There is only one word for Lobster Mac and Cheese – Decadence!!!! I catered a party at which the Lobster Mac and Cheese was the headliner on the menu. I made this outrageously deliciously creamy dish for 60 people. I spent countless sleepless nights before the event putting the recipe together in my mind. So many questions needed to be dealt with before I spent the gazillion dollars it cost to make this dish: How much to make? How can I infuse the lobster flavor into the sauce without making a traditional stock? When do I add the cheese and mascarpone? When do I add the lobster meat? To bake or not to bake? That was a really big question and I chose not to bake so as not to dry out the lobster meat. Each question was answered and the recipe thought out perfectly before I made the dish. My obsessiveness paid off as everyone seemed to like it. I got a boat load of compliments on the dish.
I have taken my huge quantity recipe and cut it down to a reasonable size. The new version will feed 8-10 generously or 16-18 as a side dish.
There are some things which are kind of up to you. I put a good amount of lobster meat into the recipe but you might want more. More won’t hurt and there need not be any recipe adjustments made. Just add more lobster.
I chose a cheese of not too much intensity, Vermont White Cheddar, in combination with the rich and creamy mascarpone because I did not want to hide the flavor of the lobster infused milk. You will notice I also did not add any herbs at the end of the dish. I just want that lovely lobster taste to linger in my mouth. No Herbus Interruptus.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
1 1.5 to 2 LB Maine Lobster
4 Cups Whole Milk
4 Cups Half and Half
2 Cups Heavy Cream
3 Stalks Celery, Coarsely Chopped
3 Carrots, Unpeeled, Coarsely Chopped
1 Medium Spanish or Vidalia Onion, Skin On, Coarsely Chopped
1 Bay Leaf
1 Teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley Left Whole
1 Sprig Fresh Whole Sage Leaf
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
½ Cup Madeira Wine
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
8 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
12 Ounces Grated Vermont White Cheddar Cheese
8 Ounces Mascarpone at Room Temperature
1 Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
½ Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 Lb. Cooked Maine Lobster Meat, Coarsely Chopped (In addition to lobster meat pulled from the whole lobster)
2 Lbs. Shell Pastas
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Plunge the lobster, head first, into the boiling water. Bring water back to a boil, turn heat down to simmer and cook the lobster, covered, for 8 minutes. Remove the lobster from the simmering water and immediately immerse it into an ice bath. Cool the lobster completely in the ice bath, about 10 minutes. Remove from the ice bath and carefully remove all of the lobster meat from the tail, claws and knuckles and coarsely chop. Reserve all of the shells. Cut the body in half and remove all the insides of the lobster. Set the body and the rest of the shells to the side.
In a large pot, bring the milk, half and half, cream, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley sage, tomato paste and Madeira wine to a slow simmer. Add the lobster shells and body to the simmering mixture and continue to simmer covered for 1 hour. Be careful to not let it come to a full boil (intense boiling could make it curdle). After an hour, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids.
In a large heavy pan, melt the butter over medium heat until bubbly. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes stirring continuously to cook out the raw taste of the flour. Slowly add the warm milk, cream, half and half mixture whisking continuously. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a slow boil and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, always whisking. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and mascarpone, being sure to completely combine. Fold in the lobster meat. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shell pasta and cook until al dente following package instructions. Drain the pasta, shaking the colander to get rid of excess water.
Place pasta in a large bowl and blend in the sauce, coating the pasta completely. Spoon into pasta bowls and sprinkle with some of the buttered bread crumbs. Serve immediately.
Buttered Bread Crumbs
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Teaspoons Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a large sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Panko crumbs, salt and pepper and cook, stirring the whole time, until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately.
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