Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Winter 2012

How can gooey, rich macaroni and cheese get any more divine? Add fresh lobster meat and heavy cream, says executive chef Robert McCulloch of the Capital City Club in Columbia, S.C. “Lobster mac and cheese is a slice of Americana — a Southern favorite with the flourish of a New England culinary staple.”

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 pounds cooked lobster meat, sliced into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup lobster or shrimp stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 cups macaroni, cooked

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
4 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh tomato, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat oil and garlic over medium heat for 30 seconds to toast garlic. Add lobster meat, immediately followed by white wine. Cook about 3 minutes to let the wine reduce by half. Add stock, and cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes until reduced by half. Add cream and continue to cook and stir until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Turn off heat. In the same sauté pan, stir in cheese, then butter, egg, salt, and pepper until combined. Place cooked macaroni in a large baking dish, pour cheese-lobster sauce over it, and combine. 

In a food processor, briefly blend Parmesan and breadcrumbs until fine. Cover macaroni with Parmesan-breadcrumb topping and bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Garnish with chopped herbs and diced tomato before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

CHEF’S SECRET: “The best lobster is fresh lobster. To save time, ask your fishmonger to steam your lobster and take it home ready to use.”

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