This recipe makes the absolute creamiest homemade mac and cheese I have ever had. With the addition of lobster, it becomes an elevated comfort dish that you could serve at a chic brunch or dinner party with friends at home.
Did you know that the trick to making an incredibly creamy mac and cheese comes from French Cuisine? It is all in the Mornay!
- 5 tbsps of butter
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups grated Comté Cheese (1 cup for the Mornay Sauce, 1 cup for the gratinée on the top)
- 1 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
- 5 branches of thyme
- 2 tbsps of flour (all purpose)
- 1 1/2 cup chopped cooked lobster meat (fresh or frozen is fine - just make sure it is defrosted)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- First, lets sautée the lobster.
- Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add in 1 clove of chopped garlic, and 3 tbsps of butter along with the lobster meat and 2 branches of thyme. Sautée for 3 minutes to flavor the lobster. Transfer the lobster, and the lobster drippings, into a large bowl. Use a silicone spatula to scrape get every last bit of flavor from the pan. Remove 1/3rd of a cup of the lobster meat to be used as garnish. Set aside.
- Boil water for pasta with a tsp of salt. Cook the macaroni to package instructions for firm pasta. Strain, then add the cooked pasta to the bowl with the lobster and the lobster drippings. Stir and set aside.
- In a sauce pan over medium low heat, bring the cream, remaining garlic and thyme branches to a low simmer. This is Le Chef's tip for a flavorful Mornay sauce. No salt is needed. Let simmer for a couple minutes for the flavor of the thyme and garlic to infuse with the cream. Remove the thyme branches from the cream with a pair of kitchen tongs and discard.
- Meanwhile, make a pomade out of 2 tbsps each of butter and flour. If the butter is not room temperature, heat it in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds. In a small bowl, fold together the flour and butter, using your silicone spatula. Fold until the mixture forms a thick paste that is well integrated.
- While the cream is simmering, mix in the pomade with a whisk. Be very careful to keep the heat under the cream low and not let it burn. Whisk gently but firmly for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Congratulations, you have made a Béchamel sauce!
- Remove the Béchamel pan from the heat and add in the grated mozzarella and 1 cup of grated Comté. Blend well. The sauce will be thick and creamy. Voilà! Now you have made a Mornay sauce too.
- Pour the Mornay sauce over the pasta and lobster mixture. Mix well so that every piece of pasta is fully coated.
- Transfer the Pasta into a greased baking dish. I use this 9 inch Le Creuset
- Set the dish on the middle rack of your oven and switch over to broil. Watch very carefully, after 3-4 minutes you should see your lobster mac and cheese bubbling and starting to brown. A beautiful thing to see!
- Remove the dish from the oven and top with an even layer of the remaining Comté cheese as well as the chopped lobster meat you had set aside.
- Replace the dish under the broiler for another 4-5 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly. Careful not to let it burn! This will make a beautiful gratinée.
- Serve immediately.
If you are making this dish in advance, save the gratinée step for just before you serve. The Lobster Mac and Cheese can stay in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap for 3 days.
Keywords: mac and cheese, mac n cheese, macaroni and cheese, lobster mac and cheese