So my kids are growing up and the first one has already married and moved away from home (insert big sigh here). Fortunately, she lives close to home and we still see each other frequently. One of the things I did to ensure this happened was to establish a weekly family dinner. Almost every Sunday night, we host a family dinner at our house. It’s a great time for our family to have time together. This last week I asked my daughter if there was one of my dishes that she missed and would like me to make. She suggested my Mac and Cheese. Kids just don’t change!
I will admit to good old Kraft Mac and Cheese being a staple in my house, but at some point I decided it was time to see how this kid favorite meal could be upgraded. I found a wonderful recipe that worked well and over time I’ve tweaked it and made it my own, including one secret ingredient that makes it especially good!
This recipe is loved by young and old! If you want to jazz it up, you can also add lobster to the mix and oh man have you got a special dish!!! Another great thing about it, is that it freezes great so make an extra big batch and freeze individual servings for your loved ones to enjoy at a later date.
While this is not the lowest of fat recipes, I will choose lower fat versions of the ingredients where ever possible.
Four Cheese Mac and Cheese (with Lobster)
3 cups uncooked large macaroni/elbow pasta (you can use the small ones too, but I think the sauce gets inside and coats the larger ones better)
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
2 1/2 cups Milk (We always use 1% organic milk at our house)
6 oz 2% Velveeta or Velveeta Light,cubed
½ cup Shredded, Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese
4 oz Light Cream Cheese
½ cup Grated, Fresh Parmesan Cheese (none of that substance that comes in the green can!)
1 tsp Hot Sauce
1 ½ cups Reduced Fat Cheese-it Crackers (My secret ingredient!!! This makes the dish so much tastier than just using bread crumbs, like most recipes call for!)
Optional: 1-2 lobster tails
Cook pasta in salted wateraccording to package directions, but maybe shorten the cooking time a bit as you’re going to baking this too, so you don’t want it too mushy. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a pyrex lasagna dish with cooking spray. When pasta is done cooking, drain.
Put Cheese-it crackers in a food processor and pulse until you have fairly fine crumbles. If you don’t have a food processor, put them in a zip lock bag and pound with a kitchen mallet or go over it with a rolling pin.
in a large sauce pan, combine the flour, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the milk over medium-low heat. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the rest of the milk an hot sauce and continue stirring until it starts to come to a boil then reduce heat to low (See instructions below if adding lobster). Stir in all your cheeses and continue to stir until the cheese is mostly melted. If your sauce pot is big enough, pour in your macaroni. If it’s not big enough layer your macaroni pasta and sauce in the pyrex lasagna pan and stir, so the pasta is well coated with your sauce (add lobster meat here). Top mixture in pyrex dish with crumbled Cheese-it crackers. Bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
If you’re adding the lobster, remove the meat from the pre-boiled lobster tail shell, but keep the shells. Put the empty shells into your simmering sauce. This will add more lobster flavor to your dish. Dice your lobster meat. I like it in smaller chunks, so that it distributes well throughout the dish. Remove the lobster shells from the sauce before adding the various cheeses. You don’t want a bunch of your cheesy goodness to stick to the shells.