This recipe for Lobster Mac and Cheese got started when my friend Lyn asked me for a recipe for it. Then we went out to eat shortly after that and lo and behold it was on the menu…. so I figured I’d better get moving on figuring out a good recipe… and so it began.
Actually the recipe came together really quite easily…. It uses a basic cheese sauce made with white cheddar and gruyere/Swiss combination… for a little extra umpf that I felt rounded out the flavor… I added some grated Parmesan cheese. The addition of chopped chives was an obvious choice… the delicate onion flavor really added to the dish….
A buttery Panko crumb topping added the needed crunch to this… and I was done! It made a great lunch with a small salad…
Just a few tips…
Gruyere is an expensive cheese… and while Lobster Mac and Cheese is not exactly a budget food… there is no need to break the bank to make it… I used Sargento’s Artisan Cheese Blend of Gruyere and Swiss Shredded Cheese… it was a perfect solution … it tasted great and wasn’t terribly expensive.
Use a good quality grated Parmesan cheese… there is a flavor difference for sure … using a cheap alternative will turn this dish into a run of the mill mac and cheese … which given all of the great ingredients would be a shame.
Lobster is an expensive ingredient…. no doubt… you can substitute imitation lobster … which I have done in the past… just be aware.. while the meal will be good… imitation lobster is missing that sweet flavor of the real deal.
Panko crumbs… if youhaven’t used them before… you should try them.. they really are good… the texture is completely different from the ordinary bread crumbs… they are no longer expensive… Progresso makes them and you can find them by the other bread crumbs in the supermarket.
Chives… I know I use them frequently… but the flavor can’t be matched with a substitution.. even shallots are too strong a flavor to use as a substitution… you really want a light flavor so it combines with all the other flavors and doesn’t over power them.
I used whole milk, you can use fat free, 1% or 2%.... just be aware that the sauce will be thinner… I would recommend you start by adding about ½ cup less milk and as it thickens, add more until you get to the thickness you want.
Al dente is cooked to a chewy consistency… don’t overcook the macaroni because it will need to be baked … and you don’t want to end up with macaroni that’s too soft.
I made individual servings in small casserole dishes. This recipe made 4 servings.
This dish takes a comfort food to a whole new level… I hope you enjoy it!
Recipe: Lobster Mac and Cheese
All you need:
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup Sargento Artisan Shredded Gruyere and Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and white pepper to taste
For the topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
Chopped chives for sprinkling
8 ounces chopped lobster meat
3 cups dried elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
All you need to do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the elbow macaroni, drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the flour and stir to mix well. Allow flour to cook for about 2 minutes to cook off the flour taste, stirring constantly.
Add one cup of the milk while whisking constantly. Whisk until all lumps are dissolved. Continue whisking until sauce begins to thicken… then add the remaining milk and continue whisking until milk is blended in.
Add the cheeses and stir until sauce has thickened.
Remove from the heat and add the chives.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dump the cooled macaroni into the original pot that you cooked it in. Add the lobster and chives, mix well.
Add the sauce and mix well.
Spoon generous servings into individual casseroles.
In a small measuring cup or bowl, mix the melted butter and Panko crumbs with a fork.
Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of each casserole and then sprinkle with chopped chives.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until casserole bubbles along the sides and top is lightly browned.
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