Friday, November 17, 2017

Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe Re-post

I first posted this recipe in 2012.  We had it for my birthday dinner that year, which up until this year I usually cooked at home.  It really is too heavy for a side with any large meal, so I made it as the main course with a vegetable.  Here is the recipe with a few updates to the original post.

Lobster mac and cheese.  Ooo-ey gooey deliciousness.  And we ate almost the whole tray full.
It was a simple meal.  Lobster macaroni and cheese and baked acorn squash.  There were only four of us eating.  

I have always made this as a side dish, never as a meal by itself.  Wow.  Just concentrating on the flavors in the dish was a treat in itself.  No turkey, ham, chicken, whatever, to get in the way.

For those of you so inclined, here is my recipe.  I made one tweak when I could not find the lobster pieces I used to purchase.  I bought Lobster Classic and we all thought it was great.  

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

 8 ounces penne or other tube-shaped pasta
½ tsp salt
4 cups milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 Tbsp flour 
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
5.2 ounces garlic and herb Boursin cheese
1 lb cooked lobster meat, chopped 

 Preheat oven to 350.  Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and cook pasta @ a rolling boil until almost tender.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Set aside in a large bowl.
Bring the milk to just a boil in a heavy bottom saucepan.  While the milk is heating, melt the butter in another pan, whisk in the flour with wooden spoon.  Continue whisking for three minutes over low heat.  Do not brown.  Remove from heat.
Add the hot milk to the flour and butter mixture and whisk thoroughly.  It should be smooth.  Remove from heat and add seasonings and Boursin cheese and keep whisking until the mixture thickens (place on low heat if necessary).  It should coat the back of a spoon.
Pour over the pasta, stir in the lobster meat and toss to coat completely.
Grease a 13x9 baking dish and fill it evenly with the pasta and sauce.  Sprinkle the grated gruyere evenly over the pasta; add a dash of salt and pepper.  Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
Bread Crumb Hat.  Mix 1 cup Panko bread crumbs with 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 4 Tbsp melted butter.  Top casserole 5 minutes before end of baking time to allow bread crumb hat to become golden brown.
Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to set.  Serve.
Dish can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated before baking, but it will take longer to cook in the oven depending on how cold it has gotten.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Thanksgiving Feast in Production

I started planning my Thanksgiving dinner several weeks ago.   It is still a work in progress.  Every year I try to do things just a little simpler - no stuffing the turkey breast with fruits or sausage or whatever, mashed potatoes from a package.  I look for recipes that I can prepare ahead and then throw in the oven to cook - sweet potato casserole.  I try to add something new - the roasted beet salad.  And everyone wants to know what is for dessert.  I have never made a plain pumpkin pie.  

Yesterday I made the cranberry chutney.  It has so much bourbon in it it will keep for weeks, lol.  I would love to do fancy appetizers, but I think I will assemble a dozen for the platter and then let everyone else assemble their own.  I would gladly throw the turkey in the slow cooker, but my boys like the skin so I'll do it in the oven the same way we had it last month.  I am only making a half recipe of dressing since I always have too much left over - and then I proceed to eat it all.  The Brussels sprouts are a favorite, but I am not doing the carrots everyone likes, maybe for Christmas (yes, I have a draft of that menu too). 

I have a layer of chocolate chiffon cake in the freezer and I am going to try a simpler pumpkin mousse made with Cool Whip.  Call me lazy, but the dessert will be so rich and everyone will be so stuffed (no pun intended) that I doubt they will notice.  Especially if I top the dessert with my Chantilly cream.  The pecan pie brownies will be a new item and I hope they work out.  Here is the menu:

Smoked salmon, cheese, and cucumber bites (I'm thinking a cucumber slice instead of the bread.  And I am not making my own pickled salmon, I'm buying it)
Roast turkey breast and gravy
Chestnut dressing
Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping
Mashed potatoes
Roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and scallions
Roasted beet and goat cheese salad
Brandied cranberry chutney

Pumpkin mousse and chocolate chiffon trifle
Pecan pie brownies

Oh, I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

Saturday, November 11, 2017