Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lobster Apocalypse: Part 1

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe by Hubert Keller

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 3 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 4 1 lb Live Lobsters
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Minced Shallots
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Diced Carrot
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Diced Celery
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Cognac
  • 2 Tbs Port
  • 1 1/2 Cups + 2 1/2 Tbs Heavy Cream
  • 5 Sprigs Parsley
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Dried Bay Leaf
  • 3 Inch Piece Celery Stalk
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 8 oz Small Shells or Elbow Macaroni
  • 3 Tbs Finely grated Mimolette or Aged Cheddar
  • Salt
  • White Pepper
Cooking Directions
    Mise en place
  1. Mince the shallot, dice the carrot and celery and assemble the bouquet garni with the parsley, thyme, bay leaf and celery stalk.
  2. Bring 1.5 gallons of water to a boil in a large stock pot, add the vinegar and salt as for pasta.
  3. Cook each lobster, covered, for 3 minutes transferring them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.

  4. Drain the lobsters and carefully dis-assemble them.
  5. Remove the meat from the shells, keeping it as intact as possible.
  6. Melt the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat and add the lobster meat.

  7. Saute the meat gently for 2 minutes, remove the claw meat and cook the tails another minute. Set aside to cool.

  8. Add the shallot, carrot and celery to the pan and cook gently for 3 minutes.
  9. Add the 1 1/2 cups cream, cognac, port and bouquet garni to the pan and simmer for about 7 minutes until slightly reduced.
  10. Cover the pan and set aside.
  11. Whisk the remaining cream until it thickens, whisk in the egg yolks and refrigerate.
  12. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.
  13. While the pasta is cooking, cut the lobster meat into bite size pieces.
  14. Position a rack on the second level of your oven and turn the broiler on high.
  15. Remove the bouquet garni from the sauce and add the lobster meat, the cheese, and the pasta. Bring to a boil, mixing well, and add salt and pepper to taste.

  16. Ready to broil
  17. Pour the mixture into individual oven safe serving dishes or into a 9" baking dish.
  18. Spread the cream and egg yolk mixture over the top and broil until golden brown.


This is a rather "chef-ly" recipe. I've added a couple steps to make the process a little more explicit.

The original recipe is made with Mimolette a bright red-orange aged cheese from Lille, France. It can be difficult to find but a traditionally made, aged, raw milk cheddar works wonderfully.

It may seem that there is very little cheese in this recipe. That's because Mimolette has a rather strong flavor. Feel free to add more. I used about a quarter cup - about 8 tablespoons. Just remember, the lobster is the main event, not the cheese.

Don't overcook the lobster - it's boiled for only 3 minutes, then sauteed in butter another 3 or 4 minutes, then added to the boiling hot sauce and broiled. The last thing you want is rubbery lobster chunks.

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