Labor Day Grilling
Chef Matt O’Neil from The Blue Ox in Lynn, MA shares his recipes for a Grilled Sausage Panini and delicious Grilled Lobster.
Grilled Sausage, Mozzarella, and Roasted Red Pepper Panini (Serves 4)
4 Sausage Links - Broccoli Rabe, Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, or Garlic
8 Slices Italian or French Loaf Bread sliced crosswise ½ inch thick
2 roasted red peppers cut into 2” x 4” strips
8 slices Mozzarella cheese
Olive Oil for brushing
1 meat weight or 1 brick wrapped in aluminum foil for pressing the panini while on the grill
Step 1: Over a grill set to medium high, grill off the sausages until cooked through, but still moist. The sausage will be firm to the touch when finished. Remove the sausage from the heat and set the grill to medium heat.
Step 2: Brush one side of each slice of bread with the olive oil. Slice the sausages in half lengthwise so the meaty interior of the sausage is revealed. You may cut the halved sausage crosswise in half to fit more easily on the bread if needed. After you are finished cutting the sausage, place it on the non-oiled side of the bread.
Step 3: Arrange two to three slices of the red peppers on top of the sausage meat followed by the sliced mozzarella cheese – two slices to each sandwich. Top the sandwich with another slice of bread, oiled side facing up and place on to the grill set to medium heat.
Step 5: Remove the sandwich from the grill to a cutting board and slice the sandwich in half. Serve immediately.
Grilled Lobster with Almond Pesto and Grilled Corn (Serves 4)
4 Live Lobsters, 1 ¼ pounds each, freshest available
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
4 ears fresh corn, husks shucked, and kernels rinsed clean
¼ pound butter, unsalted, sliced into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons Spanish or Sweet Paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup of blanched almonds
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh picked basil leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ teaspoon salt
Step 1- One Day Ahead:
Make the pesto in a food processor by combining all ingredients and pulse the processor until your desired consistency is reached. The pesto should still have a somewhat course texture to it. Place in a plastic container with a cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 2- One Day Ahead
Clean the corn by removing the husks and removing the threads from each ear. Next tear 4 twelve inch pieces of aluminum and place each ear of corn in the middle of each piece of foil. Place two pieces of butter next to each ear of corn. Sprinkle some paprika on top of the butter along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Wrap the foil around each ear of corn and refrigerate the corn overnight.
Step 3- Day of:
Set your grill to high heat and on a cutting board begin to clean your live lobsters. Place each lobster belly side up on the cutting board and be sure to have a sharp chef’s knife. Cut the lobsters in half down the center of each lobster cavity. Next clean out all of the lobster’s tamale and scrape away the gills. Place the lobsters on the grill with the tail meat facing up and brush the meat with some butter. Repeat with all of the lobster halves. Place the corn on the grill and cover the grill. Cook the lobsters basting occasionally for about 10 minutes. Turn the lobsters over and cook on the flesh side until the tail meat is somewhat firm and is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the corn from the grill and put each ear in the foil onto plates. Turn the lobsters back over and continue to brush each lobster with butter. The claw takes longer to cook than the tail. Cook for an additional two minutes and remove to plates. Place a spoonful of pesto on top of each lobster tail and serve immediately with lobster crackers and some additional melted butter, if desired.