James Moore was born and raised in Sarasota and now lives on Siesta Key. Moore works as the Internet Marketing Director at Webtivity, but in his spare time he enjoys getting creative in the kitchen. When he was growing up, Moore watched his mother cook dinner every night for his family. “It was just natural that I would end up cooking when I got older,” said Moore.
One of Moore’s keys to success in the kitchen includes his cooking utensils that he bought online from a local company called Cappojim’s (www.cappojim.com). Moore found a recipe for lobster macaroni and cheese on the Food Network’s website and then gave it his own little twist by adding bacon into the mix. Learn how to create this dish by watching Moore in this week’s In the Kitchen.
Lobster and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
1 pound macaroni
6 strips of bacon
1 (2 pound) lobster, split
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
10 black peppercorns
Freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons flour, plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, or 2 tablespoons cornstarch and water
2 pounds grated cheese, mixture of Gruyere, extra sharp cheddar, and Pecorino Romano
3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs (Japanese)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve, also reserve the water. Steam the lobster over the water for three minutes, then cool, remove the meat, and reserve both the meat and the shell. In a medium sauce pot, sweat the onions in 2 tablespoons butter, and remove. In the same pot, scald the milk and add the garlic, shallots, and peppercorns. Add the lobster shells to create a fish stock. Bring the "stock" to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make a roux by combining 5 tablespoons of flour with 5 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat. Cook until it thickens and develops a golden yellow color. Set aside roux. Strain the stock and return it to the pan. Once the stock begins to simmer again, start whisking the cheeses in slowly until fully incorporated (this will also thicken the sauce). Add the roux to thicken a little more, and then add the reserved onions and lobster meat. Toss the sauce with the pasta, and transfer it to a small baking dish. Top with bread crumbs, and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.
Cook's Note: Different shapes of macaroni make this dish more fun.
** The additions included six strips of bacon, cooked till crispy, and then added into the mix before the whole dish goes into the oven.