Learn to make lobster mac and cheese from Maya Steaks & Seafood

My wife and I recently went to Maya Steaks & Seafood and had the best Lobster Mac & Cheese we’ve ever had. Please, please see if you can get this recipe! Thank you. — Steve Little, Sandy Springs

Chef Mimmo Alboumeh created this recipe that puts a Spanish twist on an American comfort food favorite. In sending the recipe he wrote, “At Maya we cook with passion and use mostly imported high quality ingredients so we recommend you do the same by shopping at a good specialty grocer. Buen provecho!”

Lobster base is a condensed concentrate and can be found in the soup section of many grocery stores. For the cooked lobster called for in the recipe, you’ll need two or three 1 1/2-pound lobsters for about a pound of meat. If you’re using lobster tails, an 8-ounce tail will yield about 4 ounces of cooked meat. And if you’re cooking the lobster, save the shells and make lobster stock for another dish.

Maya Steak & Seafood’s Lobster Mac & Cheese

20 cups water

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound campanelle pasta

1/2 pound unsalted butter, divided

2 small shallots, minced

2 tablespoons minced garlic

6 tablespoons fine sherry

3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons original Tabasco

3 teaspoons smoked mild Spanish paprika

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 pound Gruyere, shredded (about 3 cups)

6 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)

3 ounces Manchego, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

5 tablespoons white truffle oil

2 ounces cream cheese (about 4 tablespoons)

1 ounce Valdeon blue cheese crumbles (about 2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons lobster base

1 cup panko

1 pound cooked lobster meat

In a stockpot, bring water to a boil. Add salt and olive oil and stir in pasta. Cook 8 minutes, then drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt 12 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook 6 minutes or until the shallot turns translucent. Add sherry, thyme, Tabasco, paprika, white pepper, salt, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Stir in cream and cook until mixture reaches 120 degrees. Add Gruyere, Cheddar, Manchego, truffle oil, cream cheese, blue cheese and lobster base. Heat to 180 degrees, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture until completely smooth. Remove 2 cups of sauce to use with lobster and set aside.

Add cooked pasta to remaining sauce and then spread into an 11-by-13-inch baking dish that is at least 2 1/2 inches deep. Sprinkle with panko and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.

While pasta is baking, heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add lobster and cook 5 minutes or just until cooked through. Stir in reserved cheese sauce and spread lobster over baked pasta. Return to oven and bake 6 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves: 8

Per serving: 1,089 calories (percent of calories from fat, 66), 39 grams protein, 54 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 79 grams fat (44 grams saturated), 271 milligrams cholesterol, 1,533 milligrams sodium.

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