A few years ago, I went in search of a knock-your-socks-off Mac and Cheese recipe. I searched high and low, had many trial and errors…and ended up with this very rich “once in a blue moon” kind of dish. It is delicious, but it is decadent. It’s a definite hit with anyone who tries it…but a little extra yoga/gym time may be in order afterward! I used to make this about once a year for visiting friends back when I lived in Los Angeles, because they absolutely BEGGED for it.
Since then, my sister has begged me to make it for her, which turned into my little brother wanting it when he came to visit, which then in turn made my Dad curious about it. My Mom would probably only have a few bites of something this rich, it’s simply not her style. So, we waited until my Mom was out of town…and I told my sister and her boyfriend to come over and have some with my brother, his girlfriend, and my Dad. It turned into a little bit of a “throwdown” between my sister’s boyfriend and I…to which he reluctantly admitted defeat. My mac & cheese was clearly the winner!
Fast forward to this week: my Mom is out of town visiting a friend…and my Dad has once again requested Lobster and Bacon Mac & Cheese. I made it with a light arugula salad, and it was delightful. Make it for your family, make it for your partner, or even make it for Dad as a very special once-in-that-blue-moon treat. Bon appetit!
Lobster and Bacon Mac & Cheese:
1 Tbs. – Kosher Salt, plus more for the pasta water (I actually like to cook my pasta with a bit of Seafood Stock to add to the flavor…but it’s not necessary!)
1 Lbs. – Elbow Macaroni
6 Tbs. – Unsalted Butter
6 Tbs. – All Purpose Flour
3 C. – Cold Milk
1 C. – Heavy Cream
1 1/2 Lbs. – mild and sharp cheddar cheeses (Kraft actually makes an AWESOME Triple Cheddar Blend)
a few ounces of grated Gruyere
½ Lbs. – Diced Cooked Bacon
5-6 medium size lobster tails (I always try to snag them when they’re on sale for $4 a piece at my local market to cut cost down)
1 Tbs. – Fresh Cracked Pepper
a dash or two of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Preheat your oven to 375.
Split your lobster tails length-wise, and cut along side-edges to remove all cartilage covering tail-meat. Arrange on a tin-foil covered baking sheet, brush tails with a bit of melted butter and bake for about 20 minute or until the meat has become white and firm. Take them out of the oven and set them aside to cool.
While your lobster is in the oven: Dice up your bacon, and cook it up so that it’s easily crumble-able later on. Set it on a plate with paper towels, and let that cool as well.
Now it’s time to get your water boiling for the pasta, and cook according to directions on the box. It should take about 10 or 12 minutes to finish cooking. Once it’s done, drain and set aside.
In the meantime…melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook, whisking to make a roux for about 2 minutes.
Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Reduce the heat to low, cook and stir until thick. Add the cream, cheeses, 1 tsp hot sauce, 1 tbs. salt & pepper, stir on medium heat until the cheese is fully melted. Then add your crumbled bacon to the sauce.
Go ahead and remove your lobster tails from their shells, and dice them up into small chunks. Add that to your sauce as well.
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce in a large bowl and mix well. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish or individual serving dishes and sprinkle a light dusting of cheese on top to give it that crispy crust. Bake at 375 until hot and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
I like to serve this with a light salad, being such a rich dish. Enjoy, and be sure to get that extra mile in the next morning! You will have earned it. 😉