Lobster Mac and Cheese with Toasted Breadcrumbs
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Recipe Intro From saratane

It's New Year's Cheese! There's something about a decadent helping of mac and cheese that feels like New Year's Eve to me. My Dad and I always used to make it when I was younger, and this feels like an elevated, adult-version of that mac. The key to the most delicious bechemal is acid! Whether you zest a lemon into it, add in a teaspoon of vinegar, or toss in a couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce, that extra bright kick is going to take it to the next level. Make the bechamel the day before if you want to save time on the big day! I usually buy whole lobsters and break them down myself (because I am a strong independent woman), but you can always ask your fishmonger to do it for you!

Details

Prep time 30mins
Cook time 45mins
Serves or Makes: 8-10
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Recipe

For the Breadcrumbs Mixture

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/ 2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/ 2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/ 4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black peppercorns, freshly ground, to taste

For the Mac and Cheese

ingredients

  • 1 pound cavatappi, or spiral noodle of choice
  • 1/ 2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/ 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pound Gruyère cheese, grated (about 4 cups) divided
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black peppercorns, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1 1/ 2 cups cooked lobster meat
  • Chives, fresh, for garnish
  • 1 lemon, zested, for garnish

Method

  • Step 1

    Make the toasted breadcrumbs. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs and Panko and toast until golden brown. Add zest, cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.

  • Step 2

    Make the mac and cheese. Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Grease a 13 x 9-inch dish with butter.

  • Step 3

    Cook pasta in heavily salted water according to package directions. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Sweat onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook to a blonde roux, about 2 minutes. Gradually add milk while whisking constantly. Cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, cayenne, and nutmeg. Remove bechamel from heat and gradually add 3 cups Gruyère, cheddar, and Parmesan, mixing until cheese is fully melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Step 4

    Mix in cooked pasta and cooked lobster meat to bechamel. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining 1 cup Gruyère and toasted breadcrumbs. Turn oven to a high broil and broil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Top with fresh chives and serve immediately.