Just think of your favorite potato dishes, and chances are they all contain at least one dairy ingredient. If it contains a fermented or cultured dairy product, like aged cheddar, the umami properties in the dairy food will make the final dish very savory. And if you start with a flavorful potato variety, your potato-dairy pairing will be even more delicious!
For the Bechamel
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter, add flour, whisk to combine and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until a beige color develops.
- Add cloves, bay leaves, cardamom, and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk cold milk into roux in 3 parts.
- After adding each part of milk, return to a simmer and whisk smooth, stirring very frequently. Simmer for 10 minutes using a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking and scorching.
- Remove from heat, remove bay leaves, and set aside.
FOR THE POTATO AND Lobster Casserole
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place four individual casserole dishes or large (12 oz.) ramekins on a baking sheet.
- Add the cheeses (and optional sodium citrate) to the bechamel over low heat and stir, cooking until the cheese has melted.
- Add cooked potatoes and cooked lobster to the bechamel and fold all ingredients together.
- Portion into individual ramekins or casseroles.
- Top each casserole with toasted panko crumbs.
- Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until bread crumbs are browned.
Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis of CulinaryNXT and Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RD, FAND
Sponsored by HZPC and National Dairy Council
Photo credit to Kristina LaRue, RD – Love and Zest