August 30, 2012

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Look no further, this Lobster Mac and Cheese Recipe from Cal Hancock, owner of Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. in Cundy's Harbor, Maine, is the one you absolutely have to make.

The first time I had Lobster Mac and Cheese was Fall 2007, when my in-laws Stuart and Joanne threw a cocktail party to celebrate our wedding with family friends who couldn't make it to Ogunquit, Maine for the ceremony. We had a lobster bake at our wedding reception so it naturally tied the events together when the caterers served this savory dish as one of the several appetizers at their party. Everyone raved about the lobster mac, a combination that seemed relatively unheard of at the least we had never heard of it, but one bite and we were all hooked.

Last week while vacationing in Virginia Beach we had phenomenal dinner with our friends Chris and Trista at HK on the Bay. I had ordered a Tri Tip Chimichurri Sirloin with a side of Lobster Mac and Cheese, both were cooked to perfection. I decided that when I got home, I was going to try and make this mac and cheese delicasy.

I started perusing the web for "the best" lobster mac and cheese recipes and the stand-out was Cal Hancock's. Obviously my choice to try was heavily influenced by the fact that she had won a throw down with Bobby Flay. Scott took one bite and said, "superb!"

Being from New England, I'm accustomed to running into the local grocery store and selecting fresh lobster from the tank, and even having it steamed right then and there if I'm in a hurry. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to do in Maryland. While in Giant, I went with a package of frozen lobster from Cozy Harbor Co., a company from Portland, Maine.

I used Cal's recipe to make a seafood mac and cheese. Instead of using only lobster, I added one cup of bay scallops and one cup of shrimp. Again, you would never know the seafood was previously frozen, everything came out extremely tender, and it substantially cut down on prep time due to the lobster and shrimp being pre-cooked.

A scrumptious crust made with panko crumbs, lemon zest, butter, and fresh herbs, and parmesan delicately tops this dish (though it would be just as delicious without it if you'd prefer). This is a very rich mac and cheese that can be served as a main dish or makes a very impressive side.