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Linda's Ledge Lobster Mac & Cheese

Linda's Ledge is an easy and fast hike from Sam's Cabin and Management Center, veering off from the trail that heads to Diamond Peaks. Great views in winter and a 360 degree view of the surrounding hills. A nice alternative to Sam's Lookout for a sunset toast if a trek to Sam's isn't possible. A prepare ahead meal, the lobster mac & cheese dish is an indulgence when you have only a few folks for the evening. Keep the meat in large chunks to experience the real extravagance and richness of the dish. The basics come from a Food Network recipe, but I've made a few changes for better results.

Serves 5people
1 or 1 1/2 lb lobsters; cooked and cool enough to handle
lb cavatappi, penne, or elbow macaroni
3-3 1/2
cups milk
light cream
stick butter; divided into 6 Tablespoons and 2 Tablespoons
cup flour
cups grated cheese (use a combination of Gruyere, sharp cheddar, and/or Jack. Don't overdo on the sharp cheese to avoid overpowering the more delicate lobster flavor)
cup (or slightly less) dry sherry
tsp freshly ground pepper
tsp or adjust to taste Kosher salt
tsp nutmeg
cups bread crumbs (can use Panko)
Grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on the top
Before coming to the Grant:
Cook pasta until al dente (remember, it will go in the oven to bake as well)
Grate cheese and set aside
Remove as much meat as possible from lobsters. Chop or tear claws and tail meat into desired sized chunks. Keeping them fairly large (but bite size) gives the dish a more extravagant feel. Judge for yourself so that the lobster can be spread throughout the pan reasonably equitably.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it.
In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour.
Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Make sure flour cooks thoroughly (should be golden brown).
Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Stir 'til melted and well mixed.
Add the cooked macaroni and lobster and stir well
Place in greased 9 x 13 Pyrex dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
At the Grant: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine with the bread crumbs or Panko and sprinkle on the top of the prepared dish.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on top.

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