Thursday, October 07, 2010

Comfort Food

Once again the lovely folks at Marx Foods have issued a challenge to their friendly and obedient food blogging fans (I'm not sure which, if either, of those categories applies to me!). This time we don't have to work with any really unusual ingredients or anything that tastes craptastic. We just get to play with fungus, one of my very favorite ingredients! I got a fun sampling of all different dried mushrooms, some that I've never seen before. I decided to combine to prettiest with the one I was most familiar with into one of my favorite comfort foods: mac n cheese.  Nobody doesn't love mac n cheese, and if they say they do, they lie. Or they have some kind of serious mental problem. Either way, I wouldn't invite one of those people over for dinner if I were you.

I remade the mushroom puree I featured last week with a sample of porcinis because I just loved it that much. I hoped it would add some depth and real mushroom flavor to the sauce. Then I used the lobster mushrooms for the color and because E wouldn't budge on the actual lobster budget. I originally wanted to add some lobster meat to this dish, but the price tag was disturbing, especially after Lobster Fest only a month ago! So these mushrooms stood in the place of the real deal, and they look so much like chunks of lobster meat it's weird. Add to that my favorite cheese, smoked Gouda, and you've got something stupid delicious.

Lobster Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese
serves four


2 Tbls. fresh parsely, coarsely chopped
4 slices day old Italian bread, cut into cubes
2 Tbls. melted butter

1/2 lb. whole wheat penne, cooked and drained
1/2 oz. dried lobster mushrooms
1/2 c. mushroom puree
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup smoked Gouda, grated
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar, grated
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
hot sauce (we looove Frank's Red Hot!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse Italian bread and parsley until very coarse crumbs form. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with melted butter and set aside.
In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add dried mushrooms and steep for 20 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a large, deep sauté pan, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until tender. Add mushroom puree and cook 2 minutes. Stir in cream and milk and bring to a simmer. Cook 25-30 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.
Spoon a small amount of sauce into a small bowl. Whisk in beaten egg slowly. Return egg mixture to the pot and remove from heat. Stir in lobster mushrooms, pasta and cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce if desired. Spoon into a 9x9 baking dish and cover with bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is bubbly and browned.

Print the Recipe

This post is linked to:
Vegetarian Foodie Fridays, Friday Potluck, and Foodie Friday


ButterYum said...

I've never heard of lobster mushrooms before. They sound very interesting. Thanks for the link.


Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

I've never heard of lobster mushies either - but I do love fungus!! I also love mac & cheese -- it's a staple at our house, in fact. This recipe looks AAA-mazing, and I love the idea of adding lobster meat or even crab meat to it! Thanks for joining Friday Potluck and sharing this recipe!

Hanna said...

Hi there! I am your newest follower from the Friday blog hop!!! Lovely blog:) You can find me at

OH MAN. this look sawesome and right up my alley. I'm def going to try. I have lots of recipes on my blog too:)

Melodie said...

I love mushrooms and I love mac and cheese. This looks terrific. Many thanks for sharing it at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays!

Anonymous said...

This looks awesome! Also congrats to you too for making the featured blogs!!! Mmmmmm :)