Mac and cheese is a year-round favorite, but add some fresh Maine lobster and it becomes a harbinger of summertime. “Our lobster macaroni and cheese symbolizes that the warm weather is near,” says Michele Giamattei, owner of The Barn Restaurant & Bar in Morris. “This is the perfect dish during spring and summer because lobster is in season starting in April, and people love lobster!”
The previous owner created the recipe, and now chef Dalton Hubbal, a graduate of Johnson & Wales, features it as both a main and side dish. “We wanted something different than just lobster rolls and fries,” Giamattei says. “Lobster goes with a lot of dishes, so we decided to go with something that everyone likes, like mac and cheese.”
Hubbal appreciates how the smooth mozzarella, bold cheddar and robust Parmesan give the dish a different taste and complement the slight sweetness of the lobster. “The blend of cheeses, the fresh lobster and the spices come together to give it a great flavor. It’s creamy, warm, filling comfort food that people enjoy.”
Lobster mac and cheese
Prep and cook time: 20 minutes
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
16 ounces fresh Maine lobster meat, cut into pieces
1⅓ cups heavy cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup shaved Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
Pinch of smoked paprika
In a large pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil, adding a pinch of salt. Add macaroni and stir. Return to a boil and cook, uncovered, until macaroni is al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the lobster meat, stir and sauté until hot. Remove from heat.
While pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan, heat the heavy cream to a simmer. Slowly stir in the cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan, stirring constantly until the cheese is completely melted. (Chef’s tip: Make sure the cheese stays creamy by stirring often and keeping the temperature on low.) Add the cooked macaroni and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold in the cooked lobster and heat for another 2-3 minutes.
To serve, garnish with chopped parsley and paprika.