|Recipe from: fullforkahead|
Image Credit: KMont
Crab Cake Mac & Cheese
“It needs very little boiling time. You want it to be partially undercooked since it will finish cooking in the oven.” Kmont
1 pound cavatappi or elbow pasta with lines on conchiglie (small fat tube/shell shaped pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons butter
3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
About 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves, several sprigs
About 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked for shells and flaked
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 pound, about 1 rounded cup grated sharp white Cheddar
1/3 pound, about 1 rounded cup shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, and then salt the water.
Add the pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, (it will be undercooked).
Cool, drain well and add it to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the
pan, and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium to medium-high heat.
Add the celery, onion, red pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook to tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the crabmeat to the vegetables and season liberally with seafood seasoning. Stir to
combine, and then remove from heat.
In a medium sauce pot, over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and whisk in the flour.
Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste, and cook for a few minutes, until the
mixture coats the back of a spoon.
Add the mustard and the cheese and stir in a figure 8 motion.
Add the vegetables and crab, and sauce to the bowl with the pasta and transfer the mixture to
individual baking crocks or a large casserole dish.
This can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To complete the dish, melt a couple of tablespoons butter in a small skillet, over low heat and
add 3 tablespoons hot sauce.
Warm through, then add the panko crumbs and toss to evenly coat the crumbs in sauce mixture.
Cool the crumbs, then toss in the parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese.
Top the mac n cheese with the spicy crumb mixture.
Arrange individual crocks on a baking sheet or put the casserole on baking sheet to catch any
Bake until brown and heated through, about 10 minutes. If cooking from cold, the mac n cheese
will take 40 to 45 minutes, but add the crumbs the last 10 minutes of baking.
For the milk, just use what you have on hand. We used 2%.
Leftovers will reheat really well in the oven. Just place in a casserole (I just dumped ours in all
mixed up) and bake at 350 degrees again till heated through. If you set it out for a while to get
closer to room temperature, it might only take 15 minutes or so in the oven. Putting it in the oven straight from the fridge might take more like 30 minutes. Again, your oven might vary.
Don’t forget to discard the bay leaf before adding the crab veggie mixture to the sauce and
pasta. It doesn’t say to remove it, but who wants to eat a crisp-ish leaf, no matter if it’s a
seasoning or not.
On the crab meat: an 8 ounce container of lump crab meat wasn’t quite enough, so I got an
additional container of claw crab meat, which was much cheaper. If an 8 ounce container of the
lump crab is enough for you, then it’s enough. Use whichever amount you prefer. We ended up
using it all since, what else was I going to use it for?
Read more and enjoy this amazing recipe and many more when visiting fullforkahead