For the past couple of months I’ve had the pleasure of working with the popular food website, “Jersey Bites.” There are so many great places to be discovered here in New Jersey and this site is a go-to destination to find them all. The owner, Deborah Smith, has grown the website into a hub for all things food related in Jersey, along with plenty of knowledgeable contributors. However, on April 12, Ms. Smith launched The Jersey Shore Cookbook. This isn’t necessarily MTV approved, but for those people looking beyond the club scene and into the thriving food scene of the Jersey Shore, this book is essential! I was honored to get a sneak peek into what is sure to become a staple in Jersey kitchens beyond the shore line. Almost everyone I know has memories of the Jersey Shore, and it means different things to different people. Some consider Point Pleasant and Seaside to be their “down the shore” destination. Others have fond memories of Wildwood, Long Beach Island, Lavallette, Belmar, and Cape May.
This book not only highlights recipes but gives you a walk down memory lane. It’s so exciting to look through the book and see places you once visited, dishes that you can recall inside these pages. What’s even better is that the book inspires a renewed excitement for those of us who frequent the shore. I personally have a list of new places to try this summer. The Jersey Shore Cookbook will not only be in my kitchen, but probably in my travel bag this summer acting as road map to good eats!
Recipe excerpted from The Jersey Shore Cookbook by Deborah Smith. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books.
1 LB MACARONI SUGGESTED TYPES: ELBOWS, SHELLS, OR ORECCHIETTE
1 CUP CHEDDAR CHEESE SHREDDED
1 CUP MONTEREY JACK CHEESE SHREDDED
1 CUP SWISS CHEESE CUBED
1 CUP ASIAGO CHEESE SHREDDED
3 CUPS HEAVY CREAM DIVIDED
1/2 LB UNSALTED BUTTER (1 CUP)
3/4 CUP FRESH CHIVES CHOPPED
1/2 CUP SHALLOTS SLICED BLACK PEPPER FRESHLY CRACKED, TO TASTE SEA SALT TO TASTE
2 CUPS LOBSTER MEAT COOKED AND DICED PARMESAN CHEESE GRATED, TO TASTE BREADCRUMBS TO TASTE (OPTIONAL)
COOK PASTA AL DENTE ACCORDING TO PACKAGE DIRECTIONS, TRANSFER TO A COLANDER, AND DRAIN.
BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO A BOIL OVER HIGH HEAT. FIT A METAL MIXING BOWL OVER IT TO CREATE A DOUBLE BOILER. ADD ALL CHEESES (EXCEPT THE PARMESAN) AND 1 1/2 CUPS OF THE HEAVY CREAM.
MELT CHEESES, STIRRING OFTEN TO PREVENT BURNING. IF MIXTURE SEEMS TOO STRINGY OR CLUMPY, ADD SOME OF THE REMAINING CREAM. THE TEXTURE SHOULD BE VELVETY AND A BIT LOOSE–THE CONSISTENCY OF CHEESE SOUP.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. IN A SAUTE PAN OVER MEDIUM HEAT, MELT BUTTER. ADD CHIVES, SHALLOTS, SALT, AND PEPPER. COOK, STIRRING, FOR 3 TO 4 MINUTES, OR UNTIL SHALLOTS ARE TENDER. ADD LOBSTER AND COOK, STIRRING, FOR 1 TO 2 MINUTES.
IN A LARGE BOWL, COMBINE LOBSTER MIXTURE AND PASTA AND STIR. SLOWLY ADD AS MUCH CHEESE MIXTURE AS DESIRED.
TRANSFER MIXTURE TO AN OVEN-SAFE DISH AND TIP WITH PARMESAN AND BREAD CRUMB. BAKE FOR 12 MINUTES, OR UNTIL BROWNED ON TOP AND WARM IN THE MIDDLE.