Lobster Mac & Cheese

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If you’ve been dreaming about a dish where the essence of fresh lobster is extracted, squeezed and concentrated into one delicious gratin, well… you can wake up now. I’m gonna show you how.

Let me clarify first that we are not talking about the abomination of folding lobster meat into mac and cheese here. We’re talking about using every part of the lobster to layer and accentuate its flavor in a spectacular lobster and macaroni gratin. We start by cooking our crustacean friends in a court-bouillon to impart the meat with flavor. Next we separate the heads and chop them up before browning them in a stockpot with aromatics and deglazing the pot with Cognac. Next we add cream to make a very delicious lobster broth. The pasta is cooked al dente and finished in the reduced lobster ‘cream’ along with chunks of lobster (and in this case, ramp greens), grated Comté cheese is sprinkled over the gratins and the whole thing goes under the broiler for a few minutes until it forms a nice bubbly crust on the top. Hungry yet?

Wait a few minutes to take the first bite and the rest of the story is pure bliss. I would much rather call it lobster butter than lobster mac & cheese. Except it doesn’t contain any butter. It surely feels like it though. Must be all that cream. And lobster. Am i talking to myself again?

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One more great thing about this dish is that it can be made and assembled ahead of time and simply broiled when your guests are seating down at the dinner table. Serve with a nice green salad and have a good time.

Enjoy!

  • Lobster Mac & Cheese Recipe

  • serves 6
    • For the lobster:
    • 3 lobsters, cooked in a court-bouillon
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1/2 cup cognac
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 8 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
    • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, tarragon and bay leaf tied together)
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • For the gratin:
    • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
    • lobster meat from 2 lobsters (above), cubed
    • ramp greens (optional)
    • Comté cheese, grated
  • lobster-mac-cheese-3
    • For the lobster broth and meat:
    • Separate the cooked lobster heads from the bodies, chop the lobster heads and cube the lobster meat and reserve.
    • In a deep stockpot, heat the olive oil over high heat and add the chopped lobster heads. Brown for a few minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic and keep cooking until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    • Deglaze with the Cognac and carefully set aflame with a match. When the flames die down, add the white wine and reduce. Add the tomato paste and the crushed whole peeled tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the bouquet garni and the heavy cream. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes at a very gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes.
    • At this point, if you have a hand held blender you can remove and discard the tough lobster part and blend the mixture until roughly blended before straining it through a chinois or strainer. If you don’t have a hand held blender, strain the mixture making sure to push hard on the solids to extract all the juices. You should obtain a lobster ‘cream’ more or less the same consistency as a cheese sauce. Reduce if too thin to concentrate the flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • For the gratin:
    • Cook the macaroni ‘al dente’ and add it to the lobster ‘cream’.
    • If using ramp greens or any other kind of greens, sautee them quickly in butter before adding the cubed lobster meat. Adjust seasoning and toss with the macaroni and lobster ‘cream’.
    • Scoop the mixture in individual gratin dishes or one large one. Sprinkle the Comte over the top in an even layer.
    • When ready to serve, broil for a few minutes until a nice crust has formed and bubbly on top. Serve with a mixed green salad.
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  • http://devourtheworld.blogspot.com jenjenk

    NOOOOOOO!!! WHY???!!! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME??!!!

    i think i just gained 5 pounds just by LOOKING at this.

  • Analog Girl

    Having this might just be a MUCH better idea than going out for Mothers Day!!!

  • http://www.lafujimama.com Fuji Mama

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. I just drooled on myself. Your site should come with a warning from the Surgeon General, I mean WOW. DEADLY.

  • http://www.noobcook.com noobcook

    omg what a luxurious mac and cheese! u are so brilliant hehe

  • http://www.my-easy-cooking.com nina

    First of all, I cannot get my hands on lobster right now and secondly, this is is taking Mac ‘n Cheese o Q2 level!!!Wow!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva@The Sugar Bar

    mmm wow. this looks like one great seaside, put your flip-flopped feet up and eat dish. I love lobster but can never find exciting ways to cook it except for in a herb and fruit salad. YUM!

  • http://www.dirtykitchensecrets.com bethany

    Yes this is pure luxury and I’m making this today!

  • http://www.refillchinasim.com/ china

    In my hometown, this season is the time to eat lobster.

  • http://myboyfriendcooksforme.blogspot.com my boyfriend cooks for me

    I *need* this!!!NOW!

  • http://www.chezus.com Chez Us

    OMG! I think I just exploded after reading this recipe – lobster, not one but three, cream and a lot of it. Definitely eye candy for the soul.

    I have been thinking of doing a lobster mac and cheese for a couple years now. YOU took it to another level – cognac deglazing.

  • http://www.donutstodelirium.com Heavenly Housewife

    What an incredible decadent spin on mac and cheese. Looks fab!

  • http://lemonsandanchovies.wordpress.com/ Jean

    I haven’t seen a dish here yet that I haven’t wanted to devour–this goes to the top of the list–until your next post. :-)

  • http://www.colloquialcooking.com Colloquial Cook

    Je sors ma ch’tite cuiller.

  • http://zested.wordpress.com liz@zested

    Way to take something decadent and make it officially absurd.

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    This is beyond decadent. And I want to savor every last bite. ;)

  • http://www.chewonthatblog.com Sophia

    This is really, really interesting. Intimidating though! It looks like you did a great job. I feel like this is something I’d see on the show, “Chopped.” What do you think about Spinach Mac & Cheese? Very comforting! http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/spinach_mac_cheese.htm

    Thanks for sharing this cool recipe!
    ~Sophia

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com vanillasugar

    sweet charlotte zenman. this is just over-the-top perfect. that lobster broth? i could just jump in there…

  • http://workout-then-cook.blogspot.com Cookie

    What a comforting yet gourmet meal!

  • http://www.mangiodasola.com Memoria

    I really don’t like lobster, but I had to stop by here because this dish is very beautiful. Lovely!

  • http://dinnersanddreams.net Dinners & Dreams

    This mac n cheese looks so so good. I’m getting hungry just looking at it!! Thank you.

    Nisrined

  • http://dokuzuncubulut.com dokuzuncubulut

    Very savory…

  • http://www.youtube.com/linnlar Linn @ Swedish home cooking

    That sounds like the way I want my mac and cheese. With lobster! Sounds super tasty.

  • http://www.chichoskitchen.blogspot.com Cherine

    This sounds so delicious!!

  • http://tomaytotomaaahto.blogspot.com Ruby

    OK, I want this for my birthday. Only problem is hubby can’t cook – how about a ‘Complete Idiot’s Guide to Lobster Mac & Cheese’ so he can make it for me? ;-) Oh and hey – congrats on having 2 posts in the Top 9 today!

  • http://morethanamountfull.blogspot.com/ Chef Dennis

    what a great recipe!! I have this at one of my favorite restaurants in Collingswood, and I always wanted to know how to make it!! thanks so much for sharing!
    Dennis

  • http://bunkycooks.com bunkycooks

    You’ve got to stop it with these recipes! I have got to lose some lbs. before Camp Blogaway and now I want to make this!!!!

  • http://www.elinluv.blogspot.com Elin

    Congrats once again…salivating over the keyboard just drooling at it !!!

  • http://ancientfirewineblog.blogspot.com/ Jason Phelps

    This has got to be one of the most evil recipes I have ever seen. I need this now!

    I wrote up some wine pairing suggestions with a link back to the this recipe in my own blog. http://ancientfirewineblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/pairing-with-lobster-mac-cheese.html

    I’ll be back to see how hungry more of your creations can make me!

    Jason

  • http://indonesia-eats.blogspot.com Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    Zen, this reminds me of Lynn Crawford’s show. Pitchin’ In. She was helping the lobster farmers and cooked lobster mac and cheese for their dinner. Looking soo good Zen!

  • http://www.cookincanuck.com Cookin’ Canuck

    Absolutely decadent and fabulous! This is mac & cheese on a whole new level.

  • http://www.tomatokumato.com emiglia

    You’re going to have to start putting a disclaimer at the top of your page saying that if you’re not currently in the New York region and available to run to Zen’s house, you shouldn’t read this post.

    Seriously. Why do you do these things to me?? :)

  • http://www.gratinee.wordpress.com Darina

    Fabulous! What a truly amazing dish.

  • http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog matt

    this is the finest version of lob-mac that I have seen. I love the depth of flavor that you are adding here, and the pure attention to detail to take this over the edge. Fantastic stuff mate

  • http://www.stirthepots.com Jeremy

    I used to laugh at mac and cheese, that is till I tried some while taking a bread class, scary, it was really good! Of course you have left the stratosphere by adding lobster, allez Chef!

  • http://www.bestasianfood.net Diana

    This looks delicious – absolutely fabulous.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Oh man, no blue box??? KIDDING! This is freakin’ amazing. All that’s missing is to make brioche using butter that has been steeped in lobster shells and turn it into bread crumbs! :P

  • http://www.norecipes.com Marc @ NoRecipes

    Dude, you’re on a roll! Love that you used common macaroni rather than some kinda fancy pasta like fusilli or something.

  • Sarah
  • http://www.ouichefnetwork.com Oui, Chef

    My mom will be in town for her birthday next week, and I think I just found the dish that I will serve her to celebrate the occasion. A labor of love, yes? Fabulous!

  • Ca4ole

    It is Food on Friday time at Carole’s Chatter.  This week it is all about cheese.  It would be great if you would link this post
    in to
    Food on Friday

  • Marc

    My question is do we include the guts (tamale) when browning the lobster heads?