Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

lobster1

Just in case you didn’t think that macaroni and cheese could get any more decadent…you come across this gut busting concoction! Seriously though – it calls for four cups of cheese and four cups of heavy cream…in order to redeem this a tad, this Momma is going to use half and half instead of all cream. That’s how I roll, folks! ūüėČ I can’t justify it, even if it is a rare dish in this house. I learned something about myself while making this: handling lobster tails gives me the willies! This was my first time handling raw lobster and the shell grossed me out. My daughter thought the spots on the shell were its eyes! That was kind of funny, but she is always wary of trying new things. I told her lobster is like a huge shrimp, but tastes even better. She ended up eating her entire serving and proceeded to ask if she can take some leftovers to school ūüėČ

Verdict: This came out good, but it could use some more spice. Make sure to season well and taste the sauce as you go. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese – adapted from The Neely’s

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere
  • 2 (8-ounce) raw lobster tails, defrosted if frozen, meat removed from shell, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

lobster

Directions –
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter.

In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.

Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf. Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. When thickened, remove the bay leaves.

Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with parsley.

Spicy Roasted Shrimp Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo

Quick Post: It seems that I can’t go wrong when I give them shrimp! ūüėČ M really liked the chipotle mayo, and it would be a great addition to other sandwiches – that is, if you have any leftovers! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spicy Roasted Shrimp Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo –

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chipotle Avocado Mayonnaise
  • 1 baguette,¬†cut it into 3-4 equal pieces, toasted, for serving
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
  • Bacon (cause everything is better with it)
  • Sliced tomato and avocado, for serving


Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine shrimp, olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.

Place shrimp mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and roast just until pink, firm and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.

Serve sandwiches on a baguette with romaine lettuce, avocado, shrimp and chipotle avocado mayonnaise.

Chipotle Mayonnaise –¬†

  • 1-3¬†chipotle peppers, in adobo sauce
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions –

Combine chipotle peppers, avocado, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lime juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor; set aside.

Garlic Shrimp Over Pasta

This is simple, weeknight fare at its best. My family loves shrimp, so I knew this would have to be a winner. I’m not usually a fan of less saucy pasta recipes, but this resulted in a light and flavorful pasta dish suitable for company. I served these with leftover breadsticks that I rewarmed in the oven, and Pecorino Romano cheese for grating over top all. The addition of lemon zest and juice was my adaptation of this recipe, plus the swap for white wine instead of using beer. I like the brightness of the lemon that cuts some of ¬†the richness of the butter and the light flavor of the wine over beer. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Garlicky Shrimp over Pasta – adapted from Steamy Kitchen via Thermador

  • 1 pound dried spaghetti (or other pasta)
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ¬Ĺ onion, chopped
  • ¬ľ pound butter
  • ¬Ĺ bottle beer of your choice (*I used white wine)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon zest, lemon slices and lemon juice – to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • handful fresh basil leaves

1.    Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions.

2.    While the pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and when beginning to bubble, add in the onion and the garlic. Saute for 4 minutes until very fragrant.

3.    Pour in the beer. Turn the heat to medium-high. When the beer begins to bubble, add the shrimp,  fresh basil, lemon zest and juice. Cover and let cook for 4 minutes.

4.¬†¬†¬† Season with salt, pepper and crushed pepper flakes. Stir and taste sauce ‚Äď season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve over pasta.

Penne and Shrimp with Vodka Cream Sauce

Quick Post:¬†This is quick, easy and it makes a lot of food, so it’s perfect for company. ¬†I used this recipe, but I didn’t have white wine but I did have vodka. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Penne and Shrimp with Vodka Cream Sauce – adapted from The Pioneer Woman
  • 3/4 pounds¬†Penne Pasta (I used a pound)
  • 1 pound¬†Shrimp (I used 1.5 pounds, we love shrimp)
  • 2 Tablespoons¬†Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons¬†Olive Oil
  • 1 whole¬†Onion (small)
  • 2 cloves¬†Garlic
  • 1/2 cup¬†vodka (or white wine)
  • 1 can¬†Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
  • 1 cup¬†Heavy Cream
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • lots of Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil, if you have it

Preparation Instructions

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite ‚Äďsized pieces and set aside.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saut√©, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your vodka or white wine. Let the vodka or wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use alcohol, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ¬Ĺ cup).

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Fish Tacos

Quick Post: I’m not the most confident when it comes to fish or frying, but I tackled both for tonight’s dinner. Frying makes me nervous because it is pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Instead of deep frying, I only used about 1/3 of an inch of oil in my pan and flipped the fish halfway through the cooking time. Also, I recommend setting your oven to the lowest it will go – (mine was at 150) and placed the fish on a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan and let them hang out in the warm oven. Two pounds of fish is a lot to fry, and I couldn’t put more than 6 or 7 pieces in my pan at a time. These turned out to be really tasty and I would use this recipe again. We enjoyed these with my favorite Mexican “orange” rice and fresh pico de gallo. I would have liked to make the chile mayo because it would have added creaminess to go with the crunch of the fish, but I ran out of mayo the other day. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

The Ultimate Fish Tacos ingredients – adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 2 pounds mahi mahi¬†(skinned, boned and cleaned) cut into 1-ounce strips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions –

Prepare the fish. Cut the pieces of fish into 1-ounce strips. Set up a breading station of flour, lightly beaten eggs with water, and seasoned panko bread crumbs. Season all with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces of fish in flour, egg then bread crumbs. Once all the fish is breaded deep-fry in small batches in (375 degrees F) oil. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Pico de Gallo ingredients – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 5 whole Plum (roma) Tomatoes
  • ¬Ĺ whole Large (or 1 Small) Onion
  • 3 whole Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt To Taste

Direction –

Chop jalapenos, tomatoes and onions into a very small dice. (Leave seeds in your jalapenos for a hotter pico). Adjust amount of jalapenos to your preferred temperature. Next, chop up a nice-sized bunch of cilantro. Just remove and discard the long leafless stems before chopping. No need to remove the leaves from the stems completely. Place all of these ingredients together in a bowl and give it a good stir.

Squeeze the juice of half of one lime into the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir again.