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LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb cooked lobster meat
  • 8 to 10 TBLS salted butter, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 TBLS fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb shellbows pasta
  • 1/4 C AP flour
  • 3 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 C fontina cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz. brie (cut into small pieces with rind removed)
  • 1 1/4 C Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/4 C good quality white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt/pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 C panko breadcrumbs
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Not one, not three, but five cheeses were used in combination to create this luscious, and creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese. It is by far, one of the best seafood pasta dishes I have ever created. If you are not into lobster, leave it out and just make one amazing Mac and Cheese dish.

a cast iron pan full of lobster mac and cheese

LET’S TALK LOBSTER

You may have a difficult time finding fresh cooked lobster. If this is the case, you have two options. Steam up a few whole, one pound lobsters, extract the meat, and cut up. This can be tedious, but you will be able to utilize claw, knuckle and tail meat in your Lobster Mac and Cheese. As an alternative, you can purchase a few frozen lobster tails and prepare with tail meat only. I opted for using frozen lobster tails.

To prepare my lobster tails, I allowed them to unthaw in a bowl of cold water for about thirty minutes. Four, 6 to 8 ounce tails will do. Boil a pot of salted water. Drop in the tails and allow to cook for just a few minutes. Basically, you just want the tails to cook long enough to be able to peel the shell and extract the tail meat. The meat will fully cook during the preparation of the Lobster Mac and Cheese.

Cut the lobster tail meat into small pieces and reserve in a bowl.

a glass bowl of cut up lobster tail meat

PREPARING THE LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE

Cook the pasta to al dente. Don’t forget to salt the water. I found these amazing Shellbows at Delallo Foods, and just knew they would be perfect for this dish. I actually just substituted these noodles for orecchiette in my recipe, Orecchiette with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Drain. Do NOT rinse. I was making this dish for my big Family, so I made the entire pound and a half of pasta. If you do not want to make that much, only boil up a pound.

As the pasta is cooking to al dente, melt three tablespoons of the butter in a pan. Sauté the garlic for about a minute. Do NOT brown. Add in the lobster meat and cook for an additional two minutes. Sprinkle in about two tablespoons of the fresh chopped parsley. Remove from pan and reserve lobster meat in a bowl.

Since I was making enough to feed an army, haha, I grabbed my trusty, Lodge enameled cast iron pot, to start and finish the dish. If you are not making as much as I did, a deep pan, or even the pot you used to boil the pasta will do.

FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE

Melt four more tablespoons of butter in a pot, or deep pan. Whisk in the flour. Continue whisking for an additional two minutes to cook off the raw flour taste. Turn up the heat and slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream. Sprinkle in the ground nutmeg, ground mustard, and ground cayenne. Taste. Season with just a touch of kosher salt and pepper. You will notice the sauce start to thicken. If you think the sauce is a bit too thick, add in a touch more heavy whipping cream.

Turn the heat down very low, or you can even remove from heat. With a whisk, slowly start combining the cheeses into the cream mixture. Do NOT dump all of the cheese in at once. This will cause the cheese to clump. I combined all of the cheese in a bowl, except for the Parmesan. I added the Parmesan to the cheese mixture last. Again, very slowly. Continue whisking until the cheese is fully melted, and a beautiful cheese sauce forms.

TO FINISH THE LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Fold the cooked pasta and reserved lobster meat into the cheese sauce. Because I have a love for cast iron, I used this 12″ cast iron pan from Lodge to bake my Mac and Cheese. You can definitely use any baking dish. Line the baking dish, or pan with butter.

Pour the contents of the pot into the prepared baking dish or cast iron pan. Microwave two tablespoons of butter in a bowl. To the bowl, mix in the panko breadcrumbs. Top the Lobster Mac and Cheese generously with the breadcrumb mixture.

lobster mac and cheese ready to be baked

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly, and the top browned. I did turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end just to brown up a bit more.

Remove from oven and garnish with a touch more fresh chopped parlsey. Serve up this amazing Lobster Mac and Cheese while it is warm. Leftovers will be perfect for the next day or two. ENJOY!

a cast iron pan full of lobster mac and cheese

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SCALLOPED POTATOES

This is one of those most perfect side dishes I remember my Mom making when we were children. It’s super old school,

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