Langostino Lobster Rolls with Spring Peas

These “lobster” rolls are made with Langostino tail meat. Langostino is not really a lobster, and costs significantly less. Its flavor and texture are very similar, and restaurants sometimes substitute Langostino to offer lobster-like dishes at a lower price. Some species of langostino look somewhat like a flattened lobster, while others resemble a prawn. What we call Langostino in the US is the meat of the squat lobster, which is neither a true lobster nor a prawn, but more closely related to porcelain and hermit crabs.

I love lobster rolls, having first enjoyed them on the East Coast when visiting family. Sweet lobster in a light lemony dressing on a soft roll with a side of slaw is about as New England as it gets. The recipe here uses langostino for cost savings, but can be made with regular lobster if that is your preference. If I want to splurge, I’ll make this with real, fresh lobster.

For a twist I added spring peas. They are purely optional and may offend a lobster roll purist, so leave them out if they are not your thing. I like their fresh sweet taste, and happened to have an abundance of them on hand. They bring additional texture and flavor, but if they are not available or desired, the recipe is delicious without them.

Ingredients

3  Cups cooked Langostino or Lobster meat
1/2 Cup Spring Peas, shelled (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Italian Parsley, minced
1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
6 Sausage Rolls, Hot Dog Buns or other soft sandwich rolls, Split
2 - 4 Tablespoons of butter

Instructions

  1. Combine langostinos or lobster, peas, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, parsley, Old Bay, and cayenne if desired, in a mixing bowl.
  2. Taste the salad and adjust seasonings; adding salt and pepper if desired.
  3. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate salad; it will store well for several hours if needed before moving on to next step.
  4. Butter preferred rolls and toast, butter side down, on a preheated grill or in a skillet on the stove top, working in batches. Alternately, you could place in a toaster oven and toast with butter side up on a bagel setting. Toast until inside of bun is a golden brown.
  5. Fill each bun with about 1/2 cup of the langostino or lobster salad.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes

These sandwiches can be used as either a main course or an appetizer. Slicing the filled rolls into three pieces will make a nice appetizer sized serving.

I initially frowned on the use of hot dog buns when experimenting with this recipe, but they have the right balance of flavor and texture so they don’t overpower the delicate texture and flavor of the filling.

Use the freshest ingredients possible, this sandwich has well balanced flavors and fresh juice and herbs are the key.

Kentucky Hot Brown

It’s Kentucky Derby Day! This year I decided to prepare the decadent Kentucky Hot Brown open-faced sandwich as a late lunch/early dinner while we enjoy the Churchill Downs race – the first in the great race for the Triple Crown each year. This year marks the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, and the first result upset in the history of the Race.

The Hot Brown actually has its own history. Still served today at the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, the Hot Brown was invented in the 1920’s for the 1200 guests that frequented their nightly dancing at the hotel. The chef wanted something more glamorous to serve the tired dancers instead of just ham and eggs. The original recipe is shared by the Brown Hotel. The original recipe and history can be found at https://www.brownhotel.com/dining/hot-brown

I stick close to the original recipe, but make a few changes. Not a fan of Texas Toast, I changed the bread to Brioche. I also make a very traditional Mornay Sauce which is made with Gruyere vs. the Pecorino called for by the Brown Hotel. I omit the nutmeg as I have a food intolerance to it – even in small quantities. You, however, can add it back if you prefer its distinct flavor in this creamy cheese sauce.

Ingredients

For the Mornay Sauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
8 oz. Heavy Cream
8 oz. Whole Milk
2 oz. Gruyere Cheese, grated (plus more for garnishing)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
Pinch of Ground Nutmeg (optional, I omit)

For the Sandwich
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast, Sliced https://betwixtandcuisine.com/2019/05/04/herb-roasted-turkey-breast/
4 Slices of Brioche Toast (Crust Trimmed)
4 Slices of Crispy Bacon
2 Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
Paprika
Parsley

Instructions

In a two‑quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium‑low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and whole milk into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2‑3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Gruyere cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper. Optionally, add nutmeg.

Cut the crusts off the brioch toast. For each sandwich, keep one slice of toast whole, and cut the other in half diagonally to make toast points. to assemble place a whole slice of brioche toast in an oven safe dish. Add desired turkey slices. Original recipes suggests about 7 oz. Take the two halves of tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Gruyere cheese. Place the entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

Lettuce Sandwich Wraps wraps with Asian Pork Tenderloin

Lettuce sandwich wraps can be substituted for traditional wraps. In this recipe, parchment paper is used to keep the lettuce wrap held together vs. a traditional bread or grain based wrap.

Ready to wrap and roll!

Ingredients

Broad Leaf Lettuce or Greens (collard greens, dinosaur kale)
Carrots, julienne cut
Red Bell Pepper,julienne cut
Cucumber, julienne cut
Cilantro Sprigs to taste
Asian Pork Tenderloin, thin sliced https://betwixtandcuisine.com/2019/04/27/asian-pork-tenderloin/
Rice Wine Vinegar (optional)
Thai Style Almond Butter Sauce https://betwixtandcuisine.com/2019/04/27/thai-style-almond-butter-sauce/
Parchment Paper

Instructions

  1. Place large sheet (15 X 18 or so) on a work surface.
  2. Layout leafy lettuce in a 10 inch circle. This will be the outside of the wrap.
  3. Layer carrots, cucumber and red pepper julienne strips in the center of the lettuce in a thin column.
  4. Add cilantro sprigs to layered vegetables.
  5. Top with sliced pork.
  6. If desired, sprinkle with rice vinegar to taste.
  7. Wrap lettuce around the filling in the same manner as wrapping a burrito, placing the “seam” side down.
  8. Wrap the entire lettuce wrap tightly in parchment paper, and secure with tape.
  9. Serve with Thai Style Almond Butter Sauce for dipping.

Grilled Brie, Prosciutto and Pepper Jelly Sandwiches

This is one of my all time favorites for a quick go-to meal. I love the medley of sweet, salty and savory that comes through in this simple take on a Grilled Cheese sandwich. It is the perfect accompaniment to soup or salad for a hearty lunch or quick supper.

In this recipe the amounts of the ingredients are just suggestions. Slice your bread as thin or thick as you like, just make sure it’s thick enough to hold the ingredients. Add more or less jelly, meat or cheese to your personal taste. You can use Red Pepper or Hot Pepper Jelly – either is great, it just depends on your desire for heat or not. Grill bread lighter or darker to your taste. The beauty of this sandwich is you can make it exactly the way you like it. You won’t be disappointed.

Sweet, salty, savory, melty goodness!

Ingredients

2 Slice Rustic bread (I used a Pugliese from the local bakery, but any rustic French or Italian loaf will work)
2 Tablespoons Red Pepper Jelly or Hot Pepper Jelly, divided
2 Slices of Brie from a wedge (more or less to taste)
2 Slices (or more to taste) Prosciutto
1 Tablespoon Butter

Instructions

  1. Slice bread and cheese.
  2. Butter one side of bread slices.
  3. Place one slice of bread, butter side down, in skillet.
  4. Top with first Tablespoon of Pepper Jelly, followed by sliced Brie and Prosciutto slices and second Tablespoon of Pepper Jelly.
  5. Top with remaining slice of bread, butter side up.
  6. Grill in pan over medium heat until golden; turn sandwich and grill until golden on second side.
  7. Slice and serve while cheese is still gooey and melty.

Rueben Sandwiches with Spicy Russian Dressing

One of the best things about a corned beef and cabbage dinner is the left overs. Corned beef is like the Thanksgiving turkey of late winter; if you cook a larger cut of brisket, you may use it in a variety of leftovers. One of my favorites is a classic Rueben Sandwich with homemade Russian dressing. I love the spicy sweetness paired with the briny sauerkraut, melted swiss cheese, and a stack of thin sliced corned beef on a dark rye bread. I put a modern twist on the traditional dressing with the addition of a generous dose of Siracha hot sauce.

Ingredients

For the Russian Dressing
2 Tablespoons grated onion
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup Ketchup
4 teaspoons of prepared horseradish - the fresher the better.
1-2 teaspoons of Siracha hot sauce (more or less to your taste)
1 - 2 teaspoons of Worchestershire sauce (more or less to your taste)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
Dash of sea salt or pink salt

For each sandwich

2 Slices Dark Rye Bread (can use a light rye or pumpernickle if preferred)
2 Slices Swiss Cheese
1/2 Cup of Sauerkraut, drained and most of moisture pressed out
Sliced Cooked Corned Beef Brisket - Amount to your preference.
Russian Dressing
Butter

Instructions

  1. Make Russian Dressing
    • Transfer onion paste to a small bowl along with mayonnaise, ketchup and horseradish.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of siracha, 1 teaspoon of Worchestershire sauce and the paprika.
    • Taste and add more siracha or Worchestershire.
    • Finish by salting to taste.
  2. Assemble Sandwiches
    • Spread one slice of bread with butter and place butter down in a 8-10 inch skillet.
    • Spread bread with a teaspoon (or more) of Russian Dressing.
    • Place two slices of Swiss Cheese ontop of the dressing.
    • Add drained and pressed Sauerkraut.
    • Add desired amount of sliced corned beef.
    • Spread second slice of bread with another generous teaspoon of Russian Dressing.
    • Place bread, dressing side down on top of corned beef.
    • Butter top side of bread.
    • Grill in skillet over medium heat, flipping the bread when desired level of toasting occurs.
  3. Serve with additional dressing on the side.

Note: Substitute Thousand Island Dressing for the Russian Dressing for a sweeter sandwich if preferred.