In over 45 years of cooking it has happened often, beginning as a casual conversation with a guest.
This one was just after our breakfast service, sharing conversation and coffee in the dining room of the Mill House Inn, as we celebrated our two-year anniversary. For the record, that morning was in the summer of 2001.
These culinary debates often begin with, “Why don’t you have this on the menu?” Which is met with a response like, “So tell me more; how would you like that prepared?” Or, in this case, “Do you think people will eat that for breakfast?”
The MHI Lobster Frittata!
Well, the answer was “yes,” and the results left me, once again, enlightened by one of our guests. The MHI Lobster Frittata remains — to this day — one of the most popular items on our breakfast menu.
Over the past 17 years the recipe has changed as we improve the method of preparation and continue to source better and more local ingredients. I promise that if you invest the time in preparing this at home (recipe below), you’ll be thrilled with the results. If you run into a snag along the way, drop me a line. I will be glad to help.
In the course of those improvements we often referenced the master of New England seafood Jasper White. First, in his legendary Cooking from New England and later, in my favorite book on the topic Lobster at Home, the ultimate source on the subject.
Jasper has quite bit to say about food while growing up on the New Jersey shore, a heritage we have in common. Apparently, we share many of the same experiences, including being raised on Barnegat Bay.
A Few Lobster Tales
The Lobstermen of the East End have quite a story to tell and Montauk has but half a dozen of them left to tell the tale. Luckily, they work the local waters with a perseverance that allows us to enjoy lobster in its many preparations.
If you are looking to bring a bit of Montauk home with you, my favorite fish mongers are Stuarts’ Seafood and Gosman’s Fish Market. I will not state my preference for the East End’s best Lobster Roll, but if you email me with your choices, I will tally the votes and publish the winner’s name … and my favorite Lobster Roll Recipe.
Please enjoy some time in the kitchen. A bit of Wolffer Rosé while you cook will help inspire the Chef! Enjoy the links I have included in the section below. Eat Your Books is a wonderful resource … and if you speak to Jasper, say hi for me!
Lagniappe – Even our local Eric Ripert has a thing or two to say about Lobster Rolls.
A Recipe: The MHI Lobster Frittata
The Frittata (One Serving)
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1 tbs. shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbs. roasted red peppers, diced
- 1/3 cup asparagus, diced and blanched
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 oz. lobster glacé (see below)
- 1 tbs. cream
- fresh chopped chives, parsley, and tarragon, pinch sea salt & cayenne pepper
- 2 strips bacon, diced
- 2 tbs. sweet onion, diced
- ½ cup diced potatoes, par-boiled
- parsley, salt & pepper
Lobster & Glacé
- meat from ½ lobster [cooked and shelled]
- 2 oz. lobster glacé (see below)
- 2 tbs. butter
- pinch salt and pepper
- Gently warm oil in a sauté pan, add shallots, stir until wilted, add asparagus and roasted pepper.
- In second pan render bacon. Then add onion with diced potato and sauté until potato is golden; add parsley and keep warm.
- Beat eggs with cream, 2 oz. lobster glacé, salt, pepper and herbs.
- Add egg mixture to pan with shallot, peppers and asparagus. Stir well to combine, place in oven preheated to 400° bake until set, approx. 10-12 minutes; remove & keep warm.
- In small sauté pan heat lobster glacé, then add butter a bit at a time, whisk until butter is fully incorporated. Taking care to use med-low heat so sauce does not break. Add Lobster, warm and season to taste.
On the Plate
- To warm plate add a kitchen spoon of potatoes
- Place frittata on top of potatoes
- Arrange lobster and asparagus on top of frittata
- Sauce with lobster glacé, garnish with crème fraiche, chives & parsley
Prior Lobster Preparation
- Cook lobsters in boiling water and remove meat from shells, reserve water and shells for stock. Lobster meat will be reheated later, please take care to undercook. Chill and reserve.
- 4 Lobster Carcasses
- 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 celery rib, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay Leaf
- 1 fresh thyme
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes chopped
- Water to cover as needed, include water from cooking lobsters
Lobster Glacé Preparation
Please use stainless steel saucepots and very low heat.
- Wash lobster carcasses well removing the grain sac (brain) and roe. Additional shells from lobster meat preparation may be added.
- Heat oil in heavy 8 qt. stockpot.
- Stir in the lobster carcasses and cook until most of the liquid has cooked out.
- Stir in the carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook at a moderate heat until softened.
- Deglaze with wine, then add tomato, lobster broth and water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very low simmer for 45 minutes.
- Strain stock through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve; discard solids.
- Return stock to low heat for about an hour, desired yield is 4 cups glacé
- Cool glacé and refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months.
The lobster Frittata is one of our signature dishes and is not to be missed. Call us or email us to set up your own lobster appointment!