Wednesday, December 8, 2010

lobster mac + cheese

Culinary Orgasm...defined
Seriously, what could possibly be better than mac and cheese...oh yeah, mac and cheese and LOBSTA. This is the kind of stuff that makes you moan and sigh while you eat it....that you eat way too much of (and yet you can't stop)....that you dream about...this, readers, is a Culinary Orgasm.

I've been making homemade mac and cheese for years...never been able to abide the powdery orange stuff, but once I figured out how to make the real deal I was hooked. The key to good mac and cheese (without embellishments) is the cheese...a mix of Cabot Extra Sharp and Seriously Sharp (or Hunter's Sharp). My basic version plus lobster is quite tasty, but I've been tweaking it a bit for the lobster version the last few times I've made it. You want it cheesy, but you also want to be able to taste all the lobstery goodness - so not as sharp as when the cheese gets star billing. I think I've now hit on the proper combination; a mix of a good but mild cheddar, a nice, creamy Fontina, and some Gruyere. 

Herewith, I think, is the direct route to nirvana :

Lobster Mac & Cheese

Cooked, canned frozen lobster meat is available at Shaw's....and that's usually the only place I can find it. I think the cans are 12 oz (I've used all mine up, so can't look and tell you :) ) . Though I am a lobster snob by birth (fresh Cushing lobster is the only way to fly), I have to admit this product works perfectly in this dish.

Makes a huge amount...which will all be eaten, I promise :) Easily halved...

1 lb cellentani, cavatappi or similar pasta
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), plus 4 T for topping
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
6 cups grated cheese (cheddar-fontina-gruyere mix highly recommended)
1 1/2 lbs lobster meat
1 cup dry plain breadcrumbs (panko are great here)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

For cream sauce : melt the stick of the butter in saucepan and whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in milk, then cream. Simmer 5 minutes or so, to get rid of raw flour taste. Whisk in about 2 cups of your cheese mixture.

Melt the remaining butter, and stir in the panko crumbs.

In a really large casserole dish, layer the pasta, lobster, cheese, and sauce...then another layer of pasta, lobster,cheese, and sauce...then top with a last layer of cheese. Top with the buttered crumbs, and bake in a 375 oven until bubbling and a bit golden (20 - 30 minutes, depending on your pan)

1 comment:

  1. Yum, yum, YUM! Thank you for sharing this recipe- I cannot wait to try it! Adding lobster is a genius way to dress up an old favorite. And of course, our farm family owners appreciate your Cabot recommendation :)