Lobster Mac and Cheese

Had an email from a listener who said she ate the best Lobster Mac and Cheese the other evening at a local restaurant.   She wanted help with the recipe so I got an order "to-go" and we devoured it in 5 minutes.   Here is my version, which is just a delicious!

Lobster Mac and Cheese
1 lb Penne Pasta2 lobster tails, meat removed and cut into small pieces (for more affordable version substitute crab or mock crab meat, as pictured)12 T butter, divided into 4 T and 8 T1/2 C. flour1 quart whole milk8 oz white cheddar, shredded8 oz Fontina, shredded8 oz Gruyere, shredded1 T Dijon mustard 1 t fresh nutmegsalt and white pepper to tasteDirections:   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large pot filled with water, add a handful of salt and bring to a boil for the pasta.   In a separate saute pan, add the 4 T butter and lobster meat and cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until opaque in color.   When cooked, set aside.   NOTE: if you are using crab or mock crab as a more affordable substitute, still saute in butter as you would the lobster for a beautiful flavor).

 Fresh Lobster Tails 

 Canned crab or imitation crab

All 3 versions after being sauted in butter, set aside.

In a large saute pan, melt 8 T butter, add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture browns and develops a nutty smell.  This is the roux!   Slowly stir in the milk and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat and simmer for 3 additional minutes.

Browning the butter and flour mixture or "roux".

The pasta water should be at a roaring boil.   Add the penne.

Once the white sauce has simmered for 3 minutes, slowly add the three cheeses, a handful at a time and whisk until fully incorporated.   Add the Dijon and nutmeg and stir well.

Making the Mornay, or Cheese Sauce.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain.   In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cheese sauce and lobster meat.   Stir well and salt and pepper to taste if needed.   Place mac and cheese into a baking dish, whether individual or larger, and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.

Three versions: lobster, crab and imitation crab.

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