Warm Comfort – Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

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Anyone that lives in the DC metro area will tell you, our weather is pretty freaking nuts.

How a meteorologist even attempts to predict the temperature or the chance of precipitation around here is beyond me.

I type this all as I sit bundled under mounds of blankets because the area and most of the country are under what the media has so humorously dubbed a “polar vortex.”

Even more comedic to me is the fact that there are some Virginia counties that actually have canceled school because it is too cold.

?!?

Last I checked, kids were transported to school in big yellow school buses and able to sit inside a warm classroom to learn, rather than freeze outside.

Granted I grew up in New England, where the near thought of it being too cold for school was unheard of, but honestly they are INSIDE.

Now I know that the start of the new year means everyone is on their resolution kick, and generally I would be looking to post a healthier recipe at this time of year.

But, the cold weather has me yearning for something warm and comforting, and lets be honest, no one ever sticks fully to their resolutions.

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Look up comfort in the dictionary and there should be a picture of macaroni and cheese. What can possibly be better than a piping hot bowl of cheesy pasta and the variety of recipes one can come up with makes it even more exciting.

For this recipe, you take your average macaroni and cheese and kick it up a notch with a combination of sharp cheddar, gruyere cheese and decadent lobster.

Mouths will be watering.

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, recipe from Coastal Living

  • 1 pound of cavatappi pasta
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyčre cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster meat
  • 2 cups oyster crackers, crushed

Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft.

Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute. Pour in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently to incorporate the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thickened (you will notice when it is trust me).

Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the cheeses, dijon mustard, chives and cayenne pepper. Add in the salt and pepper and give it another good stir.  Stir in 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.

Add the pasta and cooked lobster to the cheesy mixture, folding it all in.  Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish.

For the topping, combine crushed crackers, remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole and bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until crust is crisp and sauce bubbles. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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