Lobster “Knuckle” Sandwich

Category: Food Recipes

Fried green tomatoes take the place of bread in this unusual take on a lobster sandwich. The recipe makes a generous quantity of basil mayo, great to have on hand.

Adapted from Chef Steve Corry of 555.

Basil Mayo
1  bunch fresh basil leaves
2  egg yolks
1  teaspoon dijon mustard
2  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1  teaspoon minced garlic
1  teaspoon kosher salt
1½ cups vegetable oil

Lobster Salad
3  (1½-pound) lobsters
2  ears corn (in the husk)
2  tablespoons finely diced red onion
Minced zest of 1 lemon
¼  cup basil mayo
Kosher salt to taste
¼  cup chopped chives
8  grape or cherry tomatoes, for garnish

Fried Green Tomatoes
4  medium green tomatoes
1  cup all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt to taste
2  eggs
½  cup whole milk
1  cup vegetable oil

 Prepare the mayo. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Drop the basil into boiling water for a few seconds, then remove with tongs and immediately drop in the ice water. Squeeze the blanched basil dry. In a blender or food processor combine egg yolks, basil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Puree until smooth, scraping the sides periodically. With the blender running, add the oil slowly until emulsified. The mixture will continue to thicken as the oil is added. Transfer to a sealable container, cover, and refrigerate.

 Prepare the lobster salad. Fill sink with ice water. In a pot large enough to hold the lobsters, heat heavily salted water to about 160°F over high heat. Lower heat to maintain temperature. Add lobsters (you may need to do this in batches) and gently poach until cooked, about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove and plunge into ice water until cold. Set aside 4 claws. Devein the tails. Cut tail, knuckle, flipper, and remaining claw meat into ½-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl.

 Preheat oven to 450°F. Submerge the corn cobs in cold water for ten minutes. Roast (with husks still on) until charred, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then remove husks and cut kernels from the cob. Add corn kernels to lobster, along with onion, chives, lemon zest, and basil mayo. Stir well to combine, then refrigerate until chilled.

 When lobster is fully chilled, prepare the fried green tomatoes. Trim the top and bottom of the tomatoes and reserve for another use. Cut the remainder into two thick slices.

 In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, paprika, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.

 Heat oil in a saucepan to 350°F. Dredge the tomato slices in the seasoned flour, then the egg wash, then back in the flour again. Pan fry tomatoes in the heated oil until golden. Drain tomatoes on paper towels and season with additional salt if desired.

 To assemble, place a tomato slice in the center of 4 plates. Spoon lobster salad on top. Top with the second tomato. Skewer the claws between two heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes to garnish. Makes 4 servings

Wine: Raymond Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve (Napa Valley, Calif.)
Beer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Pale Ale (Chico, Calif.)
Photograph by Ted Axelrod