Many years ago, back when we were stationed in D.C., I attempted to make seafood lasagna. I don't remember where I got the recipe from, probably Taste of Home since that's all I read back then, but it remains a source of great amusement for my husband. To say it was awful would be a giant understatement. It was (and still is) one of the worst things I had ever made...in my life.
Since then I've been incredibly wary of paring seafood with any type of pasta. I'm not sure why...my cooking skills have improved ten-fold in the 7 years since that horrible dish exited my oven. I'm much more confident in the kitchen (save for baking...all baked goods hate me). There's nothing I won't attempt to make anymore (though I still like to stick with easy recipes cause I'm just that lazy). So I don't know what the deal is.
When I saw this on Martha Stewart's site, I knew I needed to get my big girl panties on and try this. I love mac n cheese, I love seafood, so it had to be made. Luckily this turned out about a million times better than my seafood lasagna (ya know, edible and all), and this is certainly a recipe I'd make again. Just prep everything you need before you start cooking, and this is a pretty easy dinner! I can't wait to move back to CT and try this with lobster. For some reason it's friggin impossible to find fresh lobster meat here in SC.
Of course, the best seafood mac and cheese in all the world is Hancock's Lobster Mac n Cheese, but that's just me. They've kind of ruined me when it comes to lobster mac n cheese...unfortunately the stuff is so damn expensive that I can only treat myself to it a couple times a year. In the meantime though, this is an excellent recipe to have on hand when I'm hankering for some Lobster mac, but don't want to shell out the $$ for my favorite.
'Seafood Mac n Cheese'
Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Salt and ground pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster, shrimp, crawfish, or crabmeat (or any combination)
4 cups (1 pound) mixed grated cheeses, such as Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, and fontina
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
1. Heat oven to 400. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni 2 minutes less than al dente. Drain; rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium in a large saucepan. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a medium bowl, and reserve. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add milk; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg.
3. Remove pan from heat. Fold in seafood, macaroni, and cheese; transfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish. To the bowl with reserved melted butter, add breadcrumbs and Creole seasoning; toss, and scatter over macaroni mixture.
4. Bake uncovered until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.