Friday, December 26, 2008

Lobster Mac and Cheese

The chef, Frank Bonanno, won a “Top Chef” contest on Food Network by trotting out his signature dish at Mizuna, his restaurant here in Denver. I found two versions of his recipe on-line, neither of which quite did the trick. So I did what I do best, I fixed it.

Lobsters are currently very cheap, $7.89 per pound at our favorite Chinese supermarket, Pacific Ocean Market in the Alameda Square shopping center.

We’re going to indulge and have steamed lobsters for New Years Eve and another lobster dish on our 28th anniversary, Jan. 3, 2009.

Just for the record, the diminutive portion you get at Mizuna goes for $18. Our home portions were about 3 times larger and, while not exactly the same, very, very good.

Lobster Mac and Cheese
1 lobster, about 1 ½ lbs.
7 oz. whole wheat rotini or other pasta
3/4 cup mascarpone
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 large shallots, sliced thin
1 bay leaf
¼ cup white wine
1 stick butter, 8 oz.
1tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper to taste

Steam the lobster for 10 minutes which will nearly, but not quite, cook it through. Drop it into a sinkful of cold water until cool enough to handle. Remove the claw and tail meat. Boil the lobster shells and the body of the lobster in enough water to cover for about an hour. Remove the shells, strain the liquid, and reduce it by 1/3. Refrigerate and save for shrimp risotto (coming to this space very soon).

Heat a pot of water and a generous bit of salt and cook the pasta according to package directions, stopping just short of its being completely cooked al dente.

Heat the oil in a big sauté pan and melt the butter into it. Add the shallots and the bay leaf and cook over medium heat until softened but not colored. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, mix the mascarpone, cream, and white wine in a bowl. Add to the sauté pan. Bring to a simmer a cook until it begins to thicken slightly.

Remove the bay leaf and add in the lobster. When the lobster is heated through, add the pasta and toss. Continue heating for 2-4 minutes.

Serve in hot bowls.

For a free excerpt of my book, “A Year of Food,” in which I opine, report, cook, muse and philosophize about everything that passed my lips for an entire year, write to me at:

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