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November 13, 2015

Martha Stewart's Appetizers

Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

Martha Stewart has done it again. Just when you think she’s dropped off the radar, she comes out with “Appetizers,” a cookbook with over 200 recipes for easy-to-make hors d’oeuvres. This book has proven to be a heavy hitter for me, as I’m constantly looking for party starter ideas but am inclined to choose recipes that are hassle-free. Martha Stewart is the queen of entertaining, and over the years she’s released several cookbooks dedicated to small bites, including “Hors d’Oeuvres” and “Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook,” but with “Appetizers,” she demonstrates her solid grasp of the current zeitgeist by updating her stylish bites with a sense of breezy informality, a quality that she says she’s witnessed in the evolution of home entertaining. I like to entertain, but I don’t have that much time to prepare complicated recipes, so “Appetizers” comes to the rescue with snacks, starters, small plates, cocktail recipes and 10 useful golden rules for hosting a party. As I test drive each recipe, from the fresh tomatillo salsa to burrata with hot pickled peppers, I fall more deeply in love with this book — amazing flavors, brilliant presentation and straightforward preparation. Here, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book: pull-apart lobster rolls. The pull-apart dinner rolls are fun, and you can substitute lobster salad with shrimp salad, crab salad, scallops, or whatever your party heart desires.

Pull-Apart Lobster Rolls

Pull-Apart Lobster Rolls

Martha Stewart

Recipe reprinted from MARTHA STEWART’S APPETIZERS. Copyright ©2015 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photos by David Malosh. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

makes 12

You don’t have to live on the coast to make lobster rolls from scratch. Lobster is shipped to markets all over the country, and you can even buy it shelled and cooked—although boiling lobster takes no time and, with the right tools, the meat is easy to extract (see notes, below). Buttery pull-apart rolls are the right size for holding the sandwich in one hand and a drink in the other, and they make a fun display.

  • 1 pound cooked lobster meat (from 3 lobsters; see notes, below) (2 ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chervil, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 pull-apart rolls, such as King’s Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls or Martin’s potato rolls (do not separate rolls)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently stir to combine lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, chervil, salt, Old Bay, and cayenne in a bowl.
  2. Split buns across top, then brush generously with some of melted butter. Heat on a baking sheet until warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes. Divide lobster salad amongst rolls, drizzle with remaining butter, sprinkle with chervil, and serve.

serve with
Seasoned Potato Chips
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes
Classic Deviled Eggs

Lobster How-To

To cook live lobsters
Fill a large stockpot three quarters of the way with cold water; bring to a rolling boil and add a generous amount of coarse salt. Plunge 3 lobsters, one at a time, headfirst into the water, and cook (uncovered) until they turn bright red, 8 to 14 minutes. Use tongs to remove them from the pot, and transfer to a platter. When cool enough to handle, snip tips off claws and let liquid drain out. Remove rubber bands.

To extract the meat

Pull claws from bodies, completely separating. Twist each tail from joint where it meets the body. Use kitchen shears to slice down centers of tails. Open sides of tails apart to release the meat. Use your fingers to pull meat from tails. Separate knuckles from claws. Crack knuckles open, and remove meat with a small fork. Grasp “thumbs” from claws, and bend back to snap off. Place claws on their sides on a work surface. Holding with one hand, and using back (dull edge) of a chef’s knife, whack several times to crack shells without cutting into meat. Twist to open and then pull out the meat with your fingers. Cut all meat into ½-inch pieces and finely chop.

AppetizersSnacksMartha Stewart