Jan 29, 201309:54 AMFood & Dining
Tasty Tidbits and Food For Thought
Comfort food. That's what I was searching out when I walked into Black N Bleu in Mechanicsburg on a Thursday evening last fall, after a long day of work, numerous errands, with a ravenous foodie daughter in tow.
I ordered calamari and a large pizza, and my daughter ordered a large Lobster Mac and Cheese. Little did I know when I ordered, the portion sizes there are more than generous.
The large Lobster Mac and Cheese entree could have filled a giant casserole dish. We dug into the plate with a flurry of forks, and filled ourselves with the creamy carbs until we were sated. We had put a huge dent in the entree, but still left with ample leftovers for my husband and enough for several more small meals.
Several days later, my daughter inquired as to the whereabouts of the remaining Lobster Mac and Cheese.
"What, you ask?" I said, trying to feign an expression of ignorance and innocence.
After further interrogation, I fessed up and admitted that I had been eating the Lobster Mac and Cheese for breakfast the past few days.
Umm... yes, for breakfast. In the wee morning hours of a dark winter morning, it seemed like a naturally perfect day-starting combination of dairy, protein and carbs. Needless to say, my foodie teen was not very happy that her leftovers had disappeared.
Comfort food. That's what I craved last week as the Artic cold dragged on, capped off by snow and an unexpected two hour school delay. My thoughts turned to the Lobster Mac and Cheese again.
I could make it myself, I thought, and set out to find a suitable recipe on the internet. Unfortunately, most of the recipes I found were less than suitable.
Now, I am the type of person that refuses to make New Year's resolutions, has managed to go to the gym only twice - yes twice! - during the entire month of January, and who eats Lobster Mac and Cheese for breakfast.
But as shameless and lazy as I can be, I could not bring myself to create a dish during this post-holiday time of year that includes an entire stick of butter, 20 oz. of cheese, and $20 worth of lobster, topped off with a whopping 700 calories and 40 grams of fat.
So after some soul searching and further thought, I decided to create a recipe myself.
I found imitation Lobster Delights by Louis Kemp in the frozen seafood aisle for the modest price of $3.59 a package. Whole grain macaroni is inexpensive and readily available, and Cabot has an excellent quality low-fat sharp cheddar cheese. I also read that reduced fat evaporated milk is an perfect substitution for full fat cream.
And, if I wanted to, I could add mushrooms, broccoli, or red peppers to sneak in some veggies.
I made my Lobster Mac and Cheese today. And if they call for a wintry mix, I've got my comfort food. I've got my comfort food. I could even eat it for breakfast.
It's a dish that tastes good, is easy to make and doesn't wreak havoc on my budget or cholesterol. And that surely is a source of true comfort.
Jane's Lite Lobster Mac and Cheese
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 pound whole-wheat elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
- 1 (12-ounce) can reduced-fat evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup 2 percent milk
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Dash hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 8 ounces 50% Cabot light cheddar cheese, (about 2 cups), preferably grated by hand, (tastes best to not use pre-grated.)
- One package Louis Kemp imitation Lobster bites.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and the macaroni; cook until the pasta is completely cooked and tender. Drain, set aside.
- Add the evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of the 2 percent milk, mustard, garlic powder (if using), hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the now-empty saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Whisk the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup milk together, then whisk it into the simmering mixture. Continue to simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cheddar until melted and smooth.
- Stir in the macaroni, and let the macaroni and cheese sit off the heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 5 minutes, before serving.