If you are anything like me, you are drawn to this menu item in restaurants like a moth to a flame. And you also believe that the chef who put these two luxurious ideas together deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. So it was a delight to discover how easy it was to make this dish at home.
It all started when I visited a friend off of an island in Maine, and fell in love for my brief stay with all things related to island life. The ferry, the harbor bell, the bike riding, and of course, the lobster buoys.
We picked seashells and blew bubbles on the most beautiful beach I have ever seen (the water was too cold to swim so we needed some activity on the beach!). Little kids are just cute in Maine. They wear sweatshirts and Keenes and run all over the ferry. And they believe Mermaids are in the water, which keeps everything a little bit magical.
We had lobster races while the water boiled…I consider this a science experiment if someone thinks it is heartless.
We ate until our bellies were full, and still had a lot of this left over:
So I brought some home. It was my son’s graduation from Kindergarten (****sniff****), and I wanted to make a special dinner. So I ran into a convenience store (that is how easy this recipe is) to buy elbow macaroni, and the rest is a delicious, glorious history.
You start with a roux (1/4 c. butter, 1/4 c. flour), then add 4 c. milk.
Then you add CHEESE….mmmm……
I literally used what I had in the fridge, a combo of cheddar, Monterey jack, and aged gouda.
You cook elbow macaroni, mix with delicious cheese sauce, until you are left with….
Can anyone else hear the Hallelujia chorus right now??? How could you ever improve on this loveliness? Who ever thought to improve on this? As already noted, they deserve an award.
Popped them in little pots since it was a special dinner.
Added bread crumbs with butter, baked at 375 for 30 min until they were bubbly and delicious.
Below is the recipe I followed, which is from Ina Garten. I looked at other recipe’s and in the end hers had more sauce (i.e. more butter, flour and milk) which, unlike plain Mac & Cheese recipes helped coat the lobster too.
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 c. milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
- 8 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 fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
DirectionsPreheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.