Thursday, October 30, 2008

fancy mac and cheese... 55 minutes

You're probably wondering why it has taken me over a week to post What's for Dinner... Well, the truth is, it has taken a few attempts to perfect this recipe for all of you... But finally, I can proudly present gourmet mac-n-cheese. This mac and cheese is most definitely for grown-ups...

the goods:

1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster, shrimp, crawfish, or crabmeat
10 ounces white cheddar, shredded
9 ounces fontina, shredded
8 ounces havarti, shredded
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni. Drain; rinse with cold water. Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium in a large saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a small bowl, and reserve. Add onion and garlic to saucepan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add milk; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.

Remove pan from heat. Fold in lobster, macaroni, and cheese; transfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish.

Add breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning to the bowl with reserved butter; toss.

Scatter over macaroni mixture.

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.