Red Hook Lobster Pound's Lobster Mac 'N Cheese Recipe

Red Hook Lobster Pound's Lobster Mac 'N Cheese Recipe
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

As far as food or drink-related holiday traditions with family and friends, I would have to say that lobster mac and cheese is one of our favorites. I have been making this for several years and it is a huge hit with even the non-lobster loving kids. It is not an easy process, but not too difficult. I have worked on several recopies, my favorite is below. — Susan Povich, Red Hook Lobster Pound

Click here for other chefs' holiday culinary traditions.

Ingredients

For quick lobster stock:

  • 2 leeks
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Five 1½ pound lobsters

For the cheese sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus 2 more for later
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1¼ cup reserved reduced lobster stock (above)
  • One 14-ounce package of elbow macaroni
  • 6 ounces grated Gruyère
  • 3 ounces grated mild Cheddar
  • 10 ounces grated Asiago
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

Directions

For quick lobster stock:

In a large pot bring four inches of water to a rolling boil. Add all stock ingredients above except for the lobster. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the five lobsters, cover, and keep at a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Remove the lobsters and let them rest — drain in a container that can catch their juices. (You can crack the lobsters now if you want to encourage more juice to be released.) 

Add their juices to the broth. Then strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and replace in the pot. Reduce until there is about six cups of liquid.

For the cheese sauce:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter, sieve in flour and cook on low heat for one minute. Heat milk and stock, add it slowly to the butter and flour, then cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring until it's thick. Meanwhile, boil noodles in remaining stock (add a bit of water if necessary) for 3 minutes (until half cooked). When the cheese sauce is thick enough so that it coats a spoon, add the grated Gruyère, Chedder, Asiago and mascarpone, and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let rest.

Meanwhile, pick the meat from the lobsters (tail, claw, knuckle, bodies if you are so inclined), rinse off the tamales. Clean and chop the tails in ¾-inch pieces. Do not chop the claws. Drain the noodles, mix in cheese sauce and lobster, and check the seasoning. Spray a 9-by-14-inch gratin pan (I use whatever pan fills nicely to the top) with PAM, pour in noodle mixture. Try to spread the lobster evenly in the pan. Set aside.

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add panko crumbs, lemon zest, chopped thyme and cook for a few minutes on medium heat while stirring to bring out flavor. Spread the mixture evenly over the mac and cheese mixture. Cook at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and serve.

Lobster Shopping Tip

Seafood shopping is quite easy in the general sense. Rule of thumb: if it smells fishy, don't buy. Fresh seafood should smell mild and more like the ocean and sea water rather than fish.

Lobster Cooking Tip

Looking for a quick mid-week dinner? Seafood is a safe bet. It's quick to cook and simple recipes can get dinner on the table in 20 minutes.