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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

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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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)
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 freshly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
3/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Directions:
Butter casserole dish.
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.

Directions, How To Cook A Lobster:
Note: I prefer to cook lobsters one at a time.

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.

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Baked Cod With A Tomatoes, Fennel, And Capers

2016-06-09 16.59.39

2016-06-09 17.05.52

This delicious and healthy dish is a favorite in my house. Cod is a light white flaky fish that absorbs whatever flavors you may add.

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Temp: 375 degrees F.
Cook time: 15-18  minutes

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

Directions:
First, prep all the vegetables for the dish. Once prepped, add olive oil to saute pan on medium heat. Add all the veggies, minced Fresno chili, and minced garlic to the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Saute everything for about 5-7 minutes. As the veggies start breaking down and soften, add in 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 sauce starts to come together.This should take another 7-10 minutes. At this point, add in the drained capers. Keep the pan on the burner with the heat turned off.

In a 11 x 8 baking dish, add the Pernod to the bottom of the dish. Add in the sauteed tomatoes and fennel mixture. Sprinkle each of the 4 cod fillets with Kosher salt and pepper. Place the fillets on top of the of the tomato and fennel sauce. Spoon a little of the sauce over the top of each fillet.

In a preheated 375 degree oven, place the dish in the oven and bake for around 15-18 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 tomato, fennel, and caper sauce on the bottom of the dish. Using a spatula, transfer one of the fillets on top of the sauce, and spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the top of the baked cod. Garnish with a lemon slice.

 

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

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of minced garlic (8 cloves)
1 Fresno chili seeded and finely minced
2 pounds of large shrimp (about 32 shrimp) peeled and deveined
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
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 ready, place a large pot on the stove filled with water. When the water is at a fast boil, add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt in. Next, add in the linguine and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes.

In a large sauté pan melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and Fresno chili for about a 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 black pepper. Stir frequently until shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes.

Note: A good rule of thumb 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.

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 With Linguine.

 

 

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