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New England Lobster Burger with Clam and Corn Fritters

I live in New England and have had many wonderful meals at lobster and clam shacks in Maine, Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. I thought it would be interesting to put together the seafood that is native to our coast line, and include the corn and peppers that grow in our summer gardens, and see if they worked in a burger form. Tartar sauce is the traditional favorite with fried clams so that seemed like the appropriate sauce to use. Often fried clams, and lobster, are served with fries and fried onion rings but because I wanted to include clams with the lobster, I got the idea to make them into fritters with the corn. I was trying to capture the best of New England summer cooking in a burger form.

Ingredients 

Lobster patties:

2 pounds cooked Maine lobster meat, minced fine and pulsed 6 times in a food processor.
1/4 cup minced shallots
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with garlic press
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups panko crumbs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground pepper
Fish grill basket
Non stick oil spray
Waxed paper

Tartar sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle minced
2 tablespoons dill pickle minced
1 tablespoon sweet white onion minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Tri colored roasted sweet peppers:

6 each mini yellow, orange and red peppers (1 and 1/2 inch long)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 skewers

Buns:

6 fresh sourdough rolls cut in half
6 tablespoons butter

Fritters:

2 eggs separated
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 scallions minced
1 serrano chili minced
1 fresh ear of corn, corn cut off of cob
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Sutter Home white wine
12 steamer clams, freshly steamed and removed from shells

Instructions 

Prepare lobster patties:

Whisk the eggs.
Mince lobster meat till fine. Put in food processor and pulse 6 times.
To the whisked eggs, add lobster meat, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup panko crumbs to hold mixture together and form into 6 patties. Coat patties with remaining crumbs, pressing crumbs in to make sure that they stick to the patties on both sides. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until time to grill.

Tartar sauce:

Mix all tartar sauce ingredients together in a food processor and pulse lightly, leaving small bits of pickle and onion present for taste, texture and color. Do not over blend. Refrigerate until time to assemble burgers.

Tri color peppers:

Brush mini peppers with olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper and string onto skewers. Set aside until ready to grill.

Buns:

Melt butter for buns and set aside until time to grill.

Fritters:

Place clams in steamer basket over combination of water and 1/4 Sutter Home wine. Place on high heat and steam until all clams have opened. Remove steamer basket and allow clams to cool before removing them from shells and pulling off any sandy parts and the skin off the neck of the clams. Set aside.

Batter for fritters:

Whip egg whites on high speed in mixer until stiff peaks have formed. Set aside. In separate bowl, mix together egg yolks, cornmeal, milk, onion, chili, corn, salt and pepper and blend thoroughly. Fold in egg whites gently. Heat oil in deep pan until hot but not smoking. Dust clams with flour and dip in batter, coating well. Put in slotted spoon and lower into hot oil. Turn fritters with tongs and cook until golden brown. Put on paper towels to drain off extra oil. Keep warm in heat proof pan on side of grill.

Heat gas grill to medium.

Brush buns with melted butter and grill until lightly browned. Remove and keep warm in heat proof pan near grill.

Place skewered peppers on grill and blister peppers, turning them and taking care not to blacken them. Remove from skewers.

Spray fish grill basket liberally with oil. Place patties in basket and grill 2 minutes per side, turning basket, until browned on both sides. Remove from heat and carefully lift patties out of grill basket onto plate.

Assemble burgers in following order:

Put half of grilled bun on plate.
Put 1 tablespoon tartar sauce on bun.
Place lobster patty on bun.
Put three roasted mini peppers, one of each color, on top of lobster burger.
Put 1 more tablespoon of tartar sauce on peppers.
Place two clam and corn fritters on top.
Serve open faced with other half of bun on the side.