I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is the favorite comfort food for people of all ages. There are so many recipes out there from the classic version to endless variations of the classic.
Chorizo and smoked Gouda, or how about butternut squash mac and cheese! The one I like to serve when entertaining is my Lobster Mac And Cheese. The lobster adds a delicate sweetness along with a variety of delicious cheeses and a flavorful crunchy topping complete the perfect recipe for Lobster Mac & Cheese.
Prep Time: 1 hour (the time it takes to cook the lobsters for the casserole)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (16-quart) stockpot, 2 (6-quart) saucepots, 1 (9 x 13) baking dish, 2 large mixing bowls, colander, Microplane, chef’s knife
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (equivalent to approx. three 1 1/2 lb lobsters)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted, (4 tablespoons for greasing the baking dish)
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk, *scalded
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of corn (optional)
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind, diced
2 cups of Fontina cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1 cup for the top)
1/2 cup of Sargento Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tablespoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of tarragon leaves, chopped
2 (16-ounce) packages (2 pounds) of cooked Paccheri Rigati, just under al-dente ( large rigatoni shaped pasta, substitute rigatoni)
1/4 cup of Kosher salt for boiling lobster
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt for cooking pasta
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Note: For a 1 1/2 pound lobster, cook time is 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.
Note: I prefer to cook lobsters one at a time.
Start by buttering a casserole dish.
Directions, How To Cook A Lobster:
Bring a 16-quart pot (a little over half filled) of well-salted water up to a rapid boil. Drop the lobster into the pot, quickly place the lid on. Using a towel, hold the lid in place for just a minute, giving the water a chance to come back up to a boil, then start the cooking time. After about 15 to 20 minutes, remove the lobster from the pot and set it aside to cool. Repeat this process two more times.
Boil 16 ounces (1 pound) of pasta, in boiling salted water, just before the al dente stage, for about 8 to 10 minutes, and drain. The pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.
Remove the lobster meat from the tails and claws. Chop the lobster meat into large chunks and place it into a bowl.
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a large saucepot melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Continuously whisking the flour and butter to form a *roux. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes blond in color and paste-like, about 2 minutes. Again continue whisking while slowly adding the (*scalded) hot milk.
Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Sprinkle in the grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped tarragon, finely chopped chives, grated cheeses, and corn (optional). Last, add the cooked lobster meat. Mix to combined.
Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce stirring gently not to break up the pasta. Pour the entire mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved Fontina cheese evenly over the top.
For the crumb topping, add the melted butter to the Panko bread crumbs. Mix in the Italian flat-leaf parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Allow the casserole to rest for 15 minutes before serving. There you have it, my Lobster Mac & Cheese.
*Roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces
*Scalded milk is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the inner rim of the pot.