The Art of Cheese — Lobster Mac and Cheese with Aged Havarti

This post is part of “The Art of Cheese”, a partnership between Honest Cooking and Castello Cheese.
This dish is everything you want in comfort food, rich, thick and sinful. It combines the best of lobster bisque and macaroni and cheese into one filling dish.
By Dawn Myers

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Food trends are endlessly fascinating to me. I mention food trends because somewhere along the way “lobster mac and cheese” became a thing. I find this combination of lobster, pasta and cheese sauce odd. One, it’s lobster. Lobster is awesome. Lobster is perfection with melted, clarified butter. Why mess with this exquisitely simple recipe? Two, in this era of low carb, gluten free anything, how is this dish even surviving, much less thriving?

From a restaurant’s point of view, I see the appeal. Charge a premium for mostly a pasta dish with a few chunks of lobster with a cheese sauce.

I got to thinking about this dish when I was selected to create a dish with Castello Aged Havarti Cheese. Honestly, when I got this cheese, I really just wanted to eat it as is. The cheese is really good and has really interesting crystals dispersed throughout that occur due to aging. If you look really closely, you can see small sparkles in the cheese. I’m not a professional cheese tester. Really. But here’s what I love about this cheese, it has real depth. It’s not one dimensional.

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We’ve used it to stuff jalapeños and make awesome grilled cheese sandwiches. Plus, it’s a well known fondue cheese. After tasting the cheese, I decided that it just might be the perfect cheese for lobster mac and cheese. I got my inspiration for this recipe from one of my favorite lobster dishes: lobster bisque. Velvety smooth, rich, creamy and most of all, lobster-y.

This dish is everything you want in comfort food: rich, thick and sinful. It combines the best of lobster bisque and macaroni and cheese. You will not be disappointed!

Note: To make the lobster broth, save the lobster shells and simmer them in water as you are making the pasta. Super easy, but key to this dish. Without this touch of broth, the lobster taste can be overwhelmed by the rich and cheesy sauce.

The Art of Cheese — Lobster Mac and Cheese with Aged Havarti
 
This is everything you want in comfort food, rich, thick and sinful. It combines the best of lobster bisque and macaroni and cheese into one filling dish. Inspired by a recipe found in Saveur.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: enough to feed a crowd
Ingredients
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 oz. hollow pasta, preferably elbow macaroni
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 11 oz. grated Castello Aged Havarti (about 4 cups), divided
  • 8 oz. mascarpone (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp. lobster or fish broth
  • 3 tbsp. Dry Sherry
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. cooked lobster meat, cut into 1? chunks
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375° fahrenheit. Spray 9×13? baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water for half of the recommended cooking time (about 3 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed, 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until smooth. Add milk, and whisk often, until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. About 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in 2 cups Castello Aged Havarti, along with the mascarpone, broth, sherry, hot sauce, and nutmeg. Adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta to cheese sauce. Stir in half of the lobster.
  4. Pour mixture to the 9? x 13? baking dish and sprinkle with remaining Havarti. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining lobster.
Notes
To make the lobster broth, save the lobster shells and simmer them in water as you are making the pasta. Super easy, but key to this dish. Without this touch of broth, the lobster taste can be overwhelmed by the rich and cheesy sauce.

 
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Dawn Myers

Wife, mother of 2 lovely children, MBA, lawyer, bureaucrat. I adore reading old cookbooks and am endlessly inspired by their simplicity, economy, and true connection with the food being prepared. My blog explores "historic" recipes and more modern recipes that embody the same ideals.

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