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Cape May Winery & Vineyard  

Stories from the Kitchen #1

October 9th 2018

While developing the menu for The Olde Bar in Philly, which was the Original Bookbinders*, I went to Maine in search of the perfect lobster roll. My wife and I stopped at a small shack on the water in Kennebunkport and this one roll was all we needed to agree it was the best. It was simple: perfectly cooked lobster warmed in butter, served on a toasted top-split roll topped with a smear of mayonnaise. It was so delicious we wanted more, but we were stuffed. So, we rented bikes passing the Bush Compound along the ocean watching their kids run around the grounds. After our ride, we went back to get 2 more lobster rolls.
I took my experience and inspiration from Maine back to Philly where I began testing. I cooked the lobster many different ways before discovering the best method: brake down the lobster by pulling off the tails and placing a metal skewer through them preventing the tail from curling. Steam the tails, claws and bodies for 5 mins. Once steamed, place them in a 350 degree oven for another 5 mins.
Now that I had the perfect way to cook the lobster, I started thinking about how to elevate the roll. Rather than just using straight melted butter, I decided to make lobster butter. I melted butter and added the lobster shells to infuse the flavor. I simmered the shells and butter until it turned this incredible orange color. WOW! I felt the lobster butter might possibly be better than the lobster itself. Then I thought, how can I keep the integrity of what I ate in Maine but elevate the flavor? I started playing around with different mayos. The result, a mayo mixed with celery seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Now comes the lobster slider build:
1- Slather a potato roll with lobster butter and toast to a golden brown
2- While toasting, submerge the perfectly cooked lobster in the lobster butter.
3- Once the golden buttery roll is finished, smear celery seed mayo on the top bun
4- Pull the lobster from the orange buttery goodness, slightly drain
5- Place the warm lobster on the bottom bun and sprinkle a pinch of chopped chives
6- Place the top bun on and enjoy!
*On the day of this year's employee dinner, Toby Craig(our owner) brought in this crazy looking wooden lobster with little holes drilled in it. Thinking it would be cool to insert the shrimp cocktail into it for service, I took the wooden lobster. While I was cleaning it I noticed that carved into its big wooden claw were the words “The Original Bookbinders.” -Chef Mike Siegel

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