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This Las Vegas sandwich is like no lobster dish (or sandwich) you’ve ever had
The sandwich is comforting to the max.
Located inside the Venetian and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Lobster ME is a little taste of Maine right in the heart of Sin City. Lobster rolls are the top sellers; each is made to order with the meat of a one-pound lobster, and other menu items include lobster and chips, fried lobster tail on a stick, and lobster and waffles for breakfast. But there’s one menu item that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else: a lobster grilled cheese, which sells for $11.
This sandwich starts with a half-pound of cooked Maine lobster, which is gently mixed with a half-ounce each of Brie and cream cheese until it’s all melded together. Thick-sliced white bread is buttered on one side; the mixture is added to the non-buttered side and topped with two slices of Gruyère and the second slide of bread. The sandwich is then griddled until the bread is browned and buttery and the cheese is melted.
The sandwich is full of lobster flavor and it’s perfectly balanced by the cheese. It’ll power you through all Vegas has to offer.
Lobster Grilled Cheese
2 slices white Pullman bread or sourdough bread
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
About ½ cup cooked Maine lobster meat, torn into ½- to ¾-inch chunks
Fresh herbs of your choice (tarragon and/or chives are good options)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Butter one side of both pieces of bread. On the unbuttered side of one piece, lay a slice of cheese, then the lobster, then the herbs.
Season with salt and pepper, then top with another slice of cheese. If you’re using smaller cheese slices, just make sure you have some on both sides of the lobster.
Place the second slice of bread, buttered-side up, on top. Place the sandwich in the pan and cover. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. Flip the sandwich carefully the cooked side should be golden brown.
Cover the pan and cook the other side for about another minute, or until that side is also golden brown and the cheese is fully melted. Remove from the pan and cut in half (diagonally, of course) to serve.
Kennebunkport Lobster Grilled Cheese and Grilled Cheese Academy Contest
It’s no secret around here that I’m a big fan of cheese. Whether it’s in gooey sandwiches like this one or mixed into salads like this one or in cheesy chorizo dips too.
And thus, my lust of cheese makes it even more exciting that once again this year I’ll be a judge for the 2014 Wisconsin Cheese Grilled Cheese Academy’s Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown.
Last year I traveled to Madison, WI where I judged the Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown and ate an amazing assortment of cheese in between buttered bread.
Eating 15 grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting? Sure, sign me up.
Last year’s grand prize winner was this Kennebunkport Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwich. That’s a pic of it above. I knew it was going to be a winner as soon as I tasted it. And Instagrammed it. And ate the whole dang thing.
You know how on Top Chef or those other recipe judging shows how the judges daintily eat just a bite or two of each recipe? Well, not me. I mean, I’m not going to be wasteful for goodness sake especially when there are plates of melted cheese at hand.
This year I’m hoping you’ll be one of the chosen to wow me with your entry. Because I’m ready for some lovely new tastes to devour.
To enter is easy, and there’s a $10,000 prize package at stake. I mean, that could make a whole lot of cheese sandwiches.
Head over to the Grilled Cheese Academy site here for more info. The contest officially begins on April 1. How appropriate for Grilled Cheese month.
And if you’re in need of some serious GC inspiration, THIS is the place to go. Wow. And my Grilled Cheese Pinterest board ain’t too shabby either.
And now for this grilled cheese.
This Kennebunkport Lobster Grilled Cheese was the grand prize winner of last year’s recipe showdown. With a mix of creamy sweetened Mascarpone cheese and super meltable provolone that drape big chunks of freshly cooked lobster. And all sandwiched between two pieces of buttery sourdough bread.
But what really gives this recipe a kick is the chili paste that’s mixed into the butter that’s spread on the toasted top and bottom of the sandwich.
Lobster Grilled Cheese Recipe
Author Iron Chef Marc Forgione and T-fal
- 2 cups Lobster Stock If you can’t find Lobster Stock, get seafood stock, which should be available at Whole Foods or Fox & Obels
- 4 1 ½ pound lobsters, claws removed
- ¼ cup Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Juice of 2 limes
- 6 ounces 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- 8 slices of fontina cheese
- 4 slices Pullman Loaf or other high-quality thick sliced white bread 1” thick
About Stefani Tolson
The author of This Mom Can Cook and the owner of many other websites & blogs for moms. Stefani Tolson is a multi-tasking mom of 4 from the Sacramento area, PR friendly, a freelance writer, web designer, cook & more!
Taking a Bite Out of Chef Andrew Gruel’s Bold Twist on a Dish of Fish
From the appearance of the Newland Shopping Center, a strip mall in Huntington Beach, CA, you wouldn’t expect to find fine dining in any of the residing restaurants. That’s exactly what you discover, in a casual setting, when walking into Slapfish. The restaurant provides high quality food made to order for fast food like prices, and a short wait time (most customers have their food in front of them within five minutes of ordering).
When I arrived on a Tuesday morning, 30 minutes before the restaurant would open for business, I looked around to take in the venue. The self-proclaimed “modern seafood shack” seemed to be exactly that. The small but open space is sparsely decorated save for the taxidermy fish that line the walls and a few black and white pictures of marinas and docks. I was warmly greeted by the friendly chef and Slapfish Founder/ CEO Andrew Gruel. We got comfortable at one of the restaurant’s tables (made from recycled wood) and he talked about why he opened shop in Orange County. “We came to Huntington Beach because it’s Surf City USA, ” he said. “It’s very surfer driven, and surfers are all about the ocean and conservation. We’re spreading along the coast with that goal in mind.” The chain has already reached Laguna Beach, the Newport Beach location just opened with booming success, and the chef has plans for chains in Irvine and Costa Mesa.
It was the need for high quality and sustainable seafood that prompted Chef Gruel to open the chain’s first location in 2012. Gruel set out to provide his customers with “fish so fresh it’ll slap you, ” and named his business accordingly. Not only is the fish served at Slapfish fresh (some of it is next day from local fishermen, while on average it takes a week for the fish to get from the dock to the customer), but everything from the energy usage to the food is sustainable, and Slapfish is 3 Star Green Restaurant Certified by the Green Restaurant Association. Part of Gruel’s mantra is “sustainability tastes better, ” and he notes that sustainable products are “better for you and the environment.”
Along with popularizing sustainability practices and providing affordable food (according to Gruel, people can eat quality food at his restaurant for less than $10), another one of Gruel’s goals is to “make seafood sexy again.” Though the chef has a humorous side and kids a lot during the interview, this is not a joke. He plans to revamp seafood and make it more appealing by “making it saucy and bold and crave-worthy. No, Instagram- worthy. If you hashtag ‘foodporn’ you’ll see burgers, but you won’t see fish. We’re taking that idea to seafood.” Gruel wants all of his customers to be pleased and impressed with the presentation of their food.
Slapfish serves American food (surf without the turf), with a focus on comfort food. “In all of the items on our menu, ” says Gruel, “we take comfort food and put our own spin on it.” One menu item, the one I’m there to try, the Clobster Grilled Cheese, is a seafood lover’s take on a grilled cheese. “I’m usually against cheese with seafood, because of how delicate fish can be, but for some reason it works in this dish.”
The chef goes to prepare my Clobster Grilled Cheese order and as he does so, I notice the line is almost to the door, even though the restaurant just opened 30 minutes prior. Most of them are likely there to order the Ultimate Fish Taco, the Lobster Roll, or the Clobster Grilled Cheese, as those are the top selling dishes.
Not too long after, my food is ready and I’m too focused on the food to notice if the line’s died down. The Clobster Grilled Cheese comes with house-made potato chips and aptly named “awesome sauce.” The Clobster Grilled Cheese is well presented and well stuffed with ingredients and definitely looks Instagram-worthy. I take one bite and am happy to find that the sourdough bread is still soft even though it’s been toasted on both sides and is not crumby at all (I hate crumbs). The amount of lobster and crab in the sandwich also pleasantly surprises me. The generous portion of shellfish exceeds my expectations, and I’m full after eating half of the sandwich. All of the ingredients work well together and the lemon drizzled on the toast is a nice touch.
Once I snap out of my food haze and come back to reality, I see Chef Gruel coming to my table to say goodbye. The in- demand chef has either a photo shoot or an interview he has to go to before going home to his newborn baby and starting daddy duty. Before leaving the restaurant, I go to the Yelp app on my phone and give Slapfish four stars. I’m sure the restaurateur will appreciate my review as he told me earlier “We thrive on Yelp reviews. Our customers know if they make a suggestion, we’ll change. We change all the time with the locals in mind. They’ve really shaped the brand.” Hopefully they won’t be changing the menu anytime soon because I really want to go back for another Clobster Grilled Cheese!
Transform a Summer Lobster Roll Into a Cozy Fall Meal with This Easy Recipe
Nothing screams summer like a juicy lobster roll. Whether you take yours Connecticut style—presented warm and tossed with melted butter—or Maine style, which is served cold and mixed with mayo, these decadent pockets of goodness always hit the spot. But it&aposs already mid-August, which means lobster roll season is coming to a close. Sad face.
Fortunately, there&aposs a delicious way to transform this warm-weather staple into a cozy fall meal: just stuff that crustacean into a toasty grilled cheese sandwich. The Lobster Grilled Cheese recipe (below) comes from celebrated eatery Luke&aposs Lobster, which has locations across the country, and is a cinch to whip up.
"At Luke&aposs Lobster, we introduced a comfort-food spin on our roll, swapping the bun for bread and melting gruyere cheese among chunks of lobster knuckle and claw meat," says Luke&aposs Lobster president Ben Conniff. "The earthy, nuttiness of the gruyère is an amazing counterpoint to the sweet flavor of the lobster, and its hot, melted-goodness is a great pick me up when the weather gets cold." Read on for all the gooey details.
Lobster Grilled Cheese
2 slices white pullman bread or sourdough bread
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
About 1/2 cup cooking Maine lobster meat, torn into 1/2- to 3/4-inch chunks
Sliced Gruyère cheese
Fresh herbs of your choice (tarragon and/or chives are good options)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a 10-inch pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Butter one side of both pieces of bread. On the unbuttered side of one piece, lay a slice of cheese, then the lobster, then the herbs. Season with salt and pepper, then top with another slice of cheese. If you&aposre using smaller cheese slices, just make sure you have some on both sides of the lobster.
2. Place the second slice of bread, buttered-side up, on top. Place the sandwich in the pan and cover.
3. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. Flip the sandwich carefully the cooked side should be golden brown. Cover the pan and cook the other side for about another minute, or until that side is also golden brown and the cheese is fully melted. Remove from the pan and cut in half (diagonally, of course) to serve.
Blackened Fish Sandwich
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'Ugly' bagels and lobster grilled cheese sandwiches among the food truck options at Belfast's waterfront this summer
May 22—BELFAST, Maine — This summer, the scenic Belfast Harbor Walk won't just be a source of scenic views — it will also offer an array of food options from coffee and bagels to lobster rolls and ice cream as food trucks and lunch wagons set up along the waterfront.
The harbor walk stretches from the footbridge to Front Street Shipyard to the Belfast Boat House. Here's a brief introduction to the food trucks, starting with the ones closest to the Belfast Boat House and heading north toward the footbridge.
Sadie Samuels, 29, is an old hand when it comes to Maine lobster. She's from a fishing family and has had her lobster license since she was 7 years old. She loves going out to haul traps on her boat, the Rockport-based Must Be Nice, more than almost anything.
"It's my dream job. It's the greatest job in the whole wide world," she said. "I love being able to provide people with excellent seafood. It makes me feel incredible. It's what I'm meant to be doing."
But the industry can be unstable, and she wanted a way to create a sustainable business for herself. A few years ago, she started making and selling lobster rolls from her catch at the United Farmers Market of Maine in Belfast. Last year, she upgraded to the "Must Be Nice Lobster" lunch wagon on the Harbor Walk, parked near Hamlin's Marine.
Samuels sells lobster and crab rolls, lobster and crab grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and hand-cut fries. The wagon was a hit, and she's hoping for another good season. So far, all signs point to yes, as people begin to emerge from the pandemic.
"I have a very good feeling," she said. "It just seems like people are really excited to get outside."
Must Be Nice Lobster will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday only until Memorial Day. After Memorial Day, It will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Bob Rothwell of Acton has been working on his bagel technique for several years. During the pandemic, he had the time to perfect it. Now the elementary school teacher has turned his hobby into a side hustle, and will be bringing "Bob's Ugly Bagels" — which he describes as delicious if not always beautiful — to Belfast this summer.
"I do love a New York style bagel. I love a Montreal bagel, too," he said. "It's kind of an in-between."
His bagel flavors include jalapeno cheddar, herbed onion, cranberry orange, sesame, everything, plain, cinnamon-raisin and, of course, asiago.
"The asiago bagel is kind of the inspiration behind the Ugly Bagel," he said. "It just looks ugly, but it tastes great."
Rothwell, originally from the town of Waldo, is going to move to Waldo County with his family for the summer. He plans to make and bake bagels in a trailer he will also park near Hamlin's Marine. He'll offer a variety of cream cheese spreads, locally roasted coffee, breakfast sandwiches and lunch sandwiches.
Bob's Ugly Bagels is aiming to open on Memorial Day weekend and will be weekends only until June 10. After that, Rothwell plans to open almost every day from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Stone Fox Farm Creamery, a midcoast favorite, is known for its super premium ice cream made with local cream, milk and other ingredients whenever possible. Its ice cream truck, dubbed the "Mobile Cone," will be parked for a second summer off the Harbor Walk by Hamlin's Marine.
Owners Bruce and Kathy Chamberlain, who also opened a new store this year on Route 1 in Searsport, have been busy getting ready.
"We're making tons of ice cream," Bruce Chamberlain said.
"We're staffed and ready for a good summer," Kathy Chamberlain added.
Among their most popular flavors are salted caramel, ginger, vanilla and chocolate salted caramel. New this year are cookie butter (made with Biscoff Cookies) and dark and stormy, made with rum and ginger. They expect to offer milk shakes in the ice cream truck, too.
Stone Fox Farm Creamery will open next week, and be open seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m.
Doug Hufnagel, also known as the Coffeeman, has already opened his distinctive green coffee stand on the Harbor Walk next to the Wild Cow Creamery.
There, he grinds coffee beans by hand and uses water heated on a propane burner to freshly make pour-over coffee, four cups at a time. It's a simple process and one that he's perfected over the 33 or so years that he has been in business, often parking his cart outside festivals, concerts and the Common Ground Fair.
"I've always been a morning person," Hufnagel said. "People are appreciative of a good cup of coffee."
The cart, which sports a small wind turbine that runs a battery that powers a water pump and lights, is "totally self-sufficient," he said.
It's decorated with an array of stickers and signs that showcase Hufnagel's interests in counterculture and environmentalism. He hasn't offered lids to his cups "since 1990," in a nod to the environment, but does have the "European Lifestyle Cafe," a table and a couple of chairs, where people can enjoy their drinks. His coffee and teas can be enjoyed hot or iced, he said.
Hufnagel doesn't take credit cards but does extend credit. It's worked out, he said, adding that as far as he knows, his customers have a 100 percent record in settling up.
"Every day is different," he said. "You meet a lot of people, which is great. It's fun. It's a fun job."
Coffeeman is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. It's closed on Mondays.
Local chef and entrepreneur Raymelle Moody of The Moody Dog is looking forward to another good summer season with her hot dog cart, parked outside of Marshall Wharf Brewing Co., and her food truck, located up the hill at 39 Main Street.
Moody is known for her creative flavors and quality, locally sourced ingredients, including her hot dogs, which are made by Maine Family Farms in Portland. She also offers a house-made veggie dog. Favorites and new menu offerings include a Buffalo, bacon and blue cheese dog, a Muffuletta dog made with an olive and pickled vegetable spread and a Chicago dog, topped with yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, dill pickle, tomato, raw onion and pepperoncini.
She also is planning a bunch of seasonal specials, such as a kimchi dog when Napa cabbage is in season, and will have homemade baked goods available all summer. At the food truck, which has more space and longer hours, she'll offer more options, including corn dogs and breakfast sandwiches.
"I have lots of fun plans," Moody said.
Starting next week, the Moody Dog hot dog cart will be open from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at Marshall Wharf. Beginning on Memorial Day, the Moody Dog food truck will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Wander Pizza Co., which has a brick-and-mortar business on Western Avenue in Augusta, will bring its classic Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza to Belfast this year.
Owner Jesse Hardie said the pizza trailer will be located just inside the gates at the Marshall Wharf Brewing Co., and hopes to start slinging dough there on Thursday, May 27. Hardie uses naturally leavened dough that is made in-house at the Augusta restaurant and will offer several different toppings, including a butternut squash, ricotta cheese and bacon pie.
Seafood and Lobster Recipes
Here you’ll find some of our longtime favorite lobster roll recipes and classic creations for steamers, clam chowder, swordfish, mussels, scallops, and shrimp. Recipes are not only quick and easy to prepare but can be enjoyed in the backyard, on your waterside deck or in a formal dining setting. In other words, we have selected recipes that you can really use and enjoy.
It is our hope that these traditional seafood favorites will help bring the taste of New England closer to you, your friends, family, and loved ones, again and again, no matter where you live!
Lobster recipes are a work in progress and are organized to help you find what you need quickly. Comments are welcome on most of the recipes and posts. We also invite you to submit your own original seafood recipe.
It’s time to treat yourself with a sumptuous lobster grilled cheese
This recipe started off as a fun experiment with leftover butter-braised lobster. I was just playing with the idea of a BLT at first and it evolved into a grilled cheese. Taking a simple classic and giving it a thoughtful twist almost always works for me. French brie, pancetta, lobster, focaccia: all these elements work well together, plus the citrus aioli with a touch of garlic.
This became an instant classic — clients instantly fell in love with the idea of a grilled cheese with lobster and pancetta. Everyone was very excited about our funky sandwich, which has been copied many times over the years. Pancetta adds the salt and brine without the strong flavour of bacon, and once you add that aged French brie? Amazing pairing. (If you’re not a big brie fan, Gouda or gruyere would be great alternatives. Both cheeses melt well and have the correct character.) Lobster instantly gets your attention and, if used well, it will elevate any dish.
Champagne is lovely with this dish, as it helps to cut the richness of the sandwich. Any bright white wine will work, too, or a cold lager is a great alternative.
The perfect grilled cheese requires lots of butter or mayonnaise to create that crust, and even heat so the browning is achieved over a number of minutes, which allows the cheese to melt properly. It’s good to be patient over medium heat.
When buying lobster, it should be very lively when you hold it: if it droops, don’t buy it! You can sub in freshly frozen lobster, which will work, but canned is a no-go for me. I would use large cooked shrimp in that case, which work very well, too. You can buy frozen large shrimp and cook them very quickly in the same way as the lobster. Bring the liquid to a simmer, add frozen shrimp and bring back to a boil, then quickly remove shrimp and cool down with ice quickly. Peel and slice lengthwise and you’re ready to go.
1 live lobster, about 1 1/2 lbs. (750 g)
4 cups (1 L) court bouillon
6oz (175 g) aged brie de Meaux, cold
4 slices focaccia, 3/4-inch (2 cm.) thick
1/4 cup (60 mL) soft butter
6-8 slices crisp pancetta
6 tbsp (90 mL) garlic aioli
2 cups (500 mL) white wine vinegar
1/2 large white onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 lemon, sliced
6 stems parsley, without leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients with 2 litres of cold water and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes about 2L.
Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C). Place thin slices of pancetta on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes.
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
Whisk together the egg and garlic. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream. When finished, thin with lemon juice to taste, then season. Keeps refrigerated for up to 3 days. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a vigorous boil, plunge lobster into the pot headfirst, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove lobster, cool under running cold water and drain. Shell the lobster and reserve the intentionally undercooked meat in the refrigerator.
Bring court bouillon to a bare simmer. Cut the brie into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Slather one side of the focaccia slices with butter, then line them up, butter-side down on a large non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. Cook the lobster in the court bouillon for 60 seconds or until warmed through and then drain it on paper towels. Divide the cheese among the 4 slices of bread, spacing it evenly. Top two of the slices with a row of 3 to 4 pancetta slices. Cut the lobster into bite-size pieces and distribute it over the pancetta. Finally, flip the two cheese-covered focaccia slices onto the lobster side to complete the sandwiches.
Because of the thickness of the bread, the sandwiches should be flipped frequently, every minute or so. Add more butter to the pan as needed. When both sides of the sandwich are bronzed and the brie is melting, remove the sandwiches to a cutting board slice them in half on a diagonal and plate with a ramekin of aioli.