Friday, February 3, 2017

Gourmet Lobster Mac & Cheese with Truffle Oil

Fresh plump lobster and intensely fragrant truffle oil elevate one of the ultimate comfort foods to a whole new culinary level. Sinfully rich and outrageously delicious, this Gourmet Lobster Mac & Cheese with Truffle Oil is elevated to another level of decadent luxury with four types of cheese: Gruyère, Fontina, White Cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and also using homemade elbow macaroni. This simple but sensational recipe starts with a rich béchamel sauce enhanced with heavy cream, followed by grated Gruyère, Fontina and White Cheddar and whisked until smooth. Tender chunks of crimson coloured lobster is then folded into the sauce with a few teaspoons of truffle oil, then folded with the pre-cooked macaroni. Baked at 375°F for 30 minutes until it's aromatic and bubbly, the dish is finally topped with a seasoned butter-based Panko, Truffle oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano breadcrumbs and browned under the broiler for a few minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown. Superlatively creamy, swooningly aromatic and outstandingly delicious, this once humble dish has been taken to heavenly new heights of gourmand glory.

The Mac & Cheese is spooned into a prepared dish then baked at 375°F for 30 minutes

Meanwhile the panko breadcrumbs are warmed through with butter, 
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and truffle oil

The golden Mac & Cheese is removed from the oven after 30 minutes

The seasoned panko breadcrumbs are laid over the Mac & Cheese, browned under the broiler for a few minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown

Gourmet Lobster Mac & Cheese with Truffle Oil

Serves 6

1/2 cup butter, plus more for the baking dish

1/2 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half cream, plus more if desired
1/4 pound Swiss or Gruyère cheese, grated
1/4 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 pound Fontina cheese, grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp salt and pinch of ground black pepper
1 lb dried or homemade elbow macaroni
1/2 lb uncooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
6 tsp truffle oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a large baking dish or 10 small ramekins. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Add the flour, a little at a time, whisking constantly for about 3 minutes to make a roux. Gradually add the half and half cream, whisking to combine until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat. Stir in the cheddar, gruyere and fontina and then add the mustard, nutmeg and cayenne, stirring until smooth and the cheese has melted. Stir in half of the truffle oil, chopped lobster and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat and cook the macaroni, until al dente. Drain the pasta of all excess water, then add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce, stirring well to combine.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish up to 2/3 full, and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, while the pasta is baking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. As soon as the butter melts, turn off the heat and add the panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan, the remaining truffle oil, and toss well to combine.

When the pasta has finished baking, remove from the oven and top evenly with the panko mixture. Set the oven rack to the top 1/3 of oven, turn it to broil and return the baking dish to the oven for 4-6 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown.

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