Marc Murphy Classic: The Ditch Plains Lobster Roll

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You know Marc Murphy from his regular appearances on Chopped and as a guest on Iron Chef. He's also a champion of NYC-based food nonprofits Share Our Strength and City Harvest and works on the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. State Department. We know him as chef-owner of a handful of our favorite restaurants — particularly the surf-themed Ditch Plains, home of Murphy's famous lobster roll. Pick up a copy of his latest cookbook, Season With Authority, and make it at home! 

These lobster rolls are my simultaneous ode to New England and France. When we opened Ditch Plains, we wanted to put lobster rolls on the menu, because what's a fish shack without a good lobster roll, especially in the summer? I'm a big fan of Maine-style lobster rolls — served cold, with just enough mayo to bind the meat — and I wanted to add a French twist on it with some tarragon and a touch of mustard. I liked my version of the roll so much that it's become my all-time favorite, no disrespect to the classic version.

Reprinted with permission from Season With Authority

Marc Murphy Classic: The Ditch Plains Lobster Roll
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  • 4 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound) lobsters, or 2 pounds cooked lobster meat
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 onion
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic confit
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 4 potato hot dog buns
  • Potato chips
  1. If using whole lobsters: Place the lobsters in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes (this puts the lobsters to sleep and calms them down). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with the wine, chopped celery ribs, lemon, and onion.
  2. Working with one lobster at a time, in one decisive motion, plunge a chef’s knife into and all the way through the lobster’s head (so the head is halved). Break down the lobster by removing the claws and the tail. Repeat with the remaining lobsters.
  3. Add the claws and tails to the boiling water. The claws will cook in 6 to 7 minutes, and the tails will take 9 to 10 minutes. Remove the lobster pieces from the boiling water as they are done and transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool.
  4. Once cool, crack the claws and tails and remove the meat. Quarter the tail meat lengthwise and chop it. Chop the claw meat into pieces the same size as the tail meat.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the chopped lobster meat with the mayonnaise, diced celery, scallions, mustard, garlic, tarragon, and parsley, and mix until incorporated. Season with the Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  6. Heat a grill or preheat a grill pan over medium heat.
  7. Right before serving, in a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. Brush the inside of the hot dog buns with the melted butter and place them on the grill, buttered side down. Grill the buns until well marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Divide them among four plates and divide the lobster filling evenly. Serve immediately with some potato chips on the side.
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