Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Poor Man’s Lobster Roll


Today I’m delighted to be featuring another guest post by Brian. It’s a real *treat* :)

Enjoy!
A

Poor Man’s Lobster Roll

Yesterday (a BEAUTIFUL crisp spring day), Benjamin and I had lunch at the Shake Shack on the Upper West Side followed by a visit to the Natural History Museum.  In the bright warmth of the sun we took off our sweaters and enjoyed our fast-food lunch on the benches outside of the museum, and I was for the sixth or seventh time in my life blown away by the meal.  For those of you in New York City who have never been to the Shake Shack… GO.  Seriously, don’t think about the calories or whatever, just go.  It’s so good.  It’s really just SO good, and totally lives up to the hype.  Not only is everything delicious, it’s so CUTE.  Even if you order it to go, when you open the bag everything is placed just so;  the burger sits happily in its little paper sleeve with perfectly sliced, juicy, red tomato rounds and a velvety, unblemished butter-lettuce leaf, sandwiched between soft, eggy brioche buns… Seriously so cute, the burgers look like they were manufactured by Fisher-Price.  And the crinkle cut fries are so PERFECTLY and EVENLY golden… ghalalalalahhhh, my mouth is watering thinking about it.  This particular time around I went for the Portobello mushroom burger, which I had never had before (I usually go the carnivore route).  When you go, GET IT, it’s a MUST.  I mean, a big mushroom stuffed with oozing Muenster cheese, breaded and fried?  Please, the beef don’t stand a CHANCE against this one.

Needless to say I was still fantasizing and romanticizing our Shake-Shack-lunch-on-the-sunny-bench-in-front-of-the-Natural-History-Museum when it came time to have dinner…  Wanting another go at a meal that included a soft bun encasing something outrageously delicious, I found myself reaching towards lobster rolls.  A lobster roll would be close-enough-slash-far-away-enough from a Portobello mushroom burger that it would be just the ticket.  Of course lobster is A BILLION dollars a pound, and a hassle, so I decided to substitute shrimp.  With just the idea in my head I stopped into Citarella on 6th Avenue and 10th Street to purchase just enough ingredients to feed me, Benjamin and my brother for about $26.  Is that expensive?  I have no idea.  I felt like we were saving?  But honestly I have no concept of money.  I don’t understand it and am helpless when it comes to budgets.  But whatever the price, they were worth it!  Scrumptious and fantastic, here’s how I made them…  But a note!… I am by no means a professional recipe writer, and since I just “wung it” when preparing these I can’t be sure of exact amounts, but I think this is close enough if you want to try!!

For the days when you a want a fresh and fast seafood treat without breaking the bank, consider making these delicious shrimp rolls!  This recipe feeds TWO, but is easily adjusted to feed more.  Figure 1/2 pound (or 1/3 pound if you’re feeling stingy) medium shrimp per person, and adjust the rest to taste.

FOR THE SHRIMP
1 Pound Peeled Medium Shrimp, Deveined 
(If you care?  I don’t really care but Benjamin doesn’t like the idea of shrimp poop in his food, so I put him to the tedious task… TIP: Use a toothpick to pull out the vein after the shrimp is peeled, inserting the toothpick into the middle of the shrimp’s back just deep enough to pull the vein out with minimal damage to the shrimp.  The vein will stick to the toothpick so keep a tiny bowl of water handy, when you dip the toothpick into the water the vein will slide off, and your toothpick will be clean for the next shrimp to devein.)
Salt
Pepper
Coconut Oil, or other high-heat oil

Season the cleaned shrimp liberally with salt and pepper.  Place cast-iron skillet (or other heavy-bottomed skillet) on medium-high to high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until very hot.  Add a Tblsp. or two of coconut oil.  Add shrimp in batches if necessary, placing them at least an inch apart.  Cook for 30-45 seconds on each side or until JUST cooked through.  No need to overcook your shrimp, they’ll be dry and rubbery!!  You want (or at least I want) them to perfectly and juicily pop between your teeth upon consumption!
Set shrimp aside to cool.

FOR THE MAYONNAISE
1 Egg Yolk 
(P.S. Use Pasteurized Eggs if Raw Egg is of concern!) (P.P.S. I am not responsible if you get sick from handling raw food.) (P.P.P.S. Chances of you getting sick from a raw egg are like SUPER slim.)  (P.P.P.P.S. I guess it’s still a possibility though, and you’ve been warned, so seriously don’t sue me if something goes wrong for you.)
1 Tsp. Mustard
Canola Oil
Olive Oil

In a medium bowl whisk egg yolk and mustard vigorously until light in color.  Add LITCHRALLY two drops of canola oil and beat vigorously with whisk.  Add LITCHRALLY two more drops of oil.  Beat vigorously.  Then, in a SLOW, STEADY, ULTRA-THIN stream add canola oil while whisking VIGOROUSLY.  I suggest doing this with a friend as one of you can whisk and one of you can pour the oil… and this way when your hand feels like it’s going to break and fall off from whisking you can trade jobs.  Once you have about half a cup of mayonnaise switch to olive oil to give it a richer flavor (you can use ALL olive oil if you want, but for me I find it just a little heavy tasting).  You probably won’t use all the mayonnaise for your preparation, and any leftover can be stored in the fridge but should be used within the next day or two?)

IF YOUR MAYONNAISE DOESN’T COME TOGETHER (usually because you didn’t get enough of an emulsion at the outset when you first added the initial drops of oil) OR if you don’t want to bother, just use store bought.  Seriously, your audience probably won’t know the difference anyway.

TO ASSEMBLE THE SHRIMP ROLLS
Two Hot Dog Rolls Per Person, Toasted 
(Or not toasted, whatever/You could take it further and butter the toasted rolls as well!!)
Sauteed Shrimps, cut into 3rds after cooled (Save any juices!!!)
1/4-1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1-2 Tsp. Lemon Juice
Small Palm-full Chopped Tarragon and Chives
Large Palm-full Finely Diced Celery
Salt and Pepper

Mix Shrimp and any reserved juices with mayonnaise and lemon juice.  Add celery and chopped herbs, mix well.  Taste.  Season with salt and pepper if needed (Hint… it will probably need I don’t know 1/8-1/4 tsp. salt at least? Whatever, make it as salty or not as you like!).  Scoop into toasted (or not) and buttered (or not) rolls and serve with something crispy and fresh like a Caesar Salad.  Enjoy!!! (or not) :)

-Brian-


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