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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lobster Mac & Cheese with Gruyere and Cheddar

{Out Of Retirement. Again.}

Just call me Brett Favre.

After a gorgeous week vacationing in the Carribbean with E, I feel refreshed and ready to start, yet another, Day One.  I have really appreciated the words of encouragement from all of you.  I'll do my best to bring you good things!

ALSO - tell me what you'd like to see!  Quick meals, fancy meals, basics, you name it, I'll do it.  Promise.

The weather's getting colder and comfort food is becoming more and more appealing.  Especially since I'm back from vacation and won't be putting a bathing suit back on til 2012.  Besides, who doesn't love a good, piping bowl of mac and cheese? 

..but why not class it up a little?

I saw a similar recipe on Yahoo while planning the week's meals and knew I had to try it.  If you don't like lobster, you can substitute cooked chicken, but the flavors of the Gruyere really lend themselves to the creaminess and tang of shellfish.

Lobster Mac & Cheese with Gruyere and Cheddar

  • 2/3 box corkscrew pasta
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter (I used Smart Balance), divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (or one block) grated Gruyere cheese (I had never knowingly eaten a piece of Gruyere until getting a block of this stuff yesterday.  I could have wiped out the whole thing.)
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon or brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh chives (not to be confused with green onions - chives are much thinner.
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 &1/2 lb. coarsely chopped cooked lobster meat.  I bought some pre-cooked lobsters from ShopRite.  They were already chilled, so easy to handle, and more importantly $4.00 cheaper than the live ones! :)  Be sure you get enough, though - three or four lobsters should be suitable.
  • 1 cup oyster crackers, crushed
Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again so pasta is cold.  Get all the meat out of the lobster claws, tail, and legs, and cut into a-little-larger-than-bite-size pieces.  I wish I had more lobster here.  Set pasta and lobster aside.

Place 4 Tbsp. melted butter in a saucepot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion; cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened.  Then whisk in flour; cook 1 minute.

Pour in milk; bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened.

Remove from heat, and whisk in both cheeses, mustard, chives, cayenne pepper, and half the salt and pepper. Fold in pasta and lobster.

Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish.

Combine crushed crackers and remaining 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Stir in rest of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until crust is crisp and sauce bubbles. Let stand 5 minutes before serving; serve with a veggie or side salad.

Enjoy!  We sure did!  And leave me your comments - they motivate me to keep blogging!

Cheers, C

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy! I've only recently been adventuresome with my mac and cheese, doing buffalo. Lobster I'll need to do soon. Looks simple enough. And I think you can get just the lobster meat too, making it even easier. Great inspiration :)