Say I love you with lobster

Thu, 02/11/2021 - 5:30pm

It’s going to be a chilly Valentine’s Day, so whip up the most decadent of comfort foods for your sweetheart – lobster mac & cheese!! This rich and cheesy casserole is loaded with chunks of fresh lobster meat and has the slightest note of anise in the background that bumps the flavors to new levels. Roses and silk pajamas optional…

Lobster Mac & Cheese

4, 1 ½-pound lobsters (about 3-4 cups lobster meat)
1 stick, plus 3 tablespoons butter
1 pound macaroni or other short pasta
1 cup fennel bulb, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fennel fronds, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup light cream
1 ½ cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices of American cheese, torn into small pieces
1 tablespoon Sambuca liqueur
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Put lobsters in a large pot of boiling water (enough to cover lobsters) and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from pot and let cool. Shuck the lobsters removing the meat from tail, claws, legs, and body. Chop the tail and claw meat into bite-size pieces.

Melt the stick of butter in a medium saucepan and toss lobster meat to coat. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions to ‘al dente’ doneness.

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan and add the fennel, fennel fronds, and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium high heat, until soft and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook, whisking for 1 minute.

Gradually add the cream and milk, whisking constantly until a thick sauce forms. Add salt, pepper, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, and American cheeses. Continue whisking until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth and thick. Add Sambuca. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the cheese sauce until coated. Then fold in the lobster and butter mixture. Transfer to a greased 9” x 13” baking dish and top with the cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes until cheddar is melted and casserole is bubbly.

Get more of Pam’s delicious recipes on her block and check out her new cookbook and spice line!