New England-Style Shrimp Rolls _lowres

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- New England-Style Shrimp Rolls

My dad, a native New Englander, is a huge fan of lobster rolls, those heavily buttered hot dog buns stuffed with chunks of mayonnaise-rich lobster and maybe a little celery for crunch.

Wildly flavorful and obscenely indulgent, lobster rolls are a summertime fixture at every seafood shack in New England. Problem is, they can be pricey. Also, it’s not as if everyone everywhere can count on finding fresh Maine lobster at their local store. So I came up with this recipe, my attempt to concoct a poor man’s lobster roll.

I did it by swapping shrimp for the lobster, and I must say it turned out splendidly. You just have to be careful not to overcook the shrimp.

The dressing here is simple and effective, but you’re welcome to customize it by substituting celery for the cucumber or by adding chilies, Dijon mustard or horseradish.

For a true New England-style seafood roll, the bun must be slit open on the top and have no crust on the sides. If you can’t find any that fit that description, buy some standard hotdog buns and slice off the sides. Why must the bun sides be crustless? The better to soak up butter when toasted in the pan.