Heavenly, bliss, perfection, paradise, comfort food, the best ever…. just a few words that came to mind when we sat down to
eat consume this meal. Here’s what happened:
The Wine: Bodegas M Albarino Querida 2011
The Albarino grape is a Spanish white varietal that also thrives in Paso Robles, CA thanks to a climate that mirrors the Ribera del Duero in Spain. This Albarino is from Edna Valley in Paso, and it is lovely green-gold color, with aromas of citrus and pineapple, and flavors of green apple, citrus, and narcissus wrapped in a creamy finish… in other words the perfect companion for creamy, lobstery Mac & Cheese.
The Food: Lobster Mac & Cheese
- 2 lobster tails (we used Fresh Water Lobster, but any variety will do)
- 1 16 oz. bag pasta (we chose shells, but elbow or bow tie would do nicely as well)
- 5 cups grated cheeses (our recommendation- Pepper Jack, Mild Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, and a Gruyere/Aged Cheddar Blend)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 a chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- assortment of spices – 21 Seasoning Salute, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Pepper
- Toasted Bread Crumbs (use the heal of a good loaf of bread, pulse in food processor till crumbly, spread crumbs out on baking sheet and toast for 5 min in 350 degree oven)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Boil water for lobster, add the lobster, boil for roughly 5-10 minutes until the tail has turned a dark pink and the meat is a solid white throughout, take out of water and let cool. When cool, use kitchen scissors to cut down the center of the back of the lobster and scoop the meat out with a spoon. Roughly chop up the lobster meat in chunks.
- In another pot, boil water for pasta, cook until Al Dente. Drain pasta and toss together with lobster chunks in a greased casserole dish.
- In a sauce pot, saute onion and garlic in butter till soft, slowly add the cheese and milk stirring constantly, add the spices to taste (we don’t bother measuring- the more the better 😉 As soon as the cheese is completely melted and everything is mixed together turn off the heat (IMPORTANT NOTE- do not over cook the sauce mixture or it will get rubbery, you want a smooth consistency). Pour Cheese Sauce over pasta and lobster, toss the Mac. Top with Toasted Bread Crumbs and more 21 Seasoning Salute.
- Bake for 20 min, the crust should be golden brown and the sauce bubbling.
As you can tell, we are clearly obsessed with this pairing, and we will try to stop drooling for just a minute to actually describe the food/wine coma it put us in… The Albarino is crisp enough to cut through the richness of the lobster and the cheesy goodness (a buttery Chardonnay would certainly be overkill for this meal). The fresh fruity flavors played quite nicely with the creamy consistency, and also highlighted the seafood pop of the lobster. This Albarino is particularly well balanced and delivers a smoothness that perfects the comfort food essence of this meal.
We are so glad that the once homely meal of Mac & Cheese has been elevated to “Gourmet” status; now we can go on acting “classy” with our comfort food and wine.
Your Special Wines Direct Sommeliers