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Pressure Cooker Lobster Mac and Cheese and A Giveaway!

When a company contacts me and asks me if I would like some cheese to play with, I am certainly not going to say no. Do I look crazy to you? Only a crazy person turns down free cheese.

Armstrong cheese has been making Canadian cheese for over 100 years so they know a thing or two about making a good product. As soon as I tried the old cheddar, I knew what I would make with it. For an old cheddar, it's actually on the milder side and the texture is very smooth and creamy - some cheddars can be grainybut I could tell that this one was going to melt beautifully, and it did. If the cheese was too strongly flavoured, it would have overpowered the delicate flavour of the lobster but this cheddar let the lobster sing it's lobster song.

Mac and cheese, baby. But not just any old mac and cheese. LOBSTER mac and cheese. Not just any lobster mac and cheese. PRESSURE COOKER lobster mac and cheese.

I have been dying to make the pressure cooker mac and cheese from America's Test Kitchen because I know that their recipes are always the most sound and make a perfect base that you can build on. After reading a million blogs to see how they are making their mac and cheese in their pressure cookers and pretty much everyone is basically making the ATK version, whether they admit it or not. I didn't change much other than the fact that I used much less evaporated milk. The original recipe calls for an entire can but we don't like ours to be that soupy. If you do like it soupy, feel free to use more evaporated milk. Okay, so I added a bunch of lobster and a crazy delicious crispy bacon bread topping but the base of the recipe is the same. Why mess with perfection?

Steaming the lobster tails in my Instant Pot for 3 minutes on low pressure with a quick release was the perfect timing. Almost a hair undercooked so that it wouldn't turn into rubber after throwing it into the hot cheese sauce and the cheese melts seamlessly into the evaporated milk - no need to use heavy cream with all that cheese when 2% evaporated milk will give you all the rich, silkiness  you could ever need in a cheese sauce.

So, now on to the giveaway, courtesy of Armstrong Cheese:
this giveaway is open to residents of Canada but fyi, the best product availability is in Ontario, BC, Alberta and Manitoba as far as redeeming the coupons for Armstrong Cheese.
The winner will have to willing to give their name and address for shipping and answer a skill testing question.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received some free cheese to play with but, as always, my opinions are very much my own. 

Pressure Cooker Lobster Mac and Cheese

serves 4

elevate your mac and cheese with cavatappi

2 lobster tails
225 (8 oz) cavatappi
2 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp chili flake
170 ml (3/4 cup) 2% evaporated milk
200 g (7 oz) Armstrong Old Cheddar
ground black pepper

Crispy Bread Topping

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
40g (1.4 0z) bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
1 tbls butter
15g freshly grated parmesan (.5 oz)

to cook the lobster:
Put 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker and set the two lobster tails on a trivet, shell side down. Steam on low pressure for 3 minutes and then quick release. Shock the lobster in an ice bath to stop cooking. Remove the shell and chop up the lobster meat, set aside.

To make the Crispy Bread Topping:
fry the chopped bacon in a small pan until it starts to get crispy. At that point, add in the garlic, stir around for about 30 seconds and then add in the butter. Toss the bread crumbs in the fat , coating evenly and continue to fry the crumbs for another 3 or 4 minutes, until they get nice and brown and crispy. Grate the parmesan over the top and fold in, cooking for another 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the mac and cheese:
Put the pasta, the water, salt, dry mustard and chili flake in the pot of your pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes, high pressure*. When the time is up, do a quick release, hit cancel and then hit saute. Bring the water and pasta to a simmer and pour in the evaporated milk. Simmer for about 3 minutes and then turn off the cooker. Remove the pot, add in the lobster and start to stir in the cheddar, a handful at a time, stirring constantly until it's all in and melted and creamy.

Ladle the mac and cheese out into bowl and top each bowl with a generous handful of the crispy bread topping.

*because I used a heartier pasta, the five minute timing was perfect. If you are going to use small macaroni, I would go down to 4 minutes

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