Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese
There's nothing more comforting and nostalgic than a warm bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese. And who said comforting and nostalgia couldn't also be sophisticated and impressive? It's called elevated comfort food and this Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese is just that.
Beneath the buttery and brown bread crumb topping is a creamy bowl of noodles and big chunks of lobster swimming in a bubbling hot cheese sauce. For this recipe I used a combination of some of my favorite melting cheeses: cheddar, gruyere and Monterey Jack.
Classic melting cheeses paired with new flavors of lobster, shallots and truffle salt result in the perfect elevated comfort food that'll impress any hungry dinner companion.
The filling for this dish can be prepared in advance. Then when ready to eat, simply top with that savory breadcrumb truffle topping and pop it in the oven to finish off!
I love how brown and crispy the breadcrumb layer gets. For this I used panko breadcrumbs, because I prefer that consistency, but any breadcrumbs will do.
What is truly impressive about this dish lies beneath the surface.
A basic rue of butter and flour is the foundation for this creamy cheese sauce. It doesn't take much of either, just enough to slightly thicken the final product. I used almond milk here which is a lower calorie alternative to many typical milks but any milk will do here!
Just let the milk bubble and the sauce thicken before you melt in whatever combination of cheeses you enjoy! From cheddar to gouda, you can really play with the flavors.
Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese
2 servings | 50 minutes
4 oz whole grain elbows pasta
2 cooked lobster tails (can be previously frozen and defrosted [what I used], leftover or steamed ahead of time)
3 oz fresh grated cheese (I used 2 oz #traderjoes cheddar-gruyere and 1 oz Monterey Jack)
1 small shallot, finely diced
1/2 tsp truffle salt
1 cup unsweetened original almond milk (or other milk of choice), room temperature
1 tbsp butter, divided into 2 tsp and 1 tsp
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
Optional 1/2 tbsp parmesan
Simply fill the ramekins with the Mac and cheese mixture, top with the breadcrumb topping, place it on a bake sheet and let it cook!
Preheat oven to 375F.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and stir in pasta. Cook pasta according to directions.
In another medium pot, melt 2 tsp of butter (2/3 of total butter) and add shallots. Cook the shallot for about a minute.
Add the flour to the pot and whisk it into the butter. Allow the flour and butter to cook for about 2 minutes, while whisking.
Whisk the milk, nutmeg and pepper into the flour and butter mixture until smooth. Cook for an additional minute or two so it slightly thickens.
Turn off the heat and stir in cheese.
Drain the pasta (reserving about 1/4 cup pasta water just in case) and roughly chop the lobster tails into bite sized pieces (Note: I like to have some larger chunks and some smaller chunks of lobster).
Fold the elbows and lobster chunks into the cheese sauce until evenly coated (if the sauce is too thick you can add some of the pasta water 1 tbsp at a time).
Divide the pasta mixture evenly between two oven safe bowls or ramekins.
In a small bowl melt the remaining 1 tsp of butter and stir in bread crumbs, truffle salt and optional parmesan cheese.
Divide the bread crumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of the pasta and cheese.
Place the oven safe dishes on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the top is browning and the cheese sauce is bubbling.
This is a pretty heavy dish that can be served alone but if you're in the mood for some extra veggies I would recommend pairing it with a light garden salad. Another way to add some broccoli, cauliflower or other veggie to the pasta and lobster filling.
Trust me, cover any vegetable in this cheese sauce and you'll swear it's just more of the good stuff.
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Nutrition facts are based on using whole grain elbows, full fat cheese and unsweetened original almond milk. Nutrition facts may vary depending on brand, quantity and variation of ingredients.