I SAY IT ALL THE TIME....FIREHOUSE COOKING IS MORE THAN JUST A BIG POT OF CHILI OR STEAK AND POTATOES. IT DOES NOT MEAN THE MEAL HAS TO BE EXTRAVAGANT AND OVER THE TOP, JUST A LITTLE CREATIVE. A SIMPLE DISH LIKE MAC AND CHEESE IS A COMMON ITEM ON FIREHOUSE MENUS, BUT WHEN YOU ADD LOBSTER AND CRAB MEAT TO IT..BOOM! NOW YOU HAVE A DISH THAT WILL DEFINITELY GET SOME OOHS AND AHHS FROM THE CREW.
LOBSTER CRAB MAC N' CHEESE
Rob Meyer - Monroe Tsp. FD, New Jersey
This recipe yielded 6 firefighter servings. (1 Firefighter Serving = 1 Hungry 200lb man + seconds)
7-10 oz of lobster meat (we used frozen pre-cooked lobster meat but fresh is obviously a preferable choice)
12-16 oz of lump crab meat
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup of chives, diced
Kosher Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 1/2lb box of pasta of choice (elbows, shells, etc)
8-10 oz of havarti cheese, shredded
16-oz of sharp cheddar, shredded
3 cups of whole milk
1/2 cup flour
8 Tablespoons of butter
Panko bread crumbs *Optional*
Sautee onions and shallots in frying pan with some butter. Add garlic 1 minute prior to being done. Remove from heat.
Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. For Mac and Cheese you would be better served removing the pasta either slightly al dente or as soon as it is done.
Melt butter in saucepan. When melted, whisk flour into butter until it becomes thickened and the butter is absorbed by the flour. Lower heat and slowly add the milk, whisking while adding. After a few minutes and the milk has begun to warm up, begin adding the cheese in parts and stir occaisionally. You may add the onions, shallots, and garlic to the cheese sauce at this point a well as salt and pepper to taste. You can use the entirety of the cheese or save some to sprinkle on top of the dish at the end.
Once your cheese has began to melt in the pan, add the lobster and crab meat into the cheese sauce and let it heat through, stirring frequently. You may add more milk as necessary if the cheese sauce starts to thicken too much. A short stint in the oven will dry out your dish too much with thick cheese sauce. A more loosely to liquidy consistency serves best. Stir the chives into the cheese sauce towards the end. For the sake of using the same dishes, we used the pot we cooked the pasta in to mix all of the ingredients together, then placed it into a 9x13 pyrex, and a smaller 8x8 pyrex dish. Top with remaining cheese, and into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins or until the cheese is melted.
*Optional bread crumbs*
Take 2 tbsp of butter and melt in pan. Add about a third to a half cup of Panko bread crumbs and mix together. Sprinkle on top of your dish to add a little bit of texture.
Seafood dishes are hard to keep cheap, but we were able to throw this together for $10. We didn't add any sides and the men were very happy with the outcome. Perhaps something like broccolli or cauliflower would work best as a side for this meal. Hope you enjoy.