With Labor Day weekend, summer is almost over – but September is the best month on Cape Cod. The air and water temperatures are still warm, the traffic is lighter, and the swarms of tourists are reduced dramatically. Plus lobster is ‘on-sale’ as many supermarkets advertise lobster at $5.99/lb. The price is so good that you can indulge in steamed lobsters, with lobster rolls for lunch the next day and then maybe even a nice casserole of lobster mac and cheese.
Thomas Keller (whom many consider the best chef in America) introduced a mac and cheese recipe with mascarapone in The French Laundry Cookbook and from there many chefs around the country developed their own versions of this ultimate comfort food. Here is an easy recipe that will put a smile on your face and a satisfying comfort in your tummy. Happy Fall.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
1 lb. medium pasta shells
10 oz. cooked lobster tail meat, diced
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup shredded White Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Cook medium pasta shells in very salty water according to package or recipe directions, until al dente. In a large nonstick pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk flour into butter to form a roux. Cook for one or two minutes, until it darkens a bit. Whisk milk into roux slowly, making sure to work out any lumps. Add half and half and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until sauce has thickened – 10 to 15 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and immediately whisk in cheeses, salt, and pepper. When cheese has melted, stir in lobster meat and medium pasta shells. Serve or follow instructions below to bake medium pasta shells.
Pour medium pasta shells into individual 3″ serving dishes or into one large casserole pan (9×13). Top with a light layer of panko.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until the panko has crisped up and the top of the medium pasta shells has browned.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Serve and Enjoy.