Monday, January 26, 2009

Lee Anne Wong's Lobster Mac & Cheese Recipe

Earlier this week, our own Chef Lee Anne Wong taught Dinner for Two, a hands-on Recreational Division class at The International Culinary Center for those amateur cooks seeking to fancy up comfort food dishes to share at home with that special someone.

Sandwiched between an elegant Roasted Beet Salad and a Winter Fruit Shortcake was one of our favorite Lee Anne Wong dishes, Lobster Mac and Cheese. Check out her recipe below.

Lee Anne Wong’s Lobster Mac and Cheese

Serves 2 as entrée, 4 as side dish

1-1½ Pound Lobster
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Flour
2 Tablespoons White Wine
1 Tablespoon Brandy
1½ cups Whole Milk
½ cup Heavy Cream
¾ cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
¾ cup Fontina Cheese, grated
¾ cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Black Pepper
½ Pound Shell Pasta
2 Tablespoon Chives, minced
1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 Tablespoon Butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil and drop the lobster in headfirst. Once the water has come back up to a boil, cook the lobster for 3 minutes, removing from the pot and dropping into an ice bath afterwards to stop the cooking.

2. Carefully remove the tail, claw, and knuckle meat from the lobster carcass, discarding the shells. Chop the lobster meat into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, make a Béchamel sauce. Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir until the mixture begins to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the nutmeg, cayenne and mustard. Add wine and brandy, followed by the milk and cream, stirring constantly to eliminate lumps. Simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, combine the four cheeses, mixing well. Set aside ¾ cup of cheese. Add the remaining cheese to the Béchamel sauce, stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender but firm to the bite. Drain the pasta from the water and toss with the cheese sauce in the cooking pot. Fold in the lobster and minced chives.

6. Toast the Panko crumbs lightly in a pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the Mac and Cheese between four ramekins or two shallow casserole dishes. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese and then top with the toasted breadcrumbs and bake in the oven until golden and the tops begin to bubble, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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