Lobster Mac and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Red Hook Lobster Pound
Show: Eat St. Episode: Claws for Celebration
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 20 min
Cook: 1 hr 25 min
 
YIELD: 6 to 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

QUICK LOBSTER STOCK:
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 2 leeks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Five 1 1/2-pound lobsters
CHEESE SAUCE:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups quick lobster stock (from above)
  • 10 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 6 ounces Gruyere, grated
  • 3 ounces mild Cheddar, grated
  • Half a pinch grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces elbow macaroni
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
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Directions

For the quick lobster stock: In a large pot, bring 4 inches of water to a rolling boil. Add the wine, sea salt, seafood seasoning, leeks and thyme and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lobsters, cover and keep at a rolling boil for 10 minutes.

Remove the lobsters and let them rest, draining into a container that can catch their juices (sometimes cracking the lobsters at this stage encourages more juice to be released). Add the lobster juices to the cooking broth, then strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth and put back in the pot. Reduce until there are about 6 cups of liquid left.

For the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan and sift in the flour, cooking on low heat for 1 minute. Heat the milk and 1 1/4 cups lobster stock in a separate pan and add it slowly to the butter and flour roux, cooking and stirring over low heat until it's thick, about 10 minutes.

When the cheese sauce is thick enough that it coats a spoon, add the Asiago, mascarpone, Gruyere, Cheddar and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste, take off the heat and let rest.

While making the cheese sauce, bring the remaining stock (add a bit of water if needed) to a boil and cook the macaroni for 3 minutes (until half-cooked). Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pick the meat from the lobsters (tails, claws, knuckles and bodies if you are so inclined) and rinse off the lobster tomalley. Clean and chop the tails into 3/4-inch pieces. Leave the claw meat whole. Combine the noodles, cheese sauce and lobster meat in a large bowl and check the seasoning, adjusting with salt and pepper as needed.

Melt the butter in a pan. Add the panko, lemon zest and chopped thyme and cook for a few minutes on medium heat while stirring to bring out the flavor.

Grease a 9-by-14-inch gratin pan and pour in the mac and cheese mixture. Try to spread the lobster evenly in the pan. Spread the panko topping evenly over the mac and cheese mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and serve.

Notes

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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