Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Lobster Mac & Cheese

2016-10-13-17-48-42

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.

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Tarragon

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Chives (2)

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Parmesan Cheese

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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: 16-quart stockpot, 2 6-quart saucepots, 9 x 13 casserole dish, 2 large mixing bowls, colander, Microplane

Ingredients:
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)

Topping:
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

Notes:
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.

Directions:
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 aside to cool. Repeat this process two more times.

Boil 16 ounces (1 pound) of pasta just before the al dente stage, 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 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. This is 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.

How To Cook and Open A Lobster

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Baked Cod With Capers, Fennel, And Tomatoes

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2016-06-09 17.05.52

This delicious and healthy dish is a favorite at my house. Cod is a light white flaky fish that absorbs whatever flavors you may add. This is my Baked Cod With Capers, Fennel, And Tomatoes.

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Fennel bulb

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, 11 x 13 baking dish, large spatula

Ingredients:
4 (6-ounce) cod fillets
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 pint of red grape tomatoes, halved
1 pint of yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 fennel bulb, diced (reserve fennel fronds for garnish)
1 medium diced onion
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves,  thinly sliced
1/4 cup of capers, drained
1 tablespoon of Pernod
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 lemons (1 sliced and 1/2 juiced over the fish)
Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.

First, prep all the vegetables for the dish. Once prepped,  in a large sauté pan over medium heat heat the olive oil. Add all the vegetables, minced Fresno chili, and minced garlic to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes. As the veggies start breaking down and soften, add the white wine. Bring this up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the tomato and fennel mixture until wine has reduced and the sauce starts to come together another 7 to 10 minutes. At this point, add in the drained capers. Turn the heat off allowing the pan to remain on the burner.

In an 11 x 13 baking dish, add the Pernod to the bottom of the dish. Add, spreading out evenly in the bottom of the baking dish, the sautéed fennel and tomato mixture. Sprinkle each of the 4 cod fillets with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Place the fillets on top of the fennel and tomato mixture. Spoon a little of the sauce over the top of each fillet.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cod is tender and flaky. Remove from the oven add squeeze fresh lemon juice over all the fish. Add sliced lemons. Sprinkle over the whole dish with chopped fresh basil leaves, and the Italian flat-leaf parsley.

To serve, ladle the caper, fennel, and tomato sauce, first, on the bottom of a plate. Using a spatula, transfer one of the fillets on top of the sauce, spooning a generous amount of the sauce over the top of the baked cod. Garnish with a lemon slice. This is my Baked Cod With Capers, Fennel, And Tomatoes.

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Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine

2016-04-14 16.02.45

2016-04-14 16.02.42

Talk about a quick and fast cooking pasta dish, my Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine is fast and easy to make. Now there is a little bit of prep time in preparing the shrimp, but it’s super easy. You can prep the shrimp in advance and keep them on ice, in the frig, until your ready to make the dish.

When you go to buy your shrimp, you’ll see numbers like 16 to 20 count. This just means there are about 16 to 20 in a pound. As you can see they’re a nice large shrimp for this dish.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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shallots

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, colander, 6-quart saucepot, Microplane

Ingredients:
2 pounds of large shrimp (about 32 shrimp) peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons of butter, unsalted
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons (8 cloves) of garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and finely minced
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 lemons, 1 zested, 1 thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)

Directions:
Start by prepping the shrimp for the recipe. Once shrimp are prepped, place a large pot on the stove filled with water. When the water is at a fast boil, add 2 heaping tablespoons of Kosher salt. Add the linguine and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until al dente.

In a large sauté pan melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and Fresno chili for 1 minute.

Note: You want to be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the shrimp to the pan, with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Stir frequently until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes.

Note:  A good rule to follow is the shrimp are done when they are in the shape of the letter “C”. If they’re curled up forming the shape of an “O” they are overcooked.

Note:  The pasta will absorb most of the garlic butter sauce. It’s a good idea to reserve a 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking liquid to thin out the sauce if needed.

Remove the pan from the heat, add chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon slices.

When linguine is done, drain, transfer to a large serving bowl. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce over the pasta. Toss to combine and serve. There you have it my Shrimp Scampi Over Linguine.

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