Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lobster mac and cheese


For us the holiday season is all about special meals. Christmas Eve dinner was my project: lobster mac and cheese with a side of roasted baby bok choy.

Several years ago Denver restaurateur/chef Frank Bonanno won “Top Chef” on the Food Network. He sealed the deal on the final episode by trotting out his signature lobster mac and cheese. I subsequently found two recipes via Google, both attributed to him. To my dismay, they were quite different from one another. I made this 2 times before and was never quite satisfied. So this time around I just thought and thought about it and came up with a version that was exactly what Peter and I slavered over in our minds. It’s a little unorthodix (no béchamel), but unique unto itself.

I left the claw meat intact so that I could mount it on top of the finished dish (just for fun). We found some orecchiette pasta (“little ears”) at Sunflower Market. There were no instructions about how long to cook it. I tested it earlier in the day – 15 minutes to the perfect al dente (a long time, don’t you think?).
Mascarpone brought creamy texture to this party but not much flavor. That's where the smoked mozzarella came in, adding just the right touch of cheesiness without overwhelming the lobster flavor.
Here it is:

Lobster mac and cheese
1 lobster (about 1 ½ lbs.), steamed, cooled, and meat removed
½ cup white wine
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 large shallot, minced
pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
½ cup mascarpone cheese
1 more tbsp butter
1/3 cup smoked mozzarella, grated
6 oz. pasta, cooked in salty water

Place the wine, vinegar, shallot, pepper, 2 tbsp butter, and cream in a large sauté pan. Bring to a simmer and let it reduce by 1/3 to ½ . Stir in the mascarpone, mozzarella and additional butter. Add the lobster meat (except the claw meat).

Try to time the cooking of the pasta so that it’s ready to spider into the sauce right at this moment. Drop the lobster claw pieces into the pasta water to warm them. Stir everything together to coat with the sauce. Serve in heated bowls and top with a piece of claw meat.

5 comments:

Create. Snap. Eat. said...

What was your impression of the flavor this time? This sounds yum-yum.

StephenC said...

Guess I didn't say, but the addition of just a little smoked mozzarella gave a background of cheese which was subtle but effective.

Jenn said...

Oh Stephen....I could have this for my very last meal... YUM!!!

Chris said...

I won't ever get to make this because my wife is allergic, sadly. This looks so delicious with it's creamy marscapone. I like the claw on top, nice presentation.

Create. Snap. Eat. said...

Hum -- smoked mozzarella. Sounds delicious! Love your creativity here.

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