Back to:  Recipe HomeFish/Seafood Recipes Printable View
Lobster and Macaroni Gratin
Makes 4 Servings
Ingredients
*2 (1 1/2 pound) lobsters
*1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for sauteing the peppers
*1/4 cup butter, plus more as needed
*1 clove garlic, minced
*2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup cream sherry
*2 teaspoons tomato paste
*2 cups heavy cream
*2 cups milk
*1 cup creme fraiche
*Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
*2 red bell peppers
*1 pound ditalini or other shape of small, high-quality dried pasta
*1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
*1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
*1 cup breadcrumbs
Instructions
1To prepare the lobsters, bring a stockpot filled with 4 inches of salted water to a boil. Steam the lobsters for 4 minutes and remove. They will still be uncooked in the center. Break off the claws and steam for another 4 to 5 minutes. When cool, remove all tail, claw and body meat and chill. Chop the shells and legs or pulse them in a food processor.
2In a large, noncorrosive saucepan over high heat, heat the 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup butter. When hot, add the chopped shells and cook until they start to brown. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 more minutes. Deglaze with the sherry. Add the tomato paste, cream, milk and creme fraiche and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Stirring frequently, let cook for about 15 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste and strain through a sieve, pressing on the shells to extract all the juices. Strain again through a fine mesh sieve.
3Dice the lobster tail and knuckle meat and one claw. Slice the remaining claws in half lengthwise. You should have 6 half claws for garnish. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of the lobster cream to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the diced lobster meat, except the claws, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4In a cast-iron pan over high heat, sear the red peppers in a little oil until blackened on all sides. Alternatively, you can grill the peppers. Transfer to a bag and let sit for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and seed the peppers and dice them into 1/4-inch cubes.
5Meanwhile, to prepare the pasta, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ditalini and cook, per package directions, until al dente. Do not over cook. Toss the pasta in the remaining butter to coat and reserve; do NOT refrigerate!
6Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, diced pepper, most of the Gruyere and the 2 cups of lobster cream with the added lobster meat. Mix thoroughly and check the salt and pepper balance. Butter 1 large gratin dish or 6 individual ovenproof gratin dishes. Place the mixture in the dish or dishes and top with the remaining lobster cream and Gruyere, Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Dot with butter and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until brown and bubbling. Warm the reserved lobster claws and use as garnish. Serve hot.
Notes
  • This dish can be used as a first course or as an accompaniment to a main-course lobster or fish dish. Though any small macaroni pasta shape can be used, it seems to work best with little shells or ditalini (little tubes). You can make this dish in one large gratin dish or in six 10-ounce individual ovenproof baking dishes. The recipe calls for roasting and peeling red bell pepper, but canned pimentos - or better, Piquillo peppers - are an acceptable alternative.
  • Source
    Executive Chef Bob Kinkead, Kinkead's Restaurant, Washington, D.C.