Crab Mac & Cheese


I don’t know about you, but when I think of a fancy meal, I often find my mind wondering toward something that includes crab. So, when Jim said that he would like steak and mac and cheese included in our New Year’s Eve plan, I knew just the way to make everyone happy. Alongside the Two-Bite Beef Wellingtons, I would serve some crab mac and cheese in mini-muffin form.


This recipe from Closet Cooking was a delicious find that I only slightly adapted, and that was due to my being cheap more than anything else. See, the original recipe includes gruyere and fontina cheeses, and when I found them at the store, they cost me almost $20, and I wasn’t prepared to spend that much on one part of one recipe. The block of white brick cheese I chose worked perfectly, as it was mild and smooth and let the spices and crab shine in this cheesy dish, at about a quarter of the price of the originally called for cheeses.


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Small Pasta, shells, macaroni, etc., cooked to al dente
  • 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ½ – 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • ½ cup Cream
  • ½ tsp Seafood Seasoning, Old Bay or similar
  • 2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard, whole grain
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 12 oz. White Brick Cheese, shredded
  • 1 6 oz. can Lump Crabmeat
  • 4 Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Directions:

  1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a pan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
  2. Mix in the flour and cook until it turns a light golden brown in color.
  3. Add the milk and cream and cook until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the old bay seasoning, mayonnaise, mustard and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix in the cheese and cook until it melts.
  6. Mix in the pasta, crab and green onions and remove from heat.
  7. Melt the remaining butter in a pan.
  8. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat, remove from heat and mix in the Parmigiano reggiano.
  9. Pour the mac and cheese into a baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350 oven until golden brown on top and bubbling on the sides, about 20-30 minutes.
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