Lobster  Mac 'n Cheese: A Great Marriage

Lobster Mac 'n Cheese: A Great Marriage

br /div class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"/divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-721JMhoimmM/UONSUJvMfRI/AAAAAAAAAvw/m31yD8zmLbs/s1600/lobster+mac+n+cheese+001.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="480" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-721JMhoimmM/UONSUJvMfRI/AAAAAAAAAvw/m31yD8zmLbs/s640/lobster+mac+n+cheese+001.jpg" width="640" //a/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"If you had any notion of losing weight as one of your New Year resolutions, maybe you should stop reading.  On the other hand, you probably have great will power and can read on, bookmark the recipe and save it for a later day. (Valentine’s Day dinner, perhaps?)/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese has to be one of the most decadent comfort foods any chef ever dreamed about. /divdiv class="MsoNormal"I have to admit, when I first heard about it, I thought it a ridiculous idea./divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"After all, what could be more comforting than a creamy, cheesy sauce wrapping itself around pasta, topped with crunchy, buttery bread crumbs?/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"And lobster has always been viewed as luxury seafood. Dunking hunks of the sweet meat into melted butter is just delectable. Why would anyone want to marry these two? They were meant to live separate lives!/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"Or so I thought, until I had to satisfy my curiosity and tasted it while on vacation in Mainelast September. I was hooked./divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"I liked it so much I end up “tasting” it three different times on that trip. Then I ate it at a restaurant back home. And then, finally, I had to make it at home./divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"Despite the fact that lobster prices have been at an all-time low this past year, it’s still pretty pricey, especially for inlanders like me. It is a good way to stretch a luxury meat, though, and make humble macaroni and cheese a company-worthy dish./divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"I was surprised to learn that lobster wasn’t always viewed as something special. Although lobster was in abundance to early American colonists, they didn’t care for it, preferring venison and game fowl instead, foods they were used to. /divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-npHiT11LNbQ/UONSxqMRGWI/AAAAAAAAAv4/fKVRZtbgGf8/s1600/lobster+mac+n+cheese+002.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"img border="0" height="480" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-npHiT11LNbQ/UONSxqMRGWI/AAAAAAAAAv4/fKVRZtbgGf8/s640/lobster+mac+n+cheese+002.jpg" width="640" //a/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"As far as macaroni and cheese goes, Thomas Jefferson is generally credited with bringing the idea of cheesy pasta back to America after spending time in France.  /divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"Chefs and food lovers are always looking for ways to twist classics and put their own imprints on traditional dishes.  Lobster macaroni and cheese became popular in trendy restaurants within the past five years or so./divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"And now it’s become a new standard on many a restaurant menu. I have to admit that this marriage of seafood and cheese is one that just may have staying power./divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"Using a fun shaped-pasta makes this dish even more special. (I used a ribbed elbow, called pipe rigate, but any small shell or elbow noodle will be just fine.) /divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"I also didn’t want the cheese sauce to overpower the lobster, so I used mild cheeses and used clam juice in the sauce to heighten the seafood flavor.  /divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"It’s a marriage made in . . .  well, New England!/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br //divdiv class="MsoNormal"span style="font-size: large;"bLobster Macaroni and Cheese/b/spanbr /iServes 8-10/i/divdiv class="MsoNormal"16 ounces pasta/divdiv class="MsoNormal"6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided/divdiv class="MsoNormal"1 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs/divdiv class="MsoNormal"1⁄4 cup flour/divdiv class="MsoNormal"2 cups milk/divdiv class="MsoNormal"2 cups clam juice/divdiv class="MsoNormal"8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded/divdiv class="MsoNormal"4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded/divdiv class="MsoNormal"8 ounces cream cheese/divdiv class="MsoNormal"3 tablespoons Madeira or marsala wine, optional/divdiv class="MsoNormal"1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper/divdiv class="MsoNormal"1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg/divdiv class="MsoNormal"Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste/divdiv class="MsoNormal"Meat from 2 lobster tails, cooked, or about 2 cups lobster meat/divdiv class="MsoNormal"br /br /Preheat oven to 375°. Bring a large pan of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, cutting a couple minutes from the recommended time on the package. Drain pasta and set aside./divdiv class="MsoNormal"Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in microwave or in a pan over low heat and mix in the dry bread crumbs. Set aside.br /In a large saucepan or stock pot, melt remaining butter over medium heat.br /Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour mixture is smooth and just starting to darken.br /Slowly stir in the milk and the clam juice and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened, about ten minutes.br /Remove pan from heat, and stir in 2-1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cream cheese, and the Madeira, if using.br /Add cayenne and nutmeg. Stir until cheese is melted and incorporated, and adjust salt and pepper, as needed.br /Add the lobster meat./divdiv class="MsoNormal"Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce./divdiv class="MsoNormal"Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish.br /Sprinkle with buttered breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 7.5pt;"br /!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--br /!--[endif]--/span/div

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