- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 lobster tails, split in half lengthwise and deveined
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cold milk
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 3 drops Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
- 4 ounces grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
- 1 ounce grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup elbow macaroni, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter 2 gratin dishes.
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook lobster tails in skillet until slightly golden and about halfway cooked-through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer tails to a plate to rest. When cool enough to handle, remove lobster meat from shells and chop meat. Reserve shells.
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Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook and stir until a paste forms and flour taste cooks off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cold milk to flour mixture; whisk until completely incorporated. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and stir in paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Stir Cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese into milk mixture until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir Worcestershire sauce into cheese sauce.
Bring a large pot of water with reserved lobster tails and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Remove and discard lobster shells, drain pasta.
Stir macaroni into cheese sauce with thyme leaves. Divide macaroni mixture between the 2 prepared gratin dishes. Top macaroni with chopped lobster meat, poking meat down into macaroni mixture with a fork.
Stir bread crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Top each gratin dish with bread crumb mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.