Chef Harry Mills of Heavy Restaurant Group Shares the Purple Special, Lobster Mac & Cheese"/>
Yesterday, Chef Harry Mills, Bellevue's executive chef at Heavy Restaurant Group (better known as "Coach" by his kitchen team), traced his journey from wine cellar to wine bar. Today, he shares a popular signature dish from Purple Café and Wine Bar, the Lobster Mac & Cheese. This recipe calls for a slosh of white wine with the implicit instruction to drink the rest. For some cues on which wines to pair with the dish, take a cue from Coach Mills. "We tend to pair with whites a lot more than reds for acidity and so forth," explains Mills. "We love whites that are slightly off dry."
Photo by Daniel Kezner
Purple Café and Wine Bar's Lobster Mac & Cheese
32 oz. Campanelle Pasta
6 oz. Butter
2 oz. Shallots, Finely Minced
18 oz. Lobster Meat, Half Cooked, Shucked from its Shell, and Large Diced
3 oz. White Wine
18 oz. Heavy Cream
12 oz. Gruyere Cheese
4 oz. Domestic Fontina Cheese
4 oz. Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. Lemon Juice
Salt and White Pepper to Taste
1 Carrot, Shaved with a Vegetable Peeler
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Make the garnishes by dusting the carrots in corn starch and separately frying them at 325 degrees until crisp. Do not let them darken! Drain on paper towels.
Par cook the pasta by boiling it for half of the time stated on the instructions (pasta companies differ). Drain the pasta and cool under cold running water.
Sweat the shallots in the butter until they are translucent. About 3-4 Minutes.
Add the cream and bring to a full boil. Reduce for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Add the lobster meat and just warm through.
Add the pasta and thoroughly toss in the cream. Until coated.
Add ¾ of the cheese and stir until melted.
While vigorously stirring, drizzle in the lemon juice a little at a time. Do not dump it in all at once or the cream will curdle!!!
Taste for salt. Add if necessary.
Place the whole of the pasta in an oven-safe casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees until bubbly and brown on the top.
Garnish with the fried leeks and carrots.
CAREFUL, the dish comes out of the oven at somewhere near 180 to 200 degrees. Do not eat right away or risk personal injury.