Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My new Thanksgiving staple: Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

As I was standing at the cheese counter in the supermarket last week, I tried to recall if macaroni and cheese was an actual Thanksgiving staple, or if I just always included it in my Thanksgiving because I love mac and cheese. It wasn't until I saw a shelf lined with Thanksgiving goods such as cranberry sauce, pie crusts, pumpkin filling, and Kraft mac and cheese that I realized that maybe I'm not the only American that needs this creamy carby cheesy goodness on this holiday. 

For the past few years, I have always made a macaroni and cheese. I've done crab meat, panko crust, truffle oil... more than enough variations. Most years it came out too dry or it just didn't have the right cheese taste. However, I think I have finally created the perfect concoction of cheeses, and to make it more festive, I added a pair of lobsters! 

Prepping the winter fruit salad with a Chinese pear
Mashed yams! My favorite Thanksgiving dish by my grandma.
The oven packed and ready. Can you spot my Darth Vader brussels sprouts?
James' deliciously dangerous foccacia. Recipe coming soon!
Thanksgiving dinner or Chinese wedding?

Apple cider sangria station

I used my apple crisp as filling for a pie!


Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
12 oz. hollow pasta (I used lumaconi)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup flour
4 cups milk (I used 1%)
8 oz. fontina, grated 

8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
8 oz. mascarpone
1/2 tsp paprika 

1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz. cooked lobster meat, cut into small chunks (I bought 2 1.5lb lobsters)
optional: ⅓ cup minced chives

1. Boil 2 lobsters in a stock pot with water until cooked (about 10-12 minutes for a 1-1.5lb lobster). Allow to cool before taking out the meat. 2. Preheat oven to 375°. 
3. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked about 80% through depending on the label instructions. Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. 
4. Melt butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. 
5. Remove pan from heat and stir in fontina, cheddar, and mascarpone, along with the paprika and pepper. Add reserved pasta to cheese sauce. Stir in the lobster. 
6. Transfer mixture to a 9" x 13" baking dish and sprinkle with chives. 

7. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. 

Note: Lobster optional but highly recommended. 

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