My fishmonger sometimes has freshly cooked lobster meat that has been cleaned, and is ready to use. Other times, he has freshly steamed claws that are perfect for this sort of thing. Never use frozen lobster meat, or lobster meat packed in water – it will not be worth it.
Truffled Lobster Mac n’ Cheese – 4-6 side servings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb cavatappi noodles
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 ounces Gruyere, grated
6 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar, grated
1/4 teaspoon black truffle oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb freshly cooked lobster meat, bite size chunks
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, and add olive oil. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes is usually the perfect time for al dente pasta. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk and in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Turn off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper.
Heat black truffle oil, in a small sautepan, add lobster and cook, tossing for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked macaroni and lobster to cheese sauce and stir well. Place the mixture in 4-6 individual gratin dishes or one large dish.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top. Serve immediately.
Enjoy with steak, fish, chicken – whatever you would like! It’s the ultimate side dish to a rich dinner. Or if your John, just eat an entire bowl for dinner – with a glass of riesling.