Chefs will tell you that you must use full fat milk, even half and half, to make the best mac and cheese. I say poppycock. You can reduce the fat by using fat-reduced milk. I used 1% lactose-free organic milk in this dish and it was spectacular. To increase creaminess I used Fontina cheese instead of cheddar. Fontina is a delicious nutty flavored cheese from Italy that melts really well and pairs well with the sweetness of lobster. My lobster meat came from Luke’s in the form of claw and knuckle meat frozen in 8 oz packages, now available in my local store and also available online.
Since I moved to a more plant based diet, I’ve reserved making mac and cheese for nights when the kids come or occasions when only comfort food will do. Recently, I noticed Maine lobster available at my local Whole Foods in Seattle. I credit this development to the trade war with China resulting in the need for more interstate commerce to make up for the slowdown in the Chinese appetite for American produce. This may not be great for American farmers and fishermen but it works for me in the case of lobster. Thanks, China.
Give it a try! It hits the spot on a cool evening.
- 1 pound (454g) Fusilli no. 34 pasta from DeCecco.
- 4 ounces (125g) butter.
- 1 quart (1 litre) milk (I used 1% lactose-free).
- 1/2 cup flour.
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- pepper to taste.
- 4 oz (125g) Fontina, shredded (or more but not less!).
- 2 oz Parmesan, grated.
- 8 oz Maine lobster meat, pre-cooked and broken up. (I used 1 package of Luke’s cooked claw and knuckle meat, defrosted ahead of time).
- Up to a cup of bread crumbs.
- Prepare a 9″ X 13″ baking dish or lasagne pan by buttering the bottom and sides. Set aside.
- Preheat a convection oven to 400℉ (200℃).
- Boil a kettle of water for cooking pasta and pour it into a large pot. Fill the pot with enough hot water to cook a pound of pasta.
- Put a 2qt. (2 litre) sauce pan over medium heat and melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a smooth paste called a roux forms. This comes together fast, a couple of minutes.
- Slowly add milk, stirring to incorporate the roux until you have a smooth sauce.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Maintain a low simmer to prevent burning. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon and you can feel it resisting the spoon as you stir.
- Add garlic powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Stir to integrate.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add Fontina to the hot liquid. Stir to incorporate.
- Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water, but only for 5 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking in the oven. Drain the pasta and add it to your prepared baking dish.
- Add lobster meat to the baking dish and sir to distribute evenly.
- Stir sauce into pasta and lobster.
- Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes until the top is crisp and the sauce is bubbly.
Feeds 4-6 people.