Lobster. Grilled. Cheese. Sandwich. I still remember the first time I heard those four magical words strung together. My best friend had been to the Dip Net in Port Clyde and lunched on a magnificent merger of two of America’s favorite foods – the humble grilled cheese and luxurious Maine lobster. The next time we met up in Cutler, my friend and I agreed we must make our own.
While you don’t need a recipe to make an amazing lobster grilled cheese sandwich, there are some ingredients which will take your creation to a whole new level of perfection. They are as follows:
1. Anadama bread. This traditional New England bread has a complex, slightly sweet flavor and a hearty texture which will not merely hold the innards of the sandwich but also enhance its flavor and mouthfeel.
2. Gruyère cheese. While many cheeses taste great with lobster, I prefer Gruyère as its creamy, nutty flavor perfectly complements the sweet, succulent flavor of lobster. I’m pretty obsessed with Gruyère cheese in general.
I’ve even visited the hilltop town in Switzerland where Gruyère is made. Combining this Swiss cheese with lobster transports a grilled cheese sandwich to another stratosphere. If you can’t find Gruyère cheese, I recommend adding a dash of nutmeg to the cheese you do use.
3. Cayenne Pepper. I consider Cayenne one of the most magical ingredients to pair with lobster. My mother and grandmother didn’t use many herbs and spices in their cooking but they always added a few dashes of Cayenne pepper to their lobster Newburg. My Mum said it gave the entrée a bit of ‘zing.’ I find that most creamy lobster dishes work well with a sprinkle or two of Cayenne.
4. New Shell Maine Lobster. If you can, use new shell lobster as it is sweeter and more tender in flavor. And need I say it should come from Maine.
5. A George Foreman Grill. This is a tool vs an ingredient but it is worth adding to the list. A George Foreman will clamp down on your thick, crusty slices of Anadama bread and ensure the layers of grated Gruyere melt into a soft gooey mass that clings to the lobster and bread.
Obviously use a great butter on your bread and break the lobster meat into decent-sized chunks to enhance the sandwich texture. And enjoy!