Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Fall is my favorite season of all.  This means it’s time for cozy sweaters, crisp sunny days, crunchy apples, and home-cooked comfort meals. 

To kick of this new season, I am making the ultimate lobster macaroni and cheese.  I know that normally the things I make on this site are pretty healthy, but sometimes you gotta splurge and indulge in the real deal.  So this, my friends, is the real deal.  Lobster, cream, sweet paprika, and cayenne are just a few key ingredients that turn this dish from ordinary into extrodinary.

Let’s make it.

Add 4 tablespoons of butter to a large pot over medium heat.  Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent.  Season this with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tomato paste and flour and stir for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Now grab your white wine and add to the pan, reduce by half (about 2 minutes).  Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps.

Once the cream is smooth and silky looking, add your spices (paprika and cayenne) and the bay leaf.  Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low.  Reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5-10 minutes.  When thickened, remove the bay leaf.

This is the fun part: stir in the grated cheese, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition.  Add the chopped lobster meat (c’mon!) to the sauce and stir well.  Add the pasta you set aside earlier and stir.

Pour this into the greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes (if you can muster the self control).

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese:

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne or spiral shaped pasta
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere
  • 2 (8-ounce) raw lobster tails, defrosted if frozen, meat removed from shell, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter.

In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.

Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf. Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. When thickened, remove the bay leaves.

Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with parsley.

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