Thursday, November 8, 2012

Easiest Lobster Mac n Cheese

Lately there's been a dish that's been popping up all over the country, in Seafood restaurants. Every time I see it on a commercial I am still amazed. I started this recipe years and years ago. Many thought it was an over the top recipe that wouldn't become popular. I'm a comfort food lover and this dish hits straight to my heart.
It combines the heartiness of a Good Old Fashioned Mac and Cheese and the luxury of Lobster.
Before you say ohhhhh nooo not for my family... First off It's not horribly expensive. When you break it down to the amount of servings...it works out like a Good Sunday Meal.
Lets take a look at the Ingredients:

2 Lobster Tails (remover meat from tail and chop into chunks)
2 cups half and half (totally could use milk)
1/2 stick butter (yes you can use margarine (just use a little less)
1 18 oz can New England Clam Chowder or Lobster Bisque
1/2 tsp red crushed pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp Black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese
(I used Gruyere, but you can use white cheddar or whatever you usually use for your mac and cheese)
1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (1/2 sleeve crackers crushed)
1/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup melted Butter
2 tbsp Lemon
1/2 - 3/4 pound (uncooked) Pasta (I used shells)

If that ingredient list scares you financially, keep in mind it serves 8 really good-sized servings :)
That makes it about 5.00 per person. Cheaper than Fast Food all day long! And OMG so much better!

Ok lets do this:

Take the can of chowder and strain it.
Leave aside 1/2 cup of the broth, along with the potatoes and the clams.
 (keep in fridge for your Clam Chowder Pot Pie during the week) Yum!

Now take the remaining broth (cream) and add it to a saucepan.
Add the butter and half and half 
Bring to a slight boil.
Add the seasonings and steep for 5 minutes
Add the cheese and whisk vigorously until melted.
Reduce heat to Low.

Meanwhile
Start your boiling salted water stock pot for the pasta
When your water for the Pasta comes to a boil add the Pasta.
Set a timer for 7 minutes.
After 7 minutes come back and add the chunks of lobster meat into the water.
Set a timer for 8 minutes.
After that 8 minutes your pasta and lobster are done.
Drain and Pour the sauce over the pasta and the lobster.

Turn on the oven to 425°
While waiting for it to come to temp
Melt the remaining butter.
Mix together the bread crumbs, cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Add the butter and lemon.
Mix well and set aside.
Add pasta & lobster to a baking dish (I used a 13x9x2) or use single serve dishes if you wish. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the pasta.

When oven comes to temp turn down to 375°
Put casserole into oven and bake for 10 minutes or until top is golden brown.
(do not leave it in the oven for too long (no more than 10 minutes. The lobster will get tough and over cooked) If it gets stubborn and won't get color, place the casserole under broiler and watch carefully until it comes to a nice golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.
Serve with a nice salad and crusty bread!
Enjoy!