ROBACH: And this you can just do at home very easily and with a little shaver and then you mix it all up.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Mm-hmm. You mix it all up.


    Mr. LOCKARD: And then when we add it to the lobster , I'll season it.

    ROBACH: And that's -- you just boil the lobster and just cut it up into little pieces?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. You cook it for about 12 minutes.


    Mr. LOCKARD: It might be something, too, that people might be intimidated about. But you can get this in a seafood shop or a store.

    ROBACH: Yeah. OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: You know, you can get it cooked already, too.

    ROBACH: Oh, yeah, that's easier. Then you don't actually have to boil them.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah, but you boil them for 12 minutes and then let them cool.


    Mr. LOCKARD: And then they're -- it's really easy.

    ROBACH: All right. Cool. So you add it in?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yep.

    ROBACH: All right.

    Mr. LOCKARD: About half that.

    ROBACH: Add about half that. OK. All right. Here we go. So far this looks pretty easy, especially if you can get the lobster already cooked. I'm liking that.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. You keep everything really, really cold.


    Mr. LOCKARD: And we add a little bit of celery.

    ROBACH: Mm. Yum . Is that -- and what's that over there?

    Mr. LOCKARD: And tarragon after that.

    ROBACH: Tarragon, OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: And I can start building this.

    ROBACH: A little pinch?

    Mr. LOCKARD: A little pinch. Yeah.


    Mr. LOCKARD: That'll give it a little extra flavor. People...

    ROBACH: Mm.

    Mr. LOCKARD: ...it's a little like licorice.

    ROBACH: Yeah, it does smell like that.

    Mr. LOCKARD: And then I'll add a little chopped romaine. That'll give it a little crunch.

    ROBACH: And then these buns, you toast them in butter, that's one of the secrets?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. Clarified butter . Yeah. On both sides.

    ROBACH: Clarified butter . What's that?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Clarified butter is where you simmer the butter and it removes the milk solid, so it's almost like oil.

    ROBACH: Oh.

    Mr. LOCKARD: So it won't burn.


    Mr. LOCKARD: But you can do at home you can do whole butter, too.

    ROBACH: OK. That's great.

    Mr. LOCKARD: OK.

    ROBACH: Lots of mayonnaise.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yes.

    ROBACH: You have to like mayonnaise, right?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Well, and you'll see with the crab one when we get to it, there's a little trick so it's not so heavy.

    ROBACH: OK. And this is great. So this is the lobster -- the lobster version, but as you mentioned, you have a couple of other varieties.

    Mr. LOCKARD: A couple of other varieties, yeah.

    ROBACH: So if you're not a lobster fan, you do things with -- you've got the shrimp roll.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. We use the same base. I mean, the basics of a lobster roll are mayonnaise, shellfish in a soft bun.


    Mr. LOCKARD: For this one we added a little saffron aioli.

    ROBACH: Ah, OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: So it's almost flavors of a bouillabaisse that we've deconstruction -- deconstructed and made it into a lobster roll .


    Mr. LOCKARD: So we have a little bit more of celery and tarragon here.

    ROBACH: That's a pretty color, OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. And it's...

    ROBACH: Same thing. You just throw it on a roll.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Same...

    ROBACH: What kind of roll are these, actually? These look like little pieces of bread.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. These are -- yeah. It's -- they make them in a lot of, you know, kids eat them, too.

    ROBACH: Yeah.

    Mr. LOCKARD: It's just a split top roll.

    ROBACH: You can put a hot dog in that one, too.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah.

    ROBACH: All right. I like it.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Again, this is a -- fennel.


    Mr. LOCKARD: So that's common in bouillabaisse.

    ROBACH: All right.

    Mr. LOCKARD: And a little bit of saffron in there.

    ROBACH: It looks good. Mm. OK.

    Mr. LOCKARD: So this is just to show a little variation. You know, there's no rules with this stuff. It's whatever you guys like.

    ROBACH: All right. And then you have a crab roll.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah.

    ROBACH: And you have a cilantro mint aioli with shaved radish. That sounds impressive.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. This one we had a little bit of fun with.


    Mr. LOCKARD: You know, so we have the cilantro mint aioli...

    ROBACH: Mm.

    Mr. LOCKARD: ...and this is the one that's not as heavy because it's half mayonnaise, half sour cream.


    Mr. LOCKARD: But when you taste it...

    ROBACH: That looks really good.

    Mr. LOCKARD: ...yeah, it's got a lot of flavor.

    ROBACH: I love the colors.

    Mr. LOCKARD: And then we jazz it up a little bit with some avocado, shaved radish.


    Mr. LOCKARD: And a little bit of micro greens .

    ROBACH: Micro greens .

    Mr. LOCKARD: Mm-hmm.

    ROBACH: They look like little clovers. Which one is your favorite? Do you have a favorite?

    Mr. LOCKARD: I -- this one is.


    Mr. LOCKARD: Yeah. This is, you know, created just for the show and the

    people at home just so we can show what they can do with....

    ROBACH: Speaking of favorites, do you have a favorite to win the US Open ?

    Mr. LOCKARD: Unfortunately, my favorite lost already, Roddick .

    ROBACH: Oh.

    Mr. LOCKARD: Roddick is out already.

    ROBACH: Too bad.


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