Cold lobster rolls with mayonnaise are great for summer; come winter, it's all about the comfort of hot butter and toasted buns.
- 3 small live lobsters (450gm each)
- 8 hotdog rolls, sides trimmed, pocket cut into the top lengthways
- Thinly sliced chives, to serve
- 150 gm unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika, cayenne or chipotle powder (see note), plus extra to serve
- 1Place lobsters in freezer to render them insensible (30 minutes), then split lengthways through the head. Cook lobsters in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water (4 minutes), then refresh in iced water. Drain, then, when cool enough to handle, separate tail and head by twisting and pulling in opposite directions. Remove meat from tails and legs, coarsely chop tail meat and refrigerate until required.
- 2For brown butter sauce, cook butter in a saucepan over high heat until browned (3-4 minutes). Add garlic, lemon and paprika, season to taste and keep warm.
- 3Butter sides of rolls and fry in a frying pan over high heat, turning, until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Keep warm.
- 4Add lobster to saucepan with brown butter sauce and stir over low heat to warm through. Spoon into rolls and top with chives and paprika to serve.
Powdered chipotle – smoked chilli – is available from Herbie's Spices.
The RSPCA's advice for killing crustaceans humanely are to render the animals insensible by placing them in the freezer (under 4C) until the tail or outer mouth parts can be moved without resistance; crustaceans must then be killed quickly by cutting through the centreline of the head and thorax.