Decadent Lobster Mac & Cheese

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A wonderful, decadent dish that's perfect for a special occasion. The three different cheeses and the panko really give it that perfect crunch and yummy cheesy texture. It?s well worth it! Recipe Photos Nutr Notes INGREDIENTS
    1 pound  elbow macaroni, (the larger elbows)
    1/2 cup  butter, + more for ramekin
    1/2 cup  flour
    2 cups  half and half
    2 teaspoon  salt
    1/2 teaspoon  nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon  cayenne
    pinch  ground black pepper
    3 cups  sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    2 cups  gruyere cheese, shredded
    1/3 cup  panko breadcrumbs
    1 pound  uncooked lobster meat, chopped (see notes)
    3 tablespoon  grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350F.

Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water until 1 minute shy of done. Drain well.

In meantime, with medium saucepan on medium-low heat, melt butter and add flour a little at a time, whisking constantly for 3 minutes to make a roux. Add half and half, a little at time, whisking to combine. Cook 3 minutes until sauce has thickened. Turn off heat. Add cheddar and gruyere, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add cooked pasta to pan, stir to combine.

Butter 8 small ramekins or a large baking dish. Spoon pasta/cheese mixture into dish, up to 2/3 full. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

While pasta is baking, melt 2 tbs butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once butter melts, turn off heat and add lobster meat, parmesan and panko bread crumbs. Toss to combine.

When pasta is done baking, remove from oven. Top pasta with a spoonful of lobster mixture. Set your oven rack to top 1/3 of oven, turn to broil and return ramekins to oven for 6-8 minutes. Lobster should be cooked through and a nice cheesy crunchy crust will form.

Serves 4 (main dish) or 8 (side dish)

Notes on the lobster. You can buy uncooked lobster tails at the market and just remove the meat from the shell. Or, if you are buying a whole lobster, I've found it easier to steam or boil it for 1 minute exactly, drain and then remove the meat. The 1 minute steam firms and shrinks the meat just enough to make an easy job of cracking and removing the prized meat. But of course, if you are welcome to skip this steaming part.

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