MACARONI AND CHEESE GETS AN ELEGANT FACELIFT!
Macaroni and cheese is a staple dish in our lives. We have so many variations, and what a way to take it to the next notch but by adding lobster! Yes, LOBSTER! When you want to bring your mac and cheese to the next level, adding lobster just makes it so special!
My husband and I were invited to a seafood fest for our dear friend, Fran’s birthday dinner down the Jersey shore. In my typical style, I wanted to bring something special; a special seafood dish that would compliment the other entrees! And what I knew Fran would enjoy and hopefully everyone else, too! I have made many macaroni and cheese dishes in my life, some I’ve baked in the oven, some I cooked over the stove, and one recipe I made in the crockpot!
So I researched a little bit about macaroni and cheese and what makes the creamiest cheese sauce. Cook’s Illustrated is an excellent resource for what makes a great recipe because they test all sorts of food, equipment, and techniques! What makes the best macaroni and cheese is using key ingredients such as evaporated milk, cheddar cheeses and eggs!
So if you are willing to take a little time for this recipe, I promise it will be worth it!
- You can start by making homemade breadcrumbs (or you can absolutely use store bought bread crumbs). If you choose to make your own breadcrumbs, you can either use a stake loaf of Italian bread or a few slices of stale white bread. Cut up the bread into cubes, and put the cubes in a food processor and pulse until they turn into crumbs. Melt some butter in a frying pan and toss in the bread crumbs, cooking until they are toasted with the butter.
- Next is cooking the lobster. Now you can absolutely buy lobster already cooked, and cut it up into small pieces. I chose to roast lobster tails with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Once they were cooled down enough to handle, I pulled out the meat and cut it up, setting aside.
3.I decided to add shallots to the dish, giving it a gentle onion flavor. I sauteed them in the frying pan with a little melted butter.
4. Now comes boiling the pasta. I love using cavatappi, which is a “swiggly” type of pasta that has a open tube so it holds sauces so well! And it’s hearty enough to handle all that cheese sauce. Just boil according to directions, and maybe even cook your pasta a minute or two less than what’s called for so it comes out al dente (a little firm). Once you drain the pasta, put it back into the pot.
5. While the pasta is boiling, I put the evaporated mild and the eggs in my blender and blended on low so the liquid mixture was well combined. I added some old bay and some of my favorite spice, Happy Paprika, from Hoby’s Essentials.
6. Once the pasta is back in the pot, I added some more melted butter, some of the shredded cheddar cheese and half of the milk and egg mixture. As the cheese began to melt, and the mixture began to heat up with the pasta, I added the remainder of the mild and egg mixture and the cheese.
7. I continued to cook the pasta and cheese sauce until it began to slightly boil and thicken, making sure I continued to gently stir the pasta so it didn’t burn. I added the lobster meat, and continued to gently stir until the lobster was well combined into the mac and cheese mixture.
8. I plated the LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE in a large bowl, and topped it with the bread crumbs and a single lobster tail for a mouth-watering effect!
THIS LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE IS WORTH THE WORK!
I’m not going to lie and say this was a super easy dish to make! You do need a couple of hours and a glass of wine by your side so you can enjoy the making of this dish! But when I served it, everyone raved and thought it was from the restaurant where they bought most the seafood! I humbly took this as a lovely compliment!
So until next time,
Let’s get cookin’ together!
Lobster Mac and Cheese
- 1 4 - 8 Quart Pot with Lid
- 1 Large Stove Top Sauté Pan
- 1 Food Processor or Blender
- ½ loaf stale Italian bread
- 2 tbsp butter
Macaroni and Cheese Mixture
- 1 pound Cavatappi pasta
- 6 eggs
- 2 shallots
- 4 raw lobster tails (¼ pound each) Now you can by lobster tails/meat already cooked which really does save a lot of time. Just ask your seafood manager at your grocery or seafood store.
- 24 ounces evaporated milk I use whole evaporated milk, not skim.
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika I use Hoby's Essential's Happy Paprika. You can also substitute ½ tsp hot sauce for the paprika.
- 5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup horseradish cheese, shredded Optional. Boar's head makes horseradish cheese in a bar form. But if you don't want to use horseradish cheese, just increase your cheddar cheese by 1 cup.
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 9 tbsp butter Save 1 tbsp for sautéing the shallots.
- 2 tsp dry mustard, dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Cut apart stale bread into large cubes. Drop into food processor and pulse into fine bread crumbs.
- Melt butter in large sauté pan on low-medium and add bread crumbs, Toss for about 5 - 10 minutes until butter is absorbed and bread crumbs begin to lightly toast. Remove pan from heat and put bread crumbs aside in a bowl.
Macaroni and Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400° on convection roast or bake.
- Place the lobster tails meat side up in a glass dish or aluminum pan. Sprinkle with grapeseed or olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast/Bake for 10 - 14 minutes until lobster meat turns white. Let lobster tails cool just enough so you can handle them. Once cooled, remove the meat by cutting the shell in half lengthwise, and pull the meat out. It can be a little messy but worth it!
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small sauté pan on low heat, and add the diced shallots. Cook for 5 minutes until tender. Set aside.
- Cook the cavatappi pasta according to directions with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt in the water, making sure the pasta is cooked al dente (slightly firm).
- Add eggs, 2 cups of evaporated milk, paprika, black pepper, and the mustard dissolved in water to food processor or blender. Pulse on low until eggs and evaporated milk are blended,.
- Drain the pasta, and put back in the pot with 8 tablespoons of butter on low - medium heat. Toss pasta with butter as it melts.
- Add half the cheese, shallots and half the milk mixture to the pasta, stirring to combine, As the cheese starts to melt, add remaining cheese and milk mixture, stirring gently until all cheese is melted, and the pasta and cheese sauce begins to thicken.
- Add the remaining evaporated milk and continue to gently stir the mac and cheese. Once the mac and cheese is almost to a boil and is thick enough to plate in a dish, turn heat on low.
- Add the lobster meat, gently stirring into the pasta and cheese until well blended in.
- Serve immediately, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and some fresh chopped parsley! I like to top with a lobster tail for drama!