It’s a fact that broiled Florida lobster, with a pat of butter, salt, pepper and lemon is as good as it gets. Most folks enjoy lobster in the simplest form savoring its sweet, succulent flavor.
But recently my husband and I went to the Florida Keys, and planned a day of diving for lobster. We were fortunate to have a good day and caught our limit (6 per person). So after a few meals of delicious Florida lobster, I decided to try this new recipe to use the remaining catch.
I also love the idea of an upscale meal that is “down home” and comfy. And that’s exactly what Authentic Florida Lobster Mac & Cheese is.
1 & ½ pounds of cooked Florida lobster – cut in bite sized chunks
1 pound of elbow macaroni
1 quart of whole milk
1 stick of unsalted butter (6 tablespoons for mixture, 2 for the breadcrumbs)
½ cup of all-purpose flour
12 ounces of Gruyere cheese (4 cups)
8 ounces of extra-sharp cheddar (2 cups)
1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs (5 slices)
1 large tomato (or 2 medium tomatoes)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large pot, boil water. Add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of oil. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to directions (or 6-8 minutes). Drain in a colander when done.
Next, at low heat, warm the milk (1 quart) in a medium pan, but don’t boil it.
In another large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously with a whisk. It will quickly thicken.
Still whisking, add milk a cup at a time, allowing the sauce to thicken while you continually stir. You’ll know its thick enough when it coats the back of a large spoon.
Move the sauce off the heat and add all the cheese – Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg.
Place the cooked macaroni and lobster in the cheesy sauce and stir.
Place in a large casserole dish or 6-8 individual gratin dishes.
Take the bread slices and either put in a Cusinart and pulse to create small breadcrumbs, or cut the small pieces by hand.
Next, in a frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon of salt & pepper, and lightly brown the mixture.
Then pour the breadcrumbs over the mac & cheese mixture.
Slice the tomato in 1/4 inch slices. Place the tomatoes on top of the breadcrumb topping. Brush with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Bake 30-35 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and topping slightly browned on top.
Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Lobster Macaroni & Cheese.