My Gran’s Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

FNM_100112-Ina-Garten-Lobster-Mac-and-Cheese-Recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.snigalleryslideLobster macaroni and cheese. It’s one of those items that has appeared on dozens of restaurant menus over the last few years but I remember going to lunch at my Grans House and she served this dish to me for the first time way back in the 70’s.

My sister and I were summoned to our Grandmothers for a Sunday Lunch. Now Sunday lunches at her home were legendary. On this day we sat with eager anticipation as our mouths began to water when a very formal silver tray was carried into the dining room and set in the center of my Gran’s grand mahogany table.

And wala! The dish was presented.

Oh! wait it was just macaroni and cheese. I was confused and a bit disappointed.

My Grandmother said “you don’t think I would put cheap boxed Kraft macaroni and cheese in my good sterling silver, do you?

“This dish my young grandchildren is my famous Lobster macaroni and cheese with lump crab meat. It will change your life.”

Now even in those early days my sister and I were connoisseurs of many dishes of Mac and cheese.

So there we were, my Gran was now sipping champagne and my sister and I had a soft drink as I placed on my tongue the first bite of something so creamy, so decadent and rich it did not change my life but it was the first step on my lifelong journey to experience the most decadent foods of the world. It was amazing.

So where did the dish get its beginning?

The consensus these days is that it’s an outgrowth of dishes like Lobster Newburg and Coquilles St. Jacque. One poster traced the origins of lobster mac to the French Laundry cookbook and a recipe for lobster with pasta in a mascarpone sauce. But then, you see, there are the traditionalists who view any kind of cheese with seafood or fish to be an abomination.

Then there is the question of American cuisine’s love with Lobster Newburg, Mornay sauce and, of course, the Filet-O-Fish sandwich with cheese.

Here is my recipe for foolproof lobster macaroni and cheese with lump crab meat. With the lobster meat, lump crab meat and really good gruyere cheese this dish is a budget buster so I suggest you make it for yourself. A glass of the bubbly and a good movie, well there is nothing better. (At least nothing better I can mention here).

So let’s get started……….Because you deserve it.

Ingredients

  • (or whipping cream)
  • 1 pound of lump crab meat

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the oil to a large pot of boiling salted water, add the pasta and cook al dente according to the directions on the package.

Drain well. Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t allow it to boil.

In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and add the flour.

Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth.

Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg and stir until the cheese melts. Stir in the cooked pasta and lobster.

Pile the mixture into 6 to 8 (2-cup) gratin dishes. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine with the bread crumbs and sprinkle on top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the sauce, is bubbly and the pasta is browned on top.

In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg and stir until the cheese melts.

Stir in the cooked pasta and lobster.

Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg and stir until the cheese melts.

Stir in the cooked pasta, crab meat, and last lobster. Do not over stir but mix well.

Pile the mixture into 6 to 8 (2-cup) gratin dishes. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine with the bread crumbs and sprinkle on top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the sauce, is bubbly and the pasta is browned on top.

  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • Level: Easy
  • macncheesethumb_600

    Once last thing. Since this is a pricey dish if and only if you have leftovers you can make a Lobster macaroni and cheese Panini. Use a panini press or grill to make an amazing afternoon lunch.

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