Kat’s been jonesing for lobster rolls pretty much all year. In Pensacola Joe Patti’s Seafood Market asked nearly $30 a pound for live Maine lobster, with a two-pounder yielding enough delicious flesh to make a pair of large homemade lobster rolls. And that assumes Kat masters shelling the crustacean without destroying the meat, and that I find and execute a proper recipe, not to mention buying a suitable bread. We just missed a Valentine’s week sale at Rouse’s Market in Mandeville, LA. I don’t consider myself cheap, but I would feel plumb foolish buying a tenderloin of beef to make some nice BBQ “brisket” sandwiches.
We know that if you find a good lobster roll south of Vermont* you should expect a $70 tab, plus drink, tax and tip… for one sandwich. Eating a $90 sandwich would make me feel just plain stupid. As George the First (Bush) often said: “Not gonna do it; wouldn’t be prudent!”
For at least a decade now I have entertained Kat by looking hard in every new upscale grocery we visit for one particular item no one stocks anymore. 10 or 15 years back Kroger, Harris-Teeter, Lowe’s and sometimes, even a WalMart in an upscale part of town stocked refrigerated packages of bake at home blueberry or cranberry and orange scones. Then as suddenly as the Cretaceous-Tertiary extermination event (a few weeks or months after impact) bake ‘em yourself scones became extinct. Yet I still search for them even in highly unlikely places. That’s our grocery shopping joke: scones. Since Valentine’s Day it’s been replaced by searching for lobsters or tails, enough to make a sandwich for under oh, $25. We even looked in Woodville, TX at a Brookshires as well as a full sized WalMart, without success of course.
But today we discovered half a dozen 1 to 1.5 lb. steamed whole lobsters marked down like so many drumsticks about to get too ripe to sell, but with two important differences. First, these were marked ‘Best by 3-15-2023’ and today’s date is 3-11-2023. Second, going bad protein markdowns usually reduce the asking price by 10 – 15%, not enough to persuade anyone to buy that stuff. Today these not only were still fresh but the price was almost 50% off.
The recipe I used turned out a superb lobster roll in terms of flavor, texture, and all we could eat in portion size. Here it is. https://www.foodiecrush.com/lobster-rolls/ . Kat Googled a Gordon Ramsey video How to Extract All the Meat From a Lobster including even the little legs, and she nailed it!
So we had our lobster rolls in East Texas with fish and rolls sourced from a small town’s WalMart on a cheapskate’s budget. Picking the lobster is the challenging part, but Ramsey’s video shows exactly how to get it all, and he even does it without breaking up any of the meat. Plus, he didn’t throw a chair, wine glass, or f-bomb at any of his students looking on. They even gave him a standing O. And you too can do it. I mean, make these lobster rolls; anybody can throw things, just be careful what you hit.
*Check out Life on the Blues July 17, 2021 posting Vermont Lobster Rolls.
4 thoughts on “Lobster Rolls in Jasper, Texas”
Hey Jackson… welcome back, it’s been awhile… glad you got your feed on, I’m rarely worried about best-before-dates & really get annoyed with people who want to throw out unopened items that have been kept in a refrigerator, salad dressing for example. But I draw the line at dated seafood – opening a spoiled container can make a room – well, you know how fast you gotta’ evacuate the item for the outdoor trash, there isn’t enough air freshener on the planet to get rid of the stank…
BTW… does Publix not sell their store-baked scones anymore? We’re about to go there & I hope they got’em as they don’t make their bread pudding anymore & I’m pissed…..
Anyway, good luck & shiny-side up, rubber-side down………
Yes, it has been too long. We’ve been healthy but not traveling much, hence much less to write about. As for store made scones, they can be found now and then, but the ones in a tube have an expiry date six months distant; bake shop scones and turnovers are good for 3-4 days and you have eat all 4 in that time span. Oh, this lobster was precooked but the best by date was four months after yesterday. It was fresh, and even the head fat was still tasty. And oh yeah, we got our nosh on!
Those look wonderful, Jackson. My mother loves to recount a story of when I was all of three years old, growing up in Boston. Someone asked me my favorite food, and I replied “Yobster!” I had problems with “L”s back in those days. I can’t believe the cost now; we used to get the occasional lobster roll in Maine, and I can only imagine what we paid back in the 1960s vs. now.
They were lovely. And I didn’t mention lucking out on the rolls; split tops are required but none were to be had. We bought some bratwurst rolls which turned out slightly sweet and yeasty, but fresh, and not split at all. I split the tops, carved out a little extra on each side to hold more lobster mix, and it all worked out. Lays Poppables are a very tasty alternative to potato chips; a new product you might try if you indulge in the occasional junk food.