Every time I go to the East Coast, I eat as much seafood as I possibly can. I absolutely love it! Scallops especially are my favorite. This time, I ate my fair share of lobster, mussels, clams and fish, as well as some delicious, sweet scallops before heading back to the Midwest. After spending the past few weeks there (Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to be exact), I knew I wanted to make something with an East Coast vibe. Near the end of our trip, we had a big Lobster boil. After stuffing ourselves with lobster, garlic butter, garlic cheese biscuits and caesar salad, we were left with exactly 3 lobsters. After thinking about what we would use it for, I decided I needed to make this Lobster Mac & Cheese.
It really wasn’t a hard decision, considering Tykette’s love for Mac & Cheese. Her birthday is coming up, and when anyone asks her what she wants, she will reply “macaroni”. And she knows she is getting a bike for her birthday. Kids really do say the darndest things. The funny thing is, she seemed to prefer the boxed stuff to this delicious concoction. I guess her taste buds aren’t really that refined yet.
Making lobster mac & cheese is really like making any other mac & cheese, except you add lobster. The cheese sauce is made with a roux base, to which you add gruyere (which by the way, was extremely difficult to come by in the small town I did my grocery shopping in) and sharp cheddar. Nutmeg and pepper give it a little extra flavor, and breadcrumbs give it a bit of extra crunch. If you can’t get fresh lobster (or it’s too expensive or you just don’t want to go to the work of shelling and cleaning it), just use frozen lobster meat. In the end it is what I actually used, since we decided to use our leftover fresh lobster for lobster rolls.
The cheese sauce was very quick and easy to whip up. This wasn’t my first time making mac & cheese from scratch, but it was definitely the easiest and tastiest (though most certainly not the healthiest!). Melt some butter, add some flour and cook, then add hot milk and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Sauce is done.
The hardest part was probably stirring it all up. The recipe is huge! My pot was barely big enough, and my spoon was kind of flimsy, which all together, made stirring kinda hard. But I powered through and got it done.
I had to bake it in two dishes – one 9×13″ and one 9×9″. We used it to feed 4 adults and a toddler. We finished about a third of it. The rest went into the freezer. If you’re not looking to eat mac & cheese for the next month, make a half recipe.
The finished product is delicious – creamy and cheesy with a definite lobster flavor. If you don’t chop your lobster too fine, you will definitely notice the big meaty chunks. It is rich however, so don’t expect to polish off a huge portion – which is a good thing. Serve with a green salad tossed with vinaigrette or other lightly seasoned vegetables. You definitely want the mac & cheese to be the star of this meal.
This is probably not a meal you’d want to eat everyday, or even every month. It is very high in fat and saturated fat, therefore high in calories and so NOT heart healthy. Everything in moderation, right?
- 1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
- 4 cups milk
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter divided, 1 stick
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese grated (4 cups)
- 12 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs 4 slices bread
Heat oven to 375°F.
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.
Warm milk in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat. Do not allow to boil. Set aside.
Melt 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk in warm milk until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta and lobster. Transfer mixture to a large casserole dish, or 2 smaller baking dishes.
Melt the additional 2 Tbsp butter and stir into breadcrumbs. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over macaroni. Bake for 30-35 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown.