Recipe Spotlight: Claw into Lobster Mac-and-Cheese Three Ways

The ultimate comfort food, mac-and-cheese has made a comeback over the past decade, showing up everywhere from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.

To sort Hy-Vee’s mac-and-cheese out from the crowd, we’re offering some new twists that combine the down-home staple with the indulgence of Responsible Choice lobster and swanky gourmet cheeses.

If you’re worried about carbohydrate-rich foodstuffs, a healthier-choice recipe is included that uses whole grain pasta, nonfat milk and Greek yogurt, part-skim mozzarella cheese and some organic ingredients.


Five-Cheese Lobster Mac with Tomato Pancetta Jam

All you need:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 leek (white part only), chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz chevre cheese (goat cheese)
  • 4 oz Grand Reserve white cheddar
  • 4 oz Tillamook sharp yellow cheddar
  • 4 oz St. Angel Brie cheese
  • 4 oz Bel Paese cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound cooked Responsible Choice lobster meat, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter; add leek and sweat, stirring frequently, not allowing it to brown, for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the flour, ground mustard and garlic powder to create a thick paste. Whisk in milk and cream; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Once it begins to bubble, immediately remove from heat and add in the goat cheese, cheddars, Brie and Bel Paese, stirring until all the cheese is melted and smooth. Gently fold in lobster meat; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Place cooked noodles in the pan; pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Serve mac and cheese with Tomato Pancetta Jam, recipe below.

The Tomato Pancetta Jam

All you need:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz diced pancetta, cooked and drained

All you do:

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add shallots; sweat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugars, water, salt and pepper.
  2. Allow to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Once finished, stir in pancetta and allow to cool.

Healthier Choice Lobster Mac-and-Cheese

  • 8 oz whole grain rotini pasta
  • 4 1/2 tbsp organic Kalona butter, divided
  • 2 small leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup Full Circle organic nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Organic Valley part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Organic Valley raw sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 pound cooked Responsible Choice lobster meat, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Cook rotini according to package and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter; add leeks and garlic and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, melt remaining butter; add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in milk and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and add 6 ounces mozzarella, sharp cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt; mix well.
  4. Add the leeks, pasta and paprika to the sauce and stir to combine. Gently fold in lobster meat; season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with bread crumbs and remaining 2 ounces mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs have browned.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine baby arugula, tomatoes, lemon and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve: Serve macaroni and cheese topped with the baby arugula salad.

Lobster Mac & Cheese Carbonara

All you need:

  • Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk, or more if needed, heated until hot
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups (8 oz) grated Asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) grated white cheddar, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) grated yellow cheddar, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1 cup (4 oz) grated fontina cheese, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound cooked Responsible Choice lobster meat, chopped

All you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-by-10-by-2-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the garlic to the fat in the pan and cook until light golden brown, 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk, raise the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the thyme, cayenne and all the different cheeses (but not the topping amounts) until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add additional warm milk, 1/4 cup at a time.
  5. Put the cooked macaroni in a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce, reserved bacon and parsley. Gently fold in lobster meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine an additional 1/4 cup each of Asiago, cheddars, fontina and Parmesan in a bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake until the dish is heated through and the top is a light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Author: Andrew Kintigh

Chef Andrew Kintigh started his culinary career at the age of 14, working at a catering company in northwest Iowa. Andrew pursued his passion for cooking at the Art Institutes International Minnesota. He earned an Associate’s degree in culinary arts and a Bachelor’s degree in culinary management. With over a decade of experience, Andrew has worked at a few of Minneapolis’ favorite restaurants, such as Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, Bobino Café & Wine Bar, and Tryg’s Restaurant, before he joined the North Ankeny Blvd Hy-Vee team. Andrew participates in numerous Des Moines area events, including Iowa’s Premiere Beer, Wine & Food Expo, Hy-Vee Whole Health Experience, Swine Festival, Morsel Combat, Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, and the Iowa State Fair. Recently, Andrew was named the Ethnic Meals champion at the Food Marketing Institute’s Supermarket Chef Showdown in Chicago. You can often catch Andrew on air doing a radio segment or chatting with local TV anchors about his latest recipes. Andrew specializes in teaching how to cook with fresh new ingredients and bringing his creative recipes to the family table.

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