Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lobster Love

Although one might not associate macaroni and cheese as a summer dish, they certainly have not tried this Lobster mac n’ cheese. I made this on Fourth of July as a side dish for our BBQ and it was gone almost seconds after it came out of the oven. This is one of those tasty, warms your tummy kind of meals…my favorite kind of meal. Perfect for a cool summer’s night or a rainy day inside, everything about this dish hits the spot.

Lobster Mac n’ Cheese

1 box of penne pasta
1 sticks of butter
2 x garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of white wine
1 can of evaporated milk (I omitted this)
4 cups of milk
1 tbsp of paprika
2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
8 oz of cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz of Monterrey jack cheese, grated (I omitted this)
Salt and pepper
2 x 1 lb. lobsters, cooked and shelled (I used about ¾ pound cooked lobster meat)
2 cups of breadcrumbs (I used 1 cup of panko)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Drop the pasta into boiling, salted water and cook until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Make sure the water tastes like a day at the beach, as the pasta will absorb it and become properly seasoned. The pasta should not be fully cooked; it should have just a touch of firmness when tasted. Drain well.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and cook for several minutes until it softens. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms. Continue cooking for a few more minutes, in effect toasting the mixture and adding flavor to it.
3. Slowly stir in the wine and continue mixing until smooth and then add both milks, mixing well again. Continue whisking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add paprika, Dijon, cayenne, salt, pepper and cheeses and stir until melted.
4. Roughly chop lobster meat and add to the cheese mixture along with the pasta. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a 9-inch by 13-inch ovenproof casserole or similar dish.
5. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake until the mixture is heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 30 minutes. (I topped it with chives before serving.)

Yield: 8 servings

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