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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Lobster Mac And Cheese

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I’m pretty confident in saying, Mac and Cheese is a 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, and then complimented by a variety of awesome cheeses that go into my recipe. Let me show you how I make my Lobster Mac And Cheese.

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Equipment:
16 quart stock pot, 9 x 13 casserole dish
yields: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups of lobster meat, large dice (approx. 3- 1 1/2 lb lobsters)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of whole milk
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup of corn (optional)
1 cup of Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup of Brie cheese, without the rind
2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese ( reserve 1 cup for the top)
3 tablespoon of freshly finely chopped chives
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped tarragon
2-16 ounce packages of cooked just under al-dente Paccheri Rigati ( large rigatoni shaped pasta)
Topping:
4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:
Butter casserole dish.
For 1-1/2 pound lobsters, cook time is 15-20 minutes. Note: They need to be a vibrant red color when fully cooked.

Directions On 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 15-20 minutes, remove the lobster from the pot and set aside to cool.

Boil 16 ounces of pasta just before the al dente stage, and drain. the pasta will finish cooking during the baking process.

Remove the lobster meat from the tail and claws. Chop the lobster meat into large chunks and place into a bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Next, to make the cheese sauce, melt the butter whisk in the flour in a large saucepan. Cook for 1 minute over medium, heat. Slowly add in the whole milk. Sprinkle in the grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and black pepper, continuously whisking until sauce becomes thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped tarragon, finely chopped chives, cheeses, and (optional) corn. Last, add in the cooked lobster meat. Mix until all ingredients are well 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 35-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

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Mussels Oreganata

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Oregano

Mint

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I’m originally from New Jersey and grew up eating a lot of black mussels. So when I found these New Zealand mussels I thought, these would make delicious Mussels Oreganata. 

First, I need to clip a few fresh herbs from my Hanging Herb Garden. This recipe is very easy to make. Mussels Oreganata are a great appetizer to serve before a pasta dish.

Yields: 24 mussels, 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart stockpot, 2-1/4 rimmed baking sheet pans
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
24 New Zealand mussels, cleaned
3 1/2 cups Chardonnay
6 garlic cloves, 3 smashed, 3 grated
2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs, seasoned
3/4 cup *E.V.O.O., plus extra for drizzling over top
4 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
lemon wedges and fresh oregano sprig for garnish

Directions:
Preheat broiler.
First, place the mussels in a sink of cold water. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove any barnacles that may be attached to the outside of the mussel. Grasp the beard, the fibrous clump, and pull out swiftly towards the hinge end. Rinse and place in a bowl, ready to cook.

In a 6-quart stockpot, on high heat add 3 smashed garlic cloves and 3 1/2 cups of Chardonnay. Bring to a boil.

Next, add the mussels and cover. Steam for about 3-4 minutes, or until they’ve all opened. Using a spider (a large slotted ladle) discard any unopened mussels.

Remove the cooked mussels from their shells, reserving 24 half shells. Arrange the half- shells in a single layer (12 on each pan) on 2-1/4 rimmed baking sheet pans, lined with foil. Place the cooked mussel in each shell.

In a large bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs, oil, oregano, mint, basil, parsley, grated garlic, minced shallot, Kosher salt, and pepper.

Top the each of the mussels with breadcrumb mixture and drizzle with E.V.O.O. Broil until the breading is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

To Serve: Place 4 Mussels Oreganata on each serving plate. Garnish with lemon wedges and a sprig of fresh oregano.

 

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Parsley Potatoes

 

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This is the easiest and fastest potato dish you will ever want to make.  I use baby red and white potatoes for this recipe. Steve caught some beautiful fish today and I’m making Parsley Potatoes as a side dish.

Ingredients:
1tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2stick
2 1/2 pounds small Yukon gold and red potatoes, scrubbed not peeled
1/2 onion finely diced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6 qt Dutch oven with lid

Directions:
In a heavy bottom Dutch oven, add olive oil the butter and melt. Add the diced onions and whole potatoes, Kosher salt and black pepper. Cover with tight-fitting lid. Cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are just tender, tested with a small knife.

Occasionally (every 10 minutes or so), shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the potatoes from burning.

Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Toss with parsley and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

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