Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese

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Lobster Mac 'n Cheese

I decided last month that our family should make a better effort to eat more seafood and less crap like deep fried nuggets of chicken fat. Not that I wasn’t trying to be healthy or anything, because that would be called a D-I-E-T, which is against my religion, culture, gender and overall cellular structure.

Looking for inspiration, I browsed some of my favorite food blogs and drooled over a dish that took a humble comfort food and paired it with lobster. So, my kids and I headed off to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for the dish.

The rugrats had fun poking at the lazy crustaceans in the tank, trying to guess which one the seafood monger would clumsily capture with his primitive wooden rake. A feisty three pounder was stuffed a plastic bag, weighed, priced and dropped in our cart. Off we went to pay, stopping briefly to pick up a hunk of nice cheese and a box of pasta.

Now, I have nothing against the teenage workforce manning the check-out line, but I feel very strongly that I simply must write these 3 letters.

Dear Ritalin:
When a customer gently places a bag of squirming lobster onto the conveyor belt, the appropriate response is not, “Oh shit, dude. You really gonna kill it and eat it?” Because a smart customer (for example, myself) will shoot right back with, “Why yes, pimple-ass, that is the plan. I might even torture it first with long, sharp objects before dunking it head-first in a vat of boiling hot water. Wanna watch?”

Dear Pep Squad Reject:

When that same bag is handed to you to place back into the cart, the itty-bitty buggy-boo with rubber bands on its claws really isn’t a ferocious, drooling elephant man who wants to tie you up and lick your toes. Please don’t scream. You’re scaring my kids. You’re even scaring the freakin’ lobster.

Dear Parents:
I implore you to introduce the world of live seafood to your children at an early age. Teach them where our food comes from and how to properly handle and cook it. If you’re vegetarian, maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea for your kids to work at supermarkets where they might just come in contact with raw animal carcasses and squealing lobsters. Maybe a job at the mushroom petting zoo would be more appropriate.

Omnivorally yours,
Steamy Kitchen

Lobster Mac 'n Cheese

wanna bite?

Print

Lobster Mac & Cheese Recipe

Servings: Serves 4 (main dish) or 8 (side dish) Prep Time: Cook Time:
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Notes on the lobster. You can buy uncooked lobster tails at the market and just remove the meat from the shell. Or, if you are buying a whole lobster, I've found it easier to steam or boil it for 1 minute exactly, drain and then remove the meat. The 1 minute steam firms and shrinks the meat just enough to make an easy job of cracking and removing the prized meat. But of course, if you are welcome to skip this steaming part.

Ingredients:

Pasta
1/2 cup butter + more for ramekin
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half and half
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne
pinch of ground black pepper
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
1 lb dried elbow pastaLobster
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 lb uncooked lobster meat, chopped (see notes)
3 tbs grated parmesan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water until 1 minute shy of done. Drain well.

2. In meantime, with medium saucepan on medium-low heat, melt butter and add flour a little at a time, whisking constantly for 3 minutes to make a roux. Add half and half, a little at time, whisking to combine. Cook 3 minutes until sauce has thickened. Turn off heat. Add cheddar and gruyere, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add cooked pasta to pan, stir to combine.

3. Butter 8 small ramekins or a large baking dish. Spoon pasta/cheese mixture into dish, up to 2/3 full. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

4. While pasta is baking, melt 2 tbs butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once butter melts, turn off heat and add lobster meat, parmesan and panko bread crumbs. Toss to combine.

5. When pasta is done baking, remove from oven. Top pasta with a spoonful of lobster mixture. Set your oven rack to top 1/3 of oven, turn to broil and return ramekins to oven for 6-8 minutes. Lobster should be cooked through and a nice cheeesy crunchy crust will form.

***

Winners from the Saffron Giveaway

Did you enter my saffron giveaway? Here are the winners!

Here’s winner #1: Threemilechild won!

Nathan got bored after just one. Had to enlist his brother to pick the 2nd winner: Marius

Bribed Nathan with chocolate to come back to finish his job. See his chocolaty mouth?

and Rudi won!

Congratulations to the winners! Email me your full name, address and phone number. Saffron.com will be shipping you your prize of an entire ounce of saffron directly to you! Promise me that you’ll share some of your prize with family and good friends, ok? Good kharma.

If you didn’t win, consider purchasing your saffron from this company. An entire ounce will last you over a year! And that is if you cook a saffron dish each week!

Comments 87

  1. johanna

    hi jaden, i made some mac & cheese with lobster a few months ago – my first time ever! the mac and cheese, I mean… and what an indulging first time to serve it with lobster. great way, definitely, loved every bit. mine wasn’t breaded, though, but it didn’t need it. congrats on some lovely press lately, you sure deserve it!!!

  2. joey

    I remember that recipe from Brilynn…it does sounds both luxurious and comfy all at once! And your photos are really driving those points home!

    You are too too funny with the letters to the checkout person…hahahaha! You are right though…we need to re-connect with our food! Too many people think that chicken is all breast fillets with no bones and no skin! And don’t get me started on “fish with no heads”…

  3. Dulce

    Congrats to the Saffron winners…Jaden – that lobster mac ‘n cheese looks incredible. All it needs is chunks of chocolate and it would the ultimate PMS meal….Hope you’re having fun in China – can’t wait to see the pics and try the recipes!!

  4. daphne

    that is one expensive and delicious looking mac and cheese! so good that i can drool over it. =)

    Congrats to the winners!!!

    and do enjoy your trip-bring back lots of photos!

  5. wmw

    Aahhh….such is the life of the fame celebrity chef. I’m anxiously waiting to be added into your family of staff. Just like Oprah… :o) Safe Journey….

  6. Drexl

    “When a customer gently places a bag of squirming lobster onto the conveyor belt, the appropriate response is not, Oh shit, dude. You really gonna kill it and eat it? Because a smart customer (for example, myself) will shoot right back with, Why yes, pimple-ass, that is the plan. I might even torture it first with long, sharp objects before dunking it head-first in a vat of boiling hot water. Wanna watch?

    That made my day!

  7. Chubbypanda

    I’m not sure what’s more gratifying. Lobster in mac & cheese or those awesome letters. It’s funny because it’s true.

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  9. Kim

    Jaden,

    I made your lobster mac n cheese last night. but with crab. it was DELCIOUS!! love love love the way the nutmeg and cayenne made the flavors so much more interesting!

    thank you!

    -Kim

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  20. Jason Rubenstein

    I just want to say between this and your pho recipe I am a huge fan. i am still tinkering with the pho recipe to get my broth just right, however I used this recipe and instead of using nutmeg I added some crushed red pepper to give a little spice. It came out amazing. I had to bring some over to my gf familys house so I wouldnt eat a whole platter by ourselves. 1 1/4lb lobster worked to perfection and I used the tip of just steaming for 1 minute and was so simple. Keep up the great work

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