Imagine the best parts of a lobster roll--buttery brioche, chunks of lobster and fresh lemon--married with your favorite mac and cheese. That's what you get in this crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside appetizer.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
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Total:
2 hr 30 min
(includes chilling time)
Active:
1 hr
Yield:
48 squares
Level:
Intermediate
Total:
2 hr 30 min
(includes chilling time)
Active:
1 hr
Yield:
48 squares
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions for al dente. Drain and set aside.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the flour and cook until bubbling, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 2 teaspoons salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened and the flour taste is gone, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Parmesan and mascarpone until melted and smooth. Fold in the macaroni, lobster and chopped tarragon. 

Put the Muenster and Gruyere in a large bowl. Add the macaroni mixture and fold until just combined. Spread the mixture evenly over a quarter baking sheet and freeze until just solid, about 1 hour. 

Set up a breading station with 3 shallow dishes: Mix 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1 cup flour in the first dish. Beat the eggs and 1 teaspoon salt in the second dish and add the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon salt to the third dish. 

Cut the chilled macaroni mixture into 1-inch squares with a paring knife. Coat each square in the flour, then dip in the egg, letting any excess drip off. Press into the breadcrumbs and transfer to a baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches of oil and set over medium-high heat. Heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375 degrees F.

Fry the breaded macaroni squares in batches until golden brown on the outside and hot in the middle, about 2 minutes. Bring the oil temperature back up between batches.

After the last batch, bring the oil temperature back up again. Add the tarragon leaves, parsley and chives in 1/4-cup batches to the hot oil and fry until the water is released and the herbs are no longer bubbling, about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. 

Put the lemon zest and remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a small saute pan and heat until melted and foamy.

Drizzle the mac and cheese squares with the lemon butter and sprinkle with the fried herbs. Serve with lemon wedges. 

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