*update – the contest is now closed. Congrats to Laura for winning the mixer and thanks to everyone else for entering! *
Everyone say it with me now – Lob-stAH.
That’s right, if you don’t don’t say it correctly, you don’t get the recipe or the giveaway.
Awww. . . I’m just teasing you, but if I ever meet you in person, that is the only acceptable way to say lobster, oh umm. . I mean lob-stah.
The occasion for the lobstah mac?
It was my entry into the Brooklyn Mac and Cheese takedown held this past Sunday at The Bell House.
I figured, I tackled cookies – let’s see if I can tackle massive amounts of mac and cheese.
And I’m talking massive, like 8+ pounds of cheese purchased massive.
Lobstah mac has been my signature, special occasion version of mac and cheese for some time now. However, I always did it with a cheddar and gouda blend. This time, I knew I needed to kick things up but also wanted a cheese sauce that wouldn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the lobstah.
So I thought, decadent and awesome but not so overpowering – what else but fondue?
Gruyere is the prominent cheese, but I was looking for an additional flavor and also something that melted nicely without turning oily.
Say hello to my friend raclette cheese. Raclette is very popular in France and Switzerland – it can be found in large half wheels melted and scraped onto your plate, served with potatoes, charcuterie and cornichons. It melts beautifully and has a nice mild taste that paired perfectly with the gruyere and lobstah.
I purchased my raclette cheese at Trader Joe’s, so I suggest looking there first. It was sold in slices, which is fine, the cheese melts easily enough that it doesn’t need to be shredded.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any glamour shots of the cooking process. Cooking mac and cheese for over 200 people doesn’t really give you the opportunity to take photos along the way. I managed to take a few at the event, but lucky for me my good friend and extremely talented photographer Ki was at the takedown. She snapped a bunch of shots for me, so any watermarked with her web address are her handy work – do me a favor though, visit her site. What she does with a camera is incredible, you won’t be disappointed trust me.
Plus, she’s the only person I know who has managed to photograph me laughing and not have me think I look ridiculous in the picture. p.s. Yes, that is a pug on my necklace.
Recipe:1 loaf french bread 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 box cavatappi pasta 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 tablespoons all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder 4 cups whole milk 1/4 cup heavy cream 12 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded 8 ounces raclette cheese, cubed (if purchased in slices) 1.5 ounces parmigiano reggiano, grated 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg a few turns of freshly grated black pepper 1 1/2 pound lobster, meat removed and chopped 2 ounces al tartufo cheese (cheese with truffles), grated
For the croutons: Using your food processor, pulse the bread multiple times until it is formed into half breadcrumbs, half crouton pieces. Lay flat on a baking sheet and pour the melted butter onto the bread, trying to coat as evenly as possible. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta for 11 minutes, or just slightly underdone. Drain, but do not rinse and set aside.
While the breadcrumbs and pasta are cooking in a medium-sized pot, melt the butter on medium heat. When it is mostly melted add the flour and stir constantly with a whisk, at this time also add the mustard powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the taste of raw flour. If the roux starts to darken, lower the heat – we are looking for a golden hued roux.
After the roux has cooked, slowly pour in half the milk, while continuing to whisk. Once the roux is fully combined and there are no lumps, add in the remaining milk (always still whisking) and the cream. Whisking every 30 seconds or so, cook for 7-10 minutes until the béchamel sauce is thick and it coats the back of a wooden spoon. It is very important that you not let the milk come to a boil, if the milk is too hot the sauce might break. At any time you see it starting to simmer, lower the temperature. The best test is to run your finger across the coated spoon, if the line you made stays, the béchamel is done. Towards the end of the cooking process (around the 6 minute mark) add the cayenne, nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
Remove the béchamel from the heat source and begin to whisk in the cheeses a little at a time. The heat from the sauce is enough to melt everything. It also helps to keep the cheese out after you grated it, room temperature cheese will melt faster. Once all the cheese is whisked in and completely melted, mix in the chopped lobstah and then the cooked pasta.
Pour everything into a 3 quart baking dish and top with the croutons. Finally, finish with a sprinkling of the al tartufo cheese on top. I also like to add a little more melted butter before I add the al tartfuo.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned and the rest has just set.
Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
Oh yeah! That giveaway I mentioned – well if you’ve read this far then you get to find out what it is 🙂
You might be wondering how I fared in this entire competition – I won third place judges choice! We won a bunch of awesome prizes and I am giving one of them to you!
I am giveaway a Cuisinart Power Advantage 9-Speed Hand Mixer with Storage Case to 1 lucky reader!
To win this, all I want from you is to tell me your favorite version of mac and cheese. There are three ways to do so.
1) leave a comment on this post
2) “like” my facebook page and leave a comment there
3) follow me on twitter and tweet me your favorite mac and cheese
I will then randomly choose one person out of that bunch. You can enter all three ways to triple your chances, the same answer is fine on each!
I will leave this open until Sunday, February 5 11:59 EST – super bowl sunday. The one day where the most amount of people around this country are probably eating mac and cheese!
I love the classic Beecher’s recipe. I’ve seen it in many magazines and TV shows. It’s on my Super Bowl menu : )
Love lobstah. Love mac and cheese. And nothing could be finer than putting them all together. Great dish.
Well my favorite mac and cheese has to be my grandmothers recipe. When I used to visit her we always had the same yummy menu. Stuffed mushrooms, cheese puffs, roast beef and her mac and cheese. I was always so excited to go there and eat these delicacies I never really ate at home.
It was soft and delicate with a sharp cheddar taste that was not overpowering. It was not gloopy but slightly creamy. But I always loved the top. She would take crackers, butter and cheese I guess….unfortunately her exact recipe died with her….but the top was crusty, buttery and cheesy and I loved mixing it into the rest of the pasta and cheese.
It was comfort food at its finest…..It may not have had fancy cheddar’s or lobstah but it had grandmas touch of love, which made it the most delicious mac and cheese ever!
I like it with extra sharp cheddar.
Seriously, my new favorite Mac and Cheese would be this recipe, hands down. I’m really not sucking up, although truth be told I would really dig the prize. It’s just that I grew up in NY and accidentally lived in CT for 13 years before moving to Calif and now Colorado. I love it here and I loved the Bay Area, but as I am sure you know, they don’t have real lob-stah on the West Coast. The combo of your cheeses sounds so lush and decadent, I like the hint of mustard and those croutons…well, it sure does sound like heaven to me.
Hey listen, if I don’t win the prize, there must be leftovers. How about you FedEx me a doggy bag as a consolation prize?
I love mac and cheese but I don’t get to eat it as often anymore. My favorite way to have it is with really crisp bacon mixed.
I love the combination of a decadent food like lobstah with a mid-week supper like Mac n Cheese. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Wow! This Lobstah Mac & Cheese looks amazing! I love the tartufo cheese on top, one of my favs. I need to get on making this dish asap!
Ahem! I need a serving of your mac’n cheese!! Yuuuumm/
I like you on facebook (Kerstin Wolff)
And I follow you on twitter (kirikiri1)
Congratulations, Susan!! My favorite was YOURS 🙂
Oh wow, this sounds fantastic! Unfortunately not something I will ever be able to afford lol, but I can at least make the delicious sounding mac and cheese without the lobster.
As for my favorite mac and cheese, I make a french onion soup one that I totally adore.
I follow you on facebook 🙂
And I now follow you on twitter 🙂 and tweeted you my favorite mac and cheese (JanetFCTC)
That’s a whole lot of mac ‘n cheese going on. I’d come for the lobster and stay for the truffled cheese.
I Love my moms recipe- but yours looks pretty tasty too. My moms has a mixture of cheeses, but she puts some sharp cheese on the top with the breadcrumbs at the end and it is sooooo good. Now I am craving it!!
I think I will try your recipe, it sounds really good. My favorite is my friends recipe. She puts this thick crunchy crust on the top of the noodles, it is amazing..
ohh my gosh that lobster mac and cheese sounds delicious. I like my mac and cheese with ham and onions and sharp cheddar 🙂
left a comment on your fb page!
My sister makes the best mac and cheese-she uses 3 cheeses thanks
like u on fb Julie A Scott Laws left comment
YUM! Lobstah mac is my favorite kind! My friend makes it and it’s pure heaven! This looks delish!
Bacon…my favorite mac and cheese must have crispy bacon pieces in it and on top. Bacon and lobstah would be make some beautiful music together.
Pingback: Reuben Macaroni and Cheese. The Takedown. | ugly food tastes better.
I’m still searching for my favorite mac and cheese recipe, but this one comes real close (and it’s yummy!):http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pauls-crafty-mac-n-cheese-with-pancetta-recipe/index.html
I liked your FB page and left a comment there http://www.facebook.com/girlinthelittleredkitchen/posts/360421393969960
I’m following you on twitter and tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/rusthawk/status/166288235344035840
My kingdom for a FedEx box with some of that Lobstah Fondue Mac & Cheese!
This sounds insanely good!!!