Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Johnny C's Lobster Mac and Cheese

1 llb. Mezzi Rigatoni
3/4 lb Yellow American Cheese (Land O Lakes or Black Bear)
2 1/2 tbsp. Whole Milk
1 stick Land O Lakes butter
3 whole Lobsters (steamed)
1 tbsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It is always flattering when you make something and people ask you to make it over and over again.  I learned this version of Macaroni and Cheese from my mother.  Being a stubborn child, I refused to follow the directions on the Kraft Mac and Cheese boxes.  Instead, I went 'rogue' and always failed at making an even remotely edible mac and cheese.  Prideful, I was always just as happy with my failures as I was with my succcesses.  And then: Eureeka!  The best Mac and Cheese in the world, to which I added my most favorite ingredient in the world: Lobster!  It is super-creamy and delicious and will be gone before you know it!

First, start with your boiling salted-water for the pasta.  While the water is boiling, take your 3 steamed Lobsters and remove the meat from the tail, claws and knuckles and set aside in a bowl.  Usually, the grocery store will steam the Lobster for you when you buy them, which is a great help!
Next, break up the cheese and butter and place in a medium-sized pot.  Add the milk as well.  I usually like to make sure the bottom of the pot is greased with a little butter and the milk.  I also want to make sure there are butter chunks between the chunks of cheese.  I find it makes the sauce richer and creamier.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 17 minutes.  I like the pasta very soft and well cooked for the dish so it takes the sauce incredibly well.  When you have about 10 minutes remaining on your pasta, turn the pot of cheese on a low-to-medium flame.  Be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning the cheese or the pot, and to ensure everything is melting properly.

Drain pasta and combine cheese sauce and stir thoroughly.  Let sit for 3 minutes.
In a medium pan, heat the EVOO.  Toss the Lobster meat with the cayenne and quick-cook the Lobster for two minutes so the flavors infuse.  (Since the Lobster is already cooked, this is to just get some flavor into it.)  After two minutes, remove, combine with pasta and serve!


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