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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. Dan

    Congrats everyone. Bummer I didn’t win, but after looking at those recipes, it’s not like the saffron isn’t going to be put to a good use.

    Have fun in China, Jaden. Is there room in your suitcase for 210 pounds of dead weight who goes by the name of Dan?

  2. Susan from Food Blogga

    I would’ve loved to have been the bagger at the market when you were checking out. You kill me. And congratulations on your tv appearance! I’m sure you’re even more dynamic on camera. I wish you much success (and lobster).

  3. nathan

    this recipe slightly (just slightly) beats out the 37 cent box of mac and cheese i had last night. i put peas in it.

  4. Meilin

    A pair of socks for each reader or a single sock for each reader? ;-)
    I think you’re off by an order of magnitude or so. How about 200 readers?

    Have fun in China!

  5. sandy

    wow the lobster looks delicious, so does the shrimp btw. have an awesome trip, can’t wait to read about it and see pix.

  6. brilynn

    Oooh lobster mac and cheese, pure genius, this time you’ve outdone yourself Jaden. I wish something like that would grace my kitchen, oh wait, that’s a link to my kitchen isn’t it? Well would you look at that! I definitely need to revisit this dish, thanks for providing a recipe! ;)

  7. Neece

    Well, what a great read! Lobster mac and cheese, how scrumptious that sounds! The letters made me laugh aloud. Luckily I had stopped drinking my tea before I got to them.
    Have a fantastic time in China! And I’d like my socks to to be a pair from the orangey looking yarn. That’s so pretty! HA! :P

  8. Suji

    Oh wow. You are going to China. Enjoy family time. I am going to India in 3 weeks and I will beat your 16 hour flight with my 2 day flight :).

    That lobster mac n cheese is looks so good. I am just done wiping drool of the keyboard while I type this :).

    I think all the super markets sould print your 3 letters and give it to future new-hires. I hate when they do the weird dance infornt of live lobster and shrimp.

  9. Melinda

    Safe Journey to you all. Don’t forget to write. Good luck getting those knitting needles through customs. ..they won’t let you take nail clippers. I think they will faint at the sight of obvious terrorist knitting needles.
    Love your open letter to the supermarket checkers. I bet the mushroom petting zoo is popular.
    Lobster mac and cheese. ..decadent but homely. Excellent!

  10. Kitt

    Congrats to the winners, you lucky ducks! Thanks for the contest, Jaden. It was good inspiration.

    Warde hao zai Zhongguo! Ye chi hao!

  11. Pingback: marius dot org » Saffron

  12. Truffle

    What an outstanding recipe. Sounds like the most delicious creation. I want a bowlful right now!

    Have a fabulous time in China.

  13. Esben

    More people should be REQUIRED to read your open letters.

    Looking forward to hearing your reports from China. Never been there myself though my roots are from there. Is it eel season now in southern China? Anyway, zhu ni yi lu shun feng! Ye zhu ni wei kou hao!!

  14. Kat

    this dish looks really good right now (did you hear my stomach?) enjoy your trip to China!

  15. LunaPierCook

    Being from Michigan, I wonder how the mac ‘n cheese would taste with some freshwater salmon …

    Andrew’s getting to be as famous as mommy. When will he be on the air with you in the morning? ;-)

  16. Erin

    Great post. It really made me laugh.
    The mac and cheese looks devine! I will have to try this recipe soon.

  17. veron

    Oh god, what a great mac and cheese idea! The hubby killed his first lobster at the CIA bootcamp. At first he said he couldn’t do it again but now he is ready to. Gordon Ramsay said , you gotta get a grip and learn how to kill a lobster. Have fun in China!

  18. amazed

    Wow. That was a pretty violent tirade against the poor kid in the checkout line, serving you, who asked a simple question. Maybe he wasn’t eloquent, but why chastize him because he’s unfamiliar with lobsters? Maybe he’s not as well off as you.

    I was reading this blog to learn some cooking tips, and came away realizing that you’re a pretty awful person. Good luck with that.

  19. stickygooeycreamychewy

    Jaden, Having been subjected to similar ignorant and uninvited comments at the check out line (probably in the same supermarket), I sympathize with you. It’s bad enough that we have to stand there and listen to the checker and bagger airing their dirty laundry to each other, but apparently, we also have to tolerate their disdain for our food choices! Most of them are really sweet and accomodating, but some……..Gr%#@*!
    To add insult to injury, those are usually the ones who put your bag of chips in the same bag with the gallon of milk and jar of pasta sauce! Sheesh!

  20. Alanna

    I wonder if your kids have any idea how lucky they are to have not just mac ‘n’ cheese not out of a box but with — mylanta!! — lobster! I hope the supermarkets are reading!

  21. Jaded

    Lucky bastards that won the saffron! I envy you! I’m going to stalk and steal. J/K!

    Jaden – that lobster n mac looks so good. Now I’ll have to buy two lobsters to make Rasa Malaysia’s and your recipes. Darn…. hehe. Have a great time in China. Bring back lots of pictures of food porn :)

    Amazed – Yeah.. Jaden’s a bitch. :P Come on.. your comment was pretty ignorant.

  22. Jim

    …want a bite? OF COURSE I DO. Lobster?! With mac n’ cheese?! And me with my Coke Zero and reheated tacos.

  23. Pingback: Lobster mac-n-cheese « Later On

  24. Deborah

    I’m a long time lurker, but I just have to applaud you. Not only are your photos amazing and your recipes tempting, you are also not afraid to speak your mind and be honest. I had a vaguely similar experience in the grocery store last night – that had nothing to do with lobster, though – so amazed – this has nothing to do with wealth or circumstance. It only has to do with the ignorance and close-mindedness of some people these days.

    This dish looks amazing – and have a great time in China!!

  25. Dani

    Jaden – It never fails…every time I visit, I laugh out loud…no joke, EVERY TIME.
    And c’mon now – isn’t interesting that those who like to write stupid comments (I won’t mention any [ah-hem-amazed-cough-cough] names), are also the ones who don’t identify themselves.
    Fortunately the rest of us LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your awful self;)
    Have a great trip!!

  26. radish

    Oooh the lobster mac-n-cheese looks heavenly… Alas, if I make it, it’ll only be for myself as my BF is extremely allergic to lobster. And dairy. Like my two favorite things, oh cruel world!

  27. eastmeetswestkitchen

    Great lobster mac and cheese, but you’ll need more than 10 pair of hand-knitted socks for your readers.
    Have a fantastic trip and can’t wait to read your next post! :)

  28. LunaPierCook

    NOTE TO ‘AMAZED': Did you just happen to read any of the other comments in here before you wrote what’s obviously total and complete drivel?? You obviously have no clue what kind of a person Jaden is. Do the rest of the planet a favor and go buy a sense of humor.

  29. archana, mama of twins

    jaden
    Mac n cheese with lobster sounds so good!! Have a fun time in China.. A knitter on top of everything else! you amaze me! I cant even hold two knitting needles. The craft gene went to my sister.
    I got to the “yakity yak” gene…

  30. melch

    Wow, Jaden. Re: Amazed; Your blog has become popular enough to attract trolls ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamebait )! Congrats =)

    I’m a vegetarian but I have the utmost respect for people who acknowledge where their food comes from. I’m bothered by people who are disturbed when steak is called cow meat.

  31. tigerfish

    Wow, there’s so much going on! I want to be the first to own a Steamy Kitchen’s cookbook! :D …..
    Take care there, and enjoy yourself in China (which part of China?)
    I was just associating the streets in Guangzhou with exotic game meat, insects, etc. with you!!!

  32. Amy

    Darn I was hoping I’d win some saffron. ;D But now I have to take the plunge and buy some. Lobster mac and cheese mmm…

    Have fun in China.

  33. Lydia

    Looking forward to your posts from China — have a wonderful trip! While you’re gone, I’ll be making lobster mac n cheese. Oh yes, I will….

  34. Kelly Mahoney

    Man, that looks delicious. I just saw the food network mac and cheese challenge and the winner was a recipe with giant pieces of lobster.

    So sad I didn’t win the saffron … tear.

  35. Wandering Chopsticks

    Haha! I’m “amazed” at Amazed. I was just complaining about a few annoying trolls lately on my blog. And since I have met you in person, I can attest to what a truly “awful” person you are! ;)

    Boo hoo! I’m so sad we won’t be able to meet up so I can be exposed to more of your awfulness. ;)

  36. Deborah Dowd

    This looks like a wonderful twist on comfort food, and with one lobster needed to feed eight, still do-able on a budget! Inspired, and your post is hilarious!

  37. Cynthia

    My friend, when temption for food was created, it was handed to you and I have to say, you have not failed in delivering.

    Have a great time in China, can’t wait to see what you serve up from there.

    I’m excited at the idea of your book!

  38. Lynn

    Heck, yes, I want a bite! I want the whole thing!

    Have a wonderful time in China. I can’t wait to hear about the trip and the cookbook, and, of course, to see the socks.

  39. Dave

    Jaden,
    Where will you be going in China? Give us an itinenary so we can pretend to travel along! Going inland or along the coast? Things (including culinary things) are booming along the coast. That’s where the special economic zones and economic growth are. Travel well!!!
    Dave

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