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Lobster Mac and Cheese

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Okay, I'll admit... this recipe is almost over-the-top rich and we're not even going to THINK about calorie content.  Serve it with a salad and buckets of bubbly to avoid complete cheesy lobster overload.  This is serious party food! serves 8-12 adults
  • 1 pound pasta, cookedthe cheese!
  • About 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • About 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (or half a sweet onion works great too!)
  • 1 pound slipper lobster meat (or the meat from Maine lobster tails if you prefer)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 quart milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Optional seasonings - tarragon, nutmeg or smoked paprika
Preheat your oven to 350.  Boil your favorite pound of pasta according to the package directions and set aside.  You can use just about any non-noodle pasta and there are a lot of fun shapes these days, so feel free to pass on the standard elbow macaroni. shallots and lobster meat Shred 4 cups of Gruyere cheese and two cups of sharp Cheddar cheese and set aside.  I like to do this in the dish that ultimately goes in the oven to save on washing. In your largest pan, add the shallots, garlic and olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the garlic and shallots are softened.  Add the lobster meat and season with salt and pepper.  Turn the heat up to medium high and stir fry for about 3 additional minutes.  Remove from heat.  (Don't forget to sample - yum!) Warm 1 quart of milk in the microwave or on the stove without boiling or scalding - you just want to get it hot so that when you add it to your roux you don't get lumps!finished delish dish! In another pan, create the roux by melting 6 T of unsalted butter and whisking in a half cup of flour. Cook over medium/medium high heat for a couple of minutes, then whisk in the milk a bit at a time to create a nice creamy sauce for your pasta.  Pour this sauce over the cooked lobster and stir in the shredded cheeses.  Add the pasta, fold to combine and pour it all into a large baking dish.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and pause for a moment.  We need a *little* something as a final sprinkle.  A lot of recipes call for a bit of nutmeg, but I'm not a fan.  Tarragon is nice, but can be overpowering to the light sweet lobster flavor so be careful.  If you just want a little color, consider some dry parsley and fresh cracked pepper.  My favorite is just a touch of smoked paprika, but again, this is a big personal decision so go with what sounds good to you!  Once you have your final sprinkle, bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until it's hot and bubbly.  Best wishes for a very happy 2011!

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