I like to think of myself as a mac and cheese connoisseur of sorts. The different combinations of cheese and pasta are literally endless. This one, from my book, "EGGin'," truly puts a twinkle in my eye and a smile in my stomach with the blend of sharp cheddar, nutty Parmesan, the gradual build of mild heat from the pepper jack and the sweet and briny lobster meat.
Technique tip: To avoid cooking lobster, slowly poach lobster in butter until it turns bright red, and immediately remove from cast-iron pan.
Swap option: You can use frozen lobster, shrimp, lump crab meat, chicken or bacon.
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 pounds raw lobster, claws and knuckle meat
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
Preheat grill to 450 F.2.
Place a 12-inch cast-iron pan on the grill and add the butter and garlic.3.
Once the butter is melted, add the lobster, parsley, salt and white pepper, and stir.4.
Poach the lobster lightly for 5 to 6 minutes, until bright red. Season to taste if needed with additional salt and pepper. Remove the lobster to a separate plate and set aside, reserving the liquid.5.
Bring the reserved liquid to a rapid boil and whisk in the flour until it creates a blond roux. Add the heavy cream while continuously whisking. Bring to a boil and stir until slightly thickened. Whisk in 1 cup of the Parmesan, 1 cup of the sharp cheddar, the pepper jack and all of the seasonings, until melted and smooth.6.
Remove the pan from the grill. Add the pasta, lobster meat and remaining 1 cup sharp cheddar, and use a rubber spatula to mix thoroughly.7.
Top with the remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Place the pan back onto the grill and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes, until the mac and cheese is bubbly and nicely browned.