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Prawn-powered lobster rolls

Posted by: Bob Hart | 9 November, 2012 - 12:02 PM
Prawn roll

Our increasing obsession with American regional food makes perfect sense to me: it is, after all, some of the best casual food on the planet, and we understand and like casual.

Burgers are booming, as are sliders (mini-burgers). Pulled pork sandwiches are everywhere and, as we discussed recently, even the terrifying monte cristo sandwiches have hit town.

But one dish that sneaked through as a piece of up-market casual eating is the lobster roll - a curious dish, quite wonderful, from the New England region of the US.

Sadly, lobsters are a bit too expensive here for us to chop them up and stick them in buns. But cooked prawns, which are far more reasonable, make great "lobster" rolls.

The trick is in preparing the roll: it's a standard hot dog roll which is brushed with melted butter and then crisped up, briefly, in a pan, in a hot oven or even on a barbecue.

The chopped prawns are then made into a salad filling by tossing them through with chopped celery and American mayo such as Best Foods, although New England residents will tell you it has to be Hellman's. Finish it off with a squeeze of lemon, a grind or two of pepper, and that's it.

Split the warm, crisp rolls down the top and pack them with the prawn salad. Then eat - ideally with some chilled riesling or a cold beer.

Chances are, in fact, that there will be somebody very fashionable eating these in the Birdcage, even as we speak about them.

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