Cooking On A Budget: Lobsta Mac and Cheese

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lobsta Mac and Cheese


This particular type of macaroni and cheese has been around for quite some time and I have wanted to try it. (Left over lobster from our anniversary gave me the perfect reason to try it.)
Defying the old school feeling that cheese and seafood do not pair well together someone however came up with the dish. I've tried to find out who may have come up with this version but my research did not get me very far. The earliest reference I found was that Chef Robert Irvine has a recipe for it in a cookbook that was published somewhere around 2006.
Macaroni and cheese itself was created eons ago but the first modern version of the dish [macaroni and cheese] was published in The Experienced French Housekeeper by chef/writer Elizabeth Raffald in 1769 according to Wiki Pedia.
One left over lobster did not seem to yield much lobster so I did purchase one more 1 1/2 pounder. This is not a dish that I would typically create on my food budget, but like I've said before: "once in a while you just have to splurge".
If you are at skittish about cooking the lobster most grocery stores offer the service at no charge. Just be sure to let them know to under cook the lobster by a few minutes as it will cook longer in this dish.

For the dish I used the tails and claws of two lobsters.

The above photograph shows the yield of meat I got from both lobsters and it was sufficient for what I made. Cook your lobsters in boiling salted water for about 12-15 minutes. Allow them to cool and pick out the meat. When I measured out in a liquid measuring cup two cups of pasta it was equal to about 1/2 pound of uncooked pasta. Another thing I wanted to make mention of: I saved the melted butter we used to dip the lobster in on our anniversary night hoping it would have some lobster flavor in it to use in this dish.
  • meat from 2 cooked lobsters
  • 2 cups pasta (I used cellantani but you could use elbows with ridges) - cooked to manufacturer's directions
  • cooking spray
For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 5 oz. marscapone cheese
  • 5 oz. mild cheddar cheese (a little over half a bag)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. heavy cream (plus extra for drizzling over casserole before baking)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  1. Cook your pasta according to box directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Using that same pot and over medium to medium low heat melt the butter.
  3. Add the cream and stir. Cook the cream until it is getting just a tiny bubble around the edges. Don't curdle the cream - keep an eye on the flame.
  4. Next add in the marscapone and whisk in. Add in the cheddar cheese and whisk until melted. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner.
  5. Then add in the cooked pasta and stir. Then gently fold in the lobster.
  6. Spray your gratins or oven proof casserole dish with cooking spray.
  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the two dishes or pour into the one casserole dish. Drizzle some extra cream over the macaroni to keep this creamy. About 2 tbsp. per dish or a tad over that.
  8. Top with some cracked black pepper and with some crushed Ritz® crackers.
  9. Bake in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 350° for about 11-15 minutes uncovered.

 This is so rich and filling that these two gratins could easily feed four people. I did not find that out until we started to each dive into our own gratin. We each got maybe a third of the way through the dish and what with the side salad and fresh green beans our bellies were more than satisfied.

 Creamy, delicious and ever so filling.

My lobsters were $7.99 per pound. The cost of the dish itself came to a total of $25.97. It would feed four people (with side vegetable or salad as extra costs) for $6.49 each. To some that's way out of their budget but for others it's a minor splurge. And get this: I researched the prices for this on restaurant menus and here are some of the prices for the entree alone: $14.00, $16.99 and $25.50. I'm sure there are high end restaurants that claim an even greater price.
Every once in a while, make restaurant night at your house. If you have wee ones and small children feed them, bath them and scoot them to lullaby and have a date night with your husband or significant other right in your own home. Light candles, dress up and enjoy this dish.

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