One of my favorite memories with my Dad is when he’d take my Mom, brother and I out on our pontoon. We’d gather a cooler full of drinks and order cheese curds and shrimp cocktail from Fisherman’s Inn to bring out on the boat with us. We’d pull up to the long dock and one of us would run up to grab our food. We’d spend the day on the water eating, reading, swimming or basking in the sun. Pontoon days were always good days.
Father’s Day is a bitter sweet time for me. My Dad passed away from congestive heart failure several years ago and although I think about him daily, I’m especially reminded of him when everywhere I go there are “Father’s Day Deals.” My Dad didn’t really believe in Father’s Day… or his birthday for that matter. He didn’t like to be in the spotlight even though he was constantly admired and looked up to by so many people. He was a radio sports broadcaster, a painter, a photographer, a worldly traveler, a seafood lover and one of the smartest and silliest guys I knew. And, even though he didn’t want any gifts on Father’s Day, my brother and I would buy a couple packs of gummy bears (his favorite) and leave them in his car for him to find later. He loved that. If he were around today, I would baffle his mind by making a fabulous seafood dinner for him.
I was at the market recently and saw a deal on lobster tails. I was reminded of the first time I tried lobster tails as a kid. My Dad told me that it was just a much larger shrimp. He knew that if he made a connection with shrimp, I would be braver than usual and “try something new.” I tried it and loved it and I’m pretty sure that’s when my obsession with seafood began.
After bringing the lobster tails home for Mike and I to enjoy together, I decided I would make lobster rolls. I usually trust the experts on this one, but I was inspired to do it myself. I found the recipe on The Food Network and honestly, I was surprised at how fun it was to prepare. They were sooooo good too.
One recommendation I learned from Lobstergram.com is to parboil the lobster tails before you put them on the grill. This will ensure some really delicious lobster meat. I also added a sprinkle of Old Bay on top of the lobster rolls just before eating it, because as my Dad used to say to me, “Where there’s seafood, there’s always Old Bay.”
So, cheers to my Dad and to all the Dad’s out there who got their kids to try something new.
Whenever I find myself in a creative rut with shooting a recipe, I simplify my shoot by shooting the raw ingredients on their own. It frees my mind from thinking about the recipe and the cooking and helps me focus on one thing; the photography. It allows me take the time to really look at the details that are going to bring the recipe to life.
4 (1 1/2-pound) cooked lobsters or 4 lobster tails or 1 1/2 pounds lobster meat
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 inner celery stalks and leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 rolls, split and lightly toasted
Melted butter, for brushing
Optional: Old Bay
1. Parboil the lobster tails by putting them in a pot of boiling water.
2. When the water returns to a soft boil, reduce heat, set a timer for 1-2 minutes per 5 ounce tail and remove the tails from the water. 3. Insert a long metal skewer lengthwise in each tail to keep it from curling while cooking.
4. Lay the tails on their back side with the soft underneath side of the shell facing up.
5. Take a knife and cut through the shell lengthwise down the middle.
6. Pry the shell open, then pour melted butter and squeeze lemon juice right onto the meat.
7. Grill with the cut side facing up on medium heat.
8. Each tail should cook within 2 – 3 minutes, so be sure to test the tails often to make sure they don’t overcook.
9. Remove the meat from the lobsters, chopping any large chunks into bite-size pieces.
10. In a bowl, combine the lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
Note: Place lobster salad in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the salad to absorb the flavorings.
11. Brush cut sides of the rolls with melted butter and lightly toast them on the grill.
12. Fill the rolls with lobster salad and sprinkle with Old Bay, if desired.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.