Lobster Mac and Cheese with Fresh Chives, Pimente d’Espelette

North Atlantic lobster meat, organic, whole wheat macaroni, aged Vermont white and cloth-bound cheddar, fresh cream, chives and pimente d’Espelette..

Lobster Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound organic, whole wheat macaroni
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shell stock
blond roux as needed
1-1/2 tablespoons good sherry (not cooking sherry!)
1/2 pound aged white cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1-1/2 tablespoons pimente d’Espelette
3 tablespoons fresh chives or slivered green onion tops
3/4 pound lobster meat, poached
1/2 cup organic panko
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Prepare macaroni according to package instructions, but reduce cooking time by 2 minutes.  Drain pasta (don’t rinse) and set aside.

Lightly poach lobster meat until a little underdone in simmering water with a little fresh lemon juice,a tablespoon of butter and some fresh parsley.  Remove from heat, drain and transfer the lobster meat to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

Add cream, stock, sherry and nutmeg together in a heavy saucepan. Heat just until tiny bubbles come to the surface, but do not let it boil.  Whisk in just enough roux so that the sauce coats and clings to the back of a wood spoon.  Remove from heat.

Fold in cheeses, chives, pasta, pimente d’Espelette and lobster. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Turn mixture out into a small skillet or individual gratin dishes. Sprinkle lightly with panko and place into a 375 degree oven until bubbly and cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.

Sprinkle lightly with additional chives/green onions and chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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