rolling with lobster, California style
(and a litle French influence):
lobster “roll” California style
Lobster season. In America, lobster is generally enjoyed two ways: steamed and served with a bath of melted butter; or, if you are on the East Coast, in a “lobster roll”(lobster meat combined with melted butter and mayonnaise served in a roll). However, we cannot forget that it is also the season for apples and Asian pears (and in California, heirloom tomatoes and avocados are delicious right now).
It is in the nineties in southern California (and will be for some time). In this heat, hot, heavy food does not sound appealing. Sliced, Asian pears, apples, tomatoes and cucumbers all look like wheels and it seems to me that with these seasonal fruit wheels we can create our own “roll” that uses the West Coast bounty and is compatible with this summer weather. These thoughts inspired this week’s simple pleasure: lobster “roll” California style (mille-feuille de homard à la Californie).
If I heard correctly, last weekend was supposed to mark the beginning of autumn. The weather, however, is not on board with the calendar of seasons. The beaches are crowded, the bike paths are full, leaves are still on the trees, and everyone is just trying to capture an ocean breeze to keep cool.
September marks the time for lobster (and it is actually less expensive this year than usual). It is too hot for hot lobster and the heaviness of mayonnaise, butter, and enriched bread. This week we are taking the less traditional route and enjoying this crustacean in a way that is full of color, lightness and cooling ingredients (with a little French influence).
Our California “roll” is a salad with layers of sliced Asian pears, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados with intermittent layers of lobster meat dressed in a creamy avocado and cilantro dressing. It is a lobster and fruit mille-feuille (a mode of preparation generally used for French layered desserts).
Our roll (or salad) can be made ahead and assembled right before service. If you do not want a layered mille-feuille appearance, you can combine all the ingredients together for more of a lobster chopped salad (it also makes great leftovers this way). Either way, sliced or diced, it is refreshing and delicious.
If you buy the entire lobster rather than only the tails (it is less expensive but a little more work), see my September 8, 2011 post for tips on how to prepare a whole, live lobster. If you buy a whole lobster, be sure to use all of the lobster meat (legs and claws), not just the tail, in the salad.
Mangez bien, vivez bien et bon appétit ! (eat well, live well and enjoy) !