A Comfort Classic: Big Joe’s Award Winning Lobster Mac & Cheese
The base recipe for this comes from my good friend, the late Chef Joe Romanowski of Bay Ave Trottaria in Highlands, NJ who used to serve up the popular Mrs. Michelli's Mac & Cheese.
I like this recipe for this time of year. It’s comfort food with a twist and trust me, you’ll be very comfortable after eating this dish.
A few years back I tweaked his recipe and made this for one of the cook-offs between Dennis Malloy and myself. If I remember correctly, I won the appetizer round with this very recipe. It's so good; an incredibly rich and creamy mac & cheese with the bonus of lobster. What's not to like? It's the perfect starter for any meal, but be warned, you're not going to want to share it.
1 lb Velveeta
1/2 lb cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream
1 stick of unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
Salt & pepper
1 lb of pasta (cooked al dente)
2 cups bread crumbs (homemade is even better)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb lobster meat cooked and chopped.
How to put it together:
Place the cream cheese, Velveeta, heavy cream, and butter in a large bowl and set it over a hot water bath. Gently stir the cheese mixture until well combined and creamy. Strain through a sieve and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Add the cooked pasta and lobster to the cheese mix and incorporate. Place the mixture in a buttered casserole dish, top with cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and place a couple dots extra of butter on top to help with browning the top.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes and serve immediately to a table of waiting guests. Seriously, don't let this dish sit, it's so much better piping hot and bubbly. Then be prepared for the ensuing barrage of compliments.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.