Pasta

Lobsta Mac & Cheese

Yet another Simply Sundays recipe inspired by our recent trip to Maine.  The locals sure do find a way to incorporate “lobsta” into many of their meals

The last night of our vacation, we went to a great restaurant right on the water with live music and you guessed it, “Lobsta Mac & Cheese”

My daughter and I each ordered this dinner and loved it.  The french fries weren’t really a necessary side, but I’ve yet to turn down an offer for good fries

So here’s our rendition (complete with lobsters we brought home from Maine) minus the french fries and beautiful sunset

We had the lobsters steamed and chilled before we came home so you can either steam the lobsters yourself or ask your fish monger to do it for you

We want a pound of lobster claw and tail meat, so we shelled and picked the meat from two 1 1/2 pound lobsters

Cook one pound of your favorite pasta according to the al dente package directions.  Keep in mind, the pasta is going to bake for a bit in the oven before serving

Drain the pasta, toss with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking and pour into a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray

Let’s make the creamy and delicious cheese sauce.  Start with the basic roux… melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour

Whisk together and let cook 3 to 4 minutes.  Add 3 cups of whole milk, increase the heat to medium and whisk until the butter-flour mixture is well incorporated

While you’re waiting for the milk to heat up, let’s shred some cheese.  I’ve opted for a mix of cheeses… fontina adds a smooth creaminess, gruyere adds nuttiness and cheddar adds some sharpness

My thoughts on cheese:  You can substitute with whatever cheeses you have available or prefer, but make sure you use a good melting cheese and please, please use whole fat cheese

This is certainly not a low fat recipe and low fat cheeses will not yield the same creamy & delicious results.  Eat a salad for dinner tomorrow to counteract todays indulgence

Another thing I must say, pre-shredded cheese in a bag is convenient for many recipes, but not this one.  I beg of you… shred your own cheese.  The preservatives that are used to keep shredded cheese in single little cheese shreds prevents it from melting correctly

Looking at this crazy pile of cheese makes me a little giddy.  Just sayin’

Once the milk is warm enough to melt the cheese, add in a handful at a time, whisking until it melts

When the cheese sauce is all melty and creamy, take a taste and add a sprinkle of kosher salt, only if necessary.  Some cheeses are saltier than others

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta in the prepared pan and gently stir to ensure even coverage

Now let’s add the star of this show.  Toss in the lobster chunks, reserving a handful for the topping.  Mix until incorporated

This all just sounds too good to be true.  Sweet lobster chunks & creamy cheese sauce mixed with pasta… yum.  I could stop right here and be a happy girl

Let’s take this one step further and add in a crunchy panko topping.  I’m still giddy

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium low heat, add in 1/2 cup of panko crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, old bay seasoning and garlic powder

Stir until the butter coats the panko and the spices are mixed in well

Top the casserole with the reserved lobster chunks and sprinkle evenly with the panko mixture

Man o’ man.  Let’s get this in the oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees

We’re going to bake the Lobsta Mac & Cheese for 30 minutes and once browned and bubbly, remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes

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Serve to your favorite people and imagine you’re overlooking the ocean in a small coastal town…

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Enjoy!

Simply Sundays! ~ Lobsta Mac & Cheese

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 25 minutes prep, 30 minutes bake, 10 minutes set
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

1 pound of steamed lobster claws and tails, cut into chunks

1 pound of pasta, cooked al dente

For the cheese sauce

3 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of flour

3 cups of whole milk

8 ounces of shredded fontina cheese

8 ounces of shredded gruyere cheese

8 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Sprinkle of kosher salt, if necessary

For the topping

1 tablespoon of butter

1/2 cup of panko crumbs

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cook one pound of your favorite pasta according to the al dente package directions

Drain the pasta, toss with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking and pour into a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray; set aside

To make the roux, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour.  Whisk together and let cook 3 to 4 minutes.  Add 3 cups of whole milk, increase the heat to medium and whisk until the butter-flour mixture is well incorporated

Shred the blocks of cheese; once the milk is warm enough to melt the cheese, add in a handful at a time, whisking until it melts

When the cheese sauce is melted, add a sprinkle of kosher salt, if necessary; pour the cheese sauce over the pasta in the prepared pan and gently stir to ensure even coverage

Toss in the lobster chunks, reserving a handful for the topping.  Mix until incorporated

To make the panko topping, melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium low heat, add in 1/2 cup of panko crumbs and 1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, old bay seasoning and garlic powder; stir until the butter coats the panko and the spices are mixed in well

Top the casserole with the reserved lobster chunks and sprinkle evenly with the panko mixture

Bake the Lobsta Mac & Cheese for 30 minutes and once browned and bubbly, remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes

Tools used to make this recipe

OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk

OXO Good Grips Box Grater

Lodge Iron 5 inch Skillet

© Simply Sundays 2016
All rights reserved

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