Christmas in July with Nantucket Lobsters

Christmas in July is a second Christmas celebration held around the summer season, mainly during July. It is centered around Christmas-themed activities and entertainment, including small gatherings, seasonal music and specials, and shopping, with the goal of getting the public in the “Christmas spirit” during the summer season. 

This years celebration is the weekend of the 24 and 25 of July and we are holding our celebration in the festival town of Nantucket, MA.  One think I like about Nantucket is all the lobster!  Lobster Rolls, Lobster Quiche, Lobster and lobster mac and cheese.  


Lobster Mac and Cheese

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more for pasta water)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 4 scallions (thinly sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese (shredded, divided; or cheddar Jack)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 4 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 8 ounces lobster meat (cooked, chopped; about two 1-pound lobsters)
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (made from fresh bread)

Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 F.Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling, salted water following the package directions for al dente; drain well.Grease a 2-quart baking dish.Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the parsley and scallions and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in flour until well blended; continue cooking the roux for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly.Whisk the egg in a small bowl or large cup. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and blend well. Add the sharp cheddar cheese to the sauce, along with about 1/2 cup of the mild cheddar or cheddar Jack and the 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Add the sherry and stir to blend.In a large bowl, combine the sauce with the drained macaroni; fold in the lobster.Spoon the lobster and macaroni mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix with the breadcrumbs until well blended. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the cheese layer.Bake the casserole for 25 minutes, or until the topping has browned and the macaroni and cheese filling is bubbling around the edges. If the topping is pale, put the casserole under the broiler for a minute, or just until the topping has browned.


Lobster rolls 

2 lobsters (about 1 1/2 pounds each)

Mayonnaise Dressing:1/2 cup diced celery

4 tablespoons mayonnaise or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Butter Dressing:1 stick unsalted butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground paprika

Salt to taste

4 split toasted buns, New England-style if possible

Fill a large stockpot or kettle about 3/4 full with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt for each quart of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lower the lobsters, head first, into the boiling water. Cover the pot and bring the water back to a boil. Continue boiling the lobsters for 15 to 20 minutes. They will be bright red when they’re done. Rinse the lobsters under cold running water to cool enough to handle. Crack open the shells and remove the meat; chop coarsely.

Mayonnaise Dressing

In a bowl, combine the coarsely chopped lobster with diced celery, mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Butter Dressing

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the lemon juice and paprika. Add the chopped lobster meat and toss to blend.

Assembly

Arrange lettuce in the buns and then add a generous amount of the dressed lobster mixture.


Julia Child’s Lobster Quiche 

2 tbsp minced shallots 

3 tbsp butter

1 cup cooked lobster meat

1/2 tsp salt, divided

Pepper to taste

2 tbsp dry white vermouth

3 eggs1 cup whipping cream

graded cheese of choice 

  • Cook the shallots or onions in the butter for 1-2 minutes over moderate heat until tender, but not browned.
  • Add lobster meat and stir gently for 2 minutes. Sprinkle on 1/4 tsp of salt and a pinch of pepper.
  • Add wine, raise heat and boil for a minute. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with the cream, and remaining seasonings. Gradually blend in the shellfish and taste for seasoning.
  • Pour mixture into pastry shell and sprinkle the cheese over it.
  • Bake in upper third of preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until quiche has puffed and browned.

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