Gangnam Style: Grilled Lobster Mac and Cheese
I don’t want to rush ahead, but as you know, November 3rd is National Sandwich day. So I was thinking about my favorite ‘Gangnam Style’ meal to celebrate this festive occasion. Gangnam Style is defined as “Dressing classy, but acting cheesy,” and what better sandwich represents this than my grilled lobster mac ‘n’ cheese?
A little prep goes a long way, and this dish is all about building the perfect lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and then grilling it to perfection between two pieces of your favorite bread. There’s a secret to the grilling process that is worth enduring my lame recipe directions, so hang in there. And besides, this is a great casserole dish without the bread, so you’re getting two recipes for the price of one. You did send me a check, didn’t you? Oh, it’s in the mail?….cool! Let’s do this!
Katt’s Kickin’ Lobster Mac ‘N Cheese
2 Lobster tails
8 tbsp of unsalted butter (in all)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Pound of elbow pasta
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp of tomato paste
5 tbsp of all-purpose flour
¼ cup of white wine
4 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of shredded Gruyere
2 cups of sharp cheddar
Sandwich-sized slices of Cheddar and Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup of crushed potato chips
Freshly sliced Sourdough, Italian, or Challah bread
Now, before we start, let me let you in on something: I’m not a big lover of the lobster. I can take it or leave it, but I know how much most people dig it so that’s why I make it. But sometimes I’ll substitute the lobster with about 4-6 ounces of prosciutto. I chop it up and add it to the shallots and garlic during the sauté and it’s pretty awesome tasting. You can even do that and STILL add the lobster if you’re really jonesin’ for something over-the-top. You also might want to think about having a defibrillator close by and taking a Lipitor. Just sayin’…
Alright, put your oven on ‘broil’ and split the backs of the lobster tails with a knife. Don’t cut too far down into the tail. Put them on a shallow pan and place a pad of butter on top of each tail and pop it in the oven for about 8 minutes.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cup, turn the lobster tails over and pour half the butter into the split of each tail and broil for another 6 minutes. Then, take them out, let them cool, remove the meat and chop it up.
Next, turn your oven to ‘bake’ and set the temp at 350. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish with butter and set aside. Cook the pasta in salted water, drain and reserve.
In a large pot (not a skillet as the pasta and cheese will be hard to keep from spilling over), melt 4 tablespoons of butter and sauté the shallot and garlic. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste and then add the wine. Let that reduce by half and then slowly whisk in the cream, add the cayenne and reduce until it thickens (about 10 minutes). Stir in the graded cheeses and add the chopped lobster meat. Then, add the pasta and stir well.
Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and top with the crushed potato chips and parsley and bake for 25 minutes. Once you take it out, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving or 20 minutes before making the sandwiches.
Take a large non-stick skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter. (OK, here’s the secret part that I was telling you about!) Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread and place one slice (mayo side down), into the pan of melted butter and top with a slice of Gruyere and a helping of the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. Top that with a slice of cheddar and the other slice of bread (mayo up), grill it the way you like and flip it over. Grill the other side, plate, plug in the defibrillator and chow! (A big shoutout to my dog, Duke Montagu. Much love, brother!)