I remember first meeting my husband and discussing food and he mentioned how he only ate macaroni and cheese out of a box. Because that is what his grandmother served. My grandmother always made baked macaroni and cheese from scratch.
And since I’m the cook in the family he didn’t eat macaroni and cheese for a while.
I also grew up with macaroni and cheese being a side dish. I didn’t realize people ate it as a meal till I moved to the south. And they put extra things in it. Things like bacon, broccoli, tomatoes, ham, chicken etc. The only addition I will eat is lobster!
My original mistake with making lobster macaroni and cheese is that I thought I could just add lobster meat to my grandmother’s recipe.
After trying several lobster mac & cheese dishes at restaurants and some regular mac & cheese dishes (I only try them if they are baked). I began to pinpoint the differences I would need to do in order to create a recipe that worked for me.
This last time, I used langostinos because I had some in my freezer and they work well as a substitute for lobster in a pinch.
But use whatever you have.
Like I mentioned before, what’s important are the type of cheeses used and the liquid to solid ratio.
And just as with any recipe, play around with the ingredients. There are so many types of cheeses out there. Start with your favorites and go from there.
Remember it’s basically pasta, cheese and lobster. You really can’t go wrong with it.
Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
A decadent and rich comfort food for any occasion
- 1 lb pasta (such as elbow, rigatoni, penne, ziti etc)
- 4 tbsp of butter, plus extra for baking pan
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp course ground pepper
- 3 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
- 1 cup each of 2-3 cheeses of your choice (I use gruyere, gouda and parmesan)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp of thyme (optional)
- 1 lb of lobster meat, thawed if frozen
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- whisk together, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp of thyme if using. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and put in a bowl with lobster meat and 1 cup of cheese (1/3 of each cheese). Set aside
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter gently and whisk in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
- Add in salt, pepper, dry mustard. Combine well.
- Add milk in 1/2 cup at a time while whisking constantly to remove any lumps that form. This is sometimes known as a white sauce or béchamel sauce.
- Once fully incorporated, let the sauce cook to thicken for 3-5 minutes.
- Slowly add in 2 cups of cheese (2/3 of each cheese). Whisk again to combine.
- Mix cheese sauce with pasta and lobster.
- Butter a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Gently pour macaroni and cheese into your baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let stand for 5 minutes
- Bon Apetit
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
It’s January! The best month out of the year. The first month, my birthday month.
But one of the other great things about January is the cold weather that we finally get in this hot southern state. And cold weather means SOUP! I’m not a huge soup eater but sometimes I crave it. And today was one of those days.
And nothing beats a homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I tend to go all out using homemade chicken broth I keep frozen in my freezer but if you don’t have any substitute your favorite store bought brother. And if you want to save even more time, grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli section as well. Just keep an eye on the salt levels.
My kid prefers alphabet noodles so she can spell out her name, the rest of us prefer wide egg noodles. But this is also great with orzo, rice, couscous or even barley. Cook the pasta separately (but in chicken broth) so it doesn’t soak up all the delicious broth from the soup.
You can also add some last minute spinach for an extra boost of green veggies. The thing about Chicken Noodle Soup is, it’s so basic you can make it what you want. I love thyme, lemon and leeks added to mine. If you don’t like any of those flavors grab your favorites. This soup is so forgiving.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
A lovely rustic homemade soup filled with chicken flavor, noodles, and vegetables
- 3 quarts chicken broth or water (homemade or store bought)
- 1/2lb wide egg noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup leeks, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 qts chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
- 1 cup cooked chicken torn to pieces
- 1 lemon, plus zest
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- course ground pepper
- In a large stock pot of dutch oven, heat oil over med-low heat
- Sweat onions, celery, carrots and leeks until soft (season with a tsp of salt and pepper) and they begin to release their own juice
- Stir in garlic and lemon zest and cook for 2 minutes
- Add white wine if using allow it to reduce for 5 minutes
- Add broth and bay leaf, simmer for 1 hour
- Add chicken simmer for another 15 minutes
- Add juice of 1 lemon
- *If you are going to eat soup immediately you can cook the noodles in the soup now*
- Finish with fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove bay leaf before serving
- Cook noodles according to the package, omitting additional salt
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
Anyone want to learn to take better pictures of food with me?
Cool, here’s what I plan to do join in however you can.
A new friend, Nagi, a food blogger (check her out at Recipe Tin Eats) wrote a book about how in 3 months she went:
And she swears anyone can do the same on a budget. In this age of Instagram, twitter, yelp and every other social media outlet that people showcase their food on, pictures are important. A great picture can sell a restaurant as a viable dinner choice, they can make or break a food blogger and they can get thousands of likes and followers.
So here’s my plan. It’s pretty simple and straight to the point
- Buy the book
- Read the book
- Create my budget friendly Photo Booth setup
- Post practice pictures on here and Instagram.
- Practice some more
- Post final pictures and show my amazing improvement!
Come back here and follow my journey of the The Tasty Tin Food Photography Book Experiment. I would love feedback from all of you. If you want to join in at any point click the picture to buy the book
But remember I want all of you to be involved as well. Create an account on our blog, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, like us on Twitter and post all of your practice pictures too with the tags #TastyTinFoodPhotoExperiment
Today I am reminded why I wanted to start Tasty Tin. For years friends have asked me to cook for them or host a party or advice on recipes and every time I’m broached, I say yes and then explain that they could do this too. I’m not a culinary trained chef, I’ve never worked in a restaurant (I’m totally ignoring those 2 weeks at CiCi’s pizza) so what I do anyone could do as well.
And I want everyone to realize that.
Every time I get in the kitchen or talk with someone at a market, farm or specialty store, or even just read a new cookbook, I learn something new.
Not only do I embrace the learning but I am ok with messing things up. It’s ok to mess up. To me, failure is the greatest teacher. And if you learn the lesson, then failure isn’t failure at all, it’s an experience.
What did I do today that was a complete mess up?
I tried to make a ham from scratch. What I didn’t realize was I didn’t have a complete understanding of cured, smoked, raw and baked hams.
But that didn’t stop a full Sunday in the Tasty Tin Test Kitchen. The best part of Tasty Tin (other than our amazing customers) is the Tasty Tin Test Kitchen. Sometimes the most inedible things emerge from there. But we always leave there laughing, learning and talking about the next time.
Because there’s always a next time…