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Comfort Food and a Journey for the senses is what I thought of naming this. My baked seafood Mac-N-Cheese takes the standard recipe to another level of flavor. A joy to make and even better to eat. Creamy, rich and delicious! You'll feel like your dining at a fancy restaurant on the beach in your own home when you eat it, believe me... Enjoy! :-)
- 8 -10 slices fresh white bread (or 1 french bread loaf, crust removed)
- 12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 Sticks)
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or Elbow Macaroni)
- sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper (or Black)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cups milk (heated in saucepan or microwave)
- 12 ounces gruyere cheese (grated)
- 10 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (grated)
- 5 ounces pecorino romano cheese (grated)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs cooked lobster meat (chopped into large chunks)
- 1⁄2 lb cooked sea scallops (chopped)
- 1 lb cooked bacon (drained of fat and chopped)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
- Remove the crusts from 8-10 slices of fresh white bread (or french bread) and tear apart. Place the torn pieces into a large plastic ziplock bag. Melt 6 Tbsp of Butter in a small saucepan and pour half of the melted butter over the bread. Seal the bag and toss the bread until well coated. Set aside.
- In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt.
- While the water comes to a boil, take the remaining melted butter and brush with a pastry brush into a 3 Quart baking dish (or a disposable aluminium turkey roasting pan - for easy cleanup and transport). (Also, if you don't have a pastry brush, you can use a paper towel dipped in the butter to coat the pan). Set aside.
- In another large pot on medium heat, melt 6 Tbsp butter and, once melted, add 1/2 cup all purpose flour. Whisk together to make a rue. Slowly pour in the warm milk and whisk constantly until all the milk is added and the sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
- Add the olive oil to the boiling water and stir in the pasta. Follow cooking instructions on the package for cook time or until the pasta is al-dente (firm, but not hard). Pour the pasta into a colander and rinse with cold running water and allow to drain.
- Add 1/2 tsp Sea Salt, White Pepper, Nutmeg, Tarragon, Cayenne Pepper, Gruyere, Cheddar and Pecorino cheeses to the sauce mixture and stir until the cheese melts.
- In a large bowl, combine the drained pasta and cheese sauce and pour into the buttered baking dish. Combine lobster, sea scallops and cooked bacon. Sprinkle the bread pieces over the top and place in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cheese bubbles.
I made this for my dad for Father' Day because he LOVES seafood, especially lobster. I don't eat seafood and have never cooked it before but this recipe was really easy and it came out great. The only thing I changed was the cheeses used. I used pecorino romano, fontina, and two kinds of sharp chedddar. Still came out amazing. Great recipe!
By now, the neighbor couple I sometimes cook for, & who love mac & cheese, are fully aware that there are times when I take them a mac & cheese casserole with a large scoop of the stuff missing! Well that wasn't the case this time, because, although I made the full recipe, I did make two smaller casseroles from it & kept one here for just the 2 of us! As were the neighbors, we were totally thrilled with this superb dish & the taste is outstanding! Thanks so much for sharing it! [Made & reviewed for one of my adopted chefs in this Spring's Pick A Chef]