The inspiration for this mac & cheese came from Gayle, a member of the JAP family. Unfortunately someone in the JAP club rated her tried and true recipe that was given to her by her mother-in-law that she was so proud of, a (1) star rating. This was very hurtful to her. I can see that she is passionate about cooking as I am. Her recipe is an almost exact replica of my late aunt's recipe. We always loved her mac & cheese. My creation is a little over the top, however, I wanted to do something for Gayle to cheer her up even more. I must say "WE" JAP troops rallied behind her and by the end of the night she felt better. Heres to you Miss Gayle! Happy Cooking. sw:)
1Cook Pasta according to package (al dente). Roughly chop lobster meat and set all aside.
2In a large saucepan over medium heat add ham slices and enough water to cover ham. Cook ham for 3-4 minutes turning once. Remove ham. Chop and set aside. Reduce water until almost evaporated. Melt butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring until the flour is a light golden brown. This should take about 6-7 minutes. Slowly stir in wine and half and half, continue whisking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
3Remove pan from heat and stir in cheese, garlic, tabasco, paprika, thyme, nutmeg, truffle oil and season with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta, ham and lobster meat.
4Roughly chop lobster meat and add to the cheese mixture along with the pasta. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper.
5Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour mixture into a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch ovenproof casserole or individual ramekins. Combine breadcrumb topping. Sprinkle the casserole with breadcrumbs and bake until the mixture is heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Top with chunks cooked lobster meat.