Lobster Mac & Cheese

4 September, 2013

Right well, what can I say about this other than you need this recipe in your life, trust me you do.

Two things before we go any further… 1) My photography skills are clearly still not the best but hey I’m over it and I’m sure you are too. 2) This recipe isn’t the healthiest, I’m over that too and no I don’t eat like this everyday, think of this as a special treat dish. To be honest I hate that I even have to write that it’s just there will always be certain individuals who will comment on how I need to post more healthy dishes and ask, is this how I always eat? My theory is you all know how to make a salad, roast a chicken or cook a piece of salmon right? Course you do! Plus what would life be without cheese and pasta and lobster and cream!! Ok moving on! :)

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Now at first I was just going to add lobster to a standard mac & cheese simples… That was until I saw THIS RECIPE. This woman takes Lobster mac & cheese to a completely different level, just have a read of her bio she’s cooked for JFK junior for christ sake! After I saw her blog post normal lobster mac & cheese ( stirring lobster bits into a cheese sauce then mixing it in with your al dente macaroni) seemed like an embarrassment; I mean she calls it an abomination. This woman is clearly my mac and cheese spirit animal.
No, no, no I knew what I had to do and I was ready no matter how hard the task to face the consequences. This way was the only way.
Yes the recipe is alot more intimidating, yes it includes fancy cooking instructions such as, start by cooking our crustacean friends in a court-bouillon.” and yes you all couldn’t give a flying fuck about my little intro here you just wanna know how to make this so let’s just get on with it because oh baby it is worth it.

Ok so first thing first lets start with what you’ll need….

I have to hold my hands up here and say I didn’t use fresh lobster in my own version of her recipe so yep I know, already it’s not going to be as spectacular as her dish but it’s close trust me.

If you are using fresh lobster ( get you!) The first thing you will need to do it boil your raw, live (eek!) lobster in a basic Court bouillon  stock which is simple enough to make just follow any recipe on the web such as this one. The lobster should take 12 to 20 minutes to boil depending on the size so make sure you ask your fishmonger how long yours will take.

Once your lobster has been cooked set it aside to cool then chop off it’s head as you will need this later for stock and then begin to remove the meat from the tail and claws

Ingredients

  • serves 6
    • For the lobster:
    • 2 lobsters, cooked in a court-bouillon (Or 2 frozen ones like mine *ahem*)
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1/2 cup cognac
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 8 ounces whole peeled tomatoes ( I couldn’t be bothered to peel mine, I know! I’m sorry!)
    • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, tarragon and bay leaf tied together)
    • 3 cups double cream
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • For the gratin:
    • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
    • lobster meat from 2 lobsters (above), cubed
    • ramp greens (optional)
    • Comté cheese, grated
    • Gruyere cheese, grated

Method

Where are all my lazy people at? Or perhaps people who are just too scared to cook a live, raw lobster in boiling water? I feel you, thats why frozen already cooked lobster is great and at £5.00 a lobster it’s a complete bargain too!

I bought mine from Bilingsgate Fish Market but apparently you can also pick them up in the freezer section of your local Aldi supermarket if you have one close by…

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Just snip them open and leave them in your sink to defrost for about 5 hours or  put them in cold water and they should take about an hour and a half to defrost

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Hey friends!

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Once defrosted cut them open with a sharp knife along the back and begin to scoop out all the meat.

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Mess!

Oh and yes those pliers are from the Ikea tool kit they worked perfectly with helping me remove the meat from the claws. Multi tasking what…?

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Random, pointless picture of lobster meat taken up close which every blogger needs to do.

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Now those lobster heads. Scoop out everything you can from inside  the heads. Then in a deep stock pot piping hot with olive oil throw in the lobster head meat and brown for afew minutes.

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Then add your chopped garlic, carrots, onions and celery and keep cooking for a further five minutes or so..

 

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Next pour in your 1/2 cup of courvoisier and deglaze…

If you thought of this classic song when I mentioned courvoisier then you and I should clearly be friends.

Then with a match which is not at all as scary as it sounds set it aflame  and then wait for it to die down. Oh and yes worst pictue below ever I know, but I just wanted to document my flambe skills

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Next add your white wine and reduce

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Then add your tomato paste and the crushed, peeled tomatoes ( Ok yes mine aren’t crushed or peeled but we don’t really care do we???)

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Finally add your bouquet garni and your double cream season with salt and pepper then bring this all to the boil then leave to simmer for 20 minutes…

Meanwhile you can be cooking your macaroni which should take about 7 minutes or so, remember you don’t want to over cook it it needs to be al dente.

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Once it’s been simmering nicely for 20 minutes blitz it all as much as you can with a hand blender

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Then strain it through a sieve making sure you press down on all the solids to extract all its juices. You should be left with a lobster cream which is the same consistency as a cheese sauce.

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Next add your lobster sauce and lobster meat to your al dente pasta amd mix in a good handful of your cheeses too.

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Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and sprinkle with some more black pepper then pop under the grill for 15 minutes

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Voila creamy, tasty, cheesy deliciousness! I’m telling you right now you will never plonk lobster meat into a bog standard cheese sauce again! This way is the only way Zen I take my hat off to you.

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So if the hankering ever occurs for the wondeful combination of lobster, cream, cheese and pasta you need to make Zencancooks Lobster Mac & Cheese  your go to recipe of  life!

 

B xx

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