One skillet lobster mac and cheese is a huge win, but an even bigger win for the cast iron skillet. This recipe marks the start of my “journey” to see how many cast iron skillet recipes I can create that require no extra pans. Why? I love cooking things in one pan and I hate cleaning dishes, like everyone else in the world. Dishes are the death of me. I stare at them…they stare back at me…I walk away and hope they clean themselves.
That said, cast iron is so versatile, inexpensive, and indestructible. it’s becoming my favorite pan in the kitchen. My challenge for this particular dish was to see if I could condense a macaroni and cheese recipe to a single cast iron skillet. I was inspired by Scott’s famous mac and cheese recipe.
Scott’s personal hack is to not actually cook the pasta elbows separately before combining with the cheese and baking. In fact, the cheese sauce cooks the pasta while it bakes in the oven, amazing right? So the one big question was: Can I cook the cheesy sauce in a skillet and bake it in the same skillet without everything burning or sticking? YES.
Lobster mac and cheese is the perfect way to eat leftover lobster (if there ever is any). I personally don’t think I would buy and steam lobster for the sole purpose of making lobster mac and cheese, however don’t let me stop you. Sometimes we will steam an extra lobster on lobster night and peel it and freeze it for later use.
As Scott will tell you, the cheese is very important. I use extra sharp white cheddar, ‘orange’ sharp cheddar (for color), and then balance with a smoother fontina or gruyere. Maybe it’s just me, but the sharp cheddar cheeses give homemade mac and cheese a gourmet finish on traditional comfort food. Can I say classy comfort food?
WINTER IS COMING. Is there a better time to start thinking about some hot savory fall dishes?
Nothing goes better with macaroni and cheese than craft beer. Just ask the folks at Barrel House Z. I wanted to give a quick shoutout to the local brewery in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Barrel House Z features small-batch craft beers aged in various spirit barrels such as whiskey, rum, and tequila. Their approach to beer is unique and delicious. I especially like the tequila aged beers. If you’re in the Boston area then I highly recommend you drop in for a pint, a “macanada” (an empanada stuffed with macaroni and cheese), and then bring a growler home to sip with your homemade lobster mac and cheese. You won’t regret it.
- 1-2 cups lobster, fully cooked and chopped
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 8 ounce stick, extra sharp white cheddar cheese
- 8 ounce stick, 'orange' sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 ounce stick, fontina cheese
- 2 cups croutons, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cut cheese into 1" cubes. Cut lobster into bite sized cubes and set aside.
- Spray cast iron skillet liberally with cooking spray. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the milk and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in flour, one tablespoon at a time, whisking out lumps.
- Turn heat down to medium low. Add cheese one handful at a time, periodically whisking until fully melted. If the cheese does not start to melt, slightly increase temperature.
- Once sauce is smooth and cheese is fully melted, Stir in dry pasta until evenly distributed throughout the skillet. Sir in fully cooked lobster.
- Cover skillet with tin foil and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until cheese bubbles along edges of skillet.
- Remove foil and top with crushed croutons and return to oven uncovered for 10 more minutes. Remove and let cool before serving, about 10 minutes.