Happy Friday, everyone.
I am so excited to share this recipe with you today! I have had this recipe on the back burner for almost a year now, and I finally got a chance to whip it up. This Mac and Cheese isn’t your typical Shells and Velveeta. It’s Crabcake Mac and Cheese. It’s a Rachael Ray recipe that combines all of your typical crabcake ingredients with a delicious cheesy sauce and pasta.
Dave helped me make this complicated recipe this past Saturday. While it did take a lot longer than my normal recipes, we had a lot of fun making it. I put a college football game on in the kitchen for him, and it was so nice for me to have the helping hand and company.
Before I tell you the ingredients, let me warn you: do not get overwhelmed by the number of ingredients or steps in this recipe. Nothing is difficult, it just takes a few steps. Rachael even suggests that you make the pasta up until the last few steps ahead of time, and then you can finish it off closer to gametime! … so make sure you block out some time for this one, it will be soooooo worth it!
1 Onion, medium
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced (or 3 cloves)
1 Bay Leaf
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
1 lb Premium Crab Meat “special” (Rachael suggests 3/4lb Lump but it was super expensive. Mine was still expensive though, I got it next to the seafood section)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 Tablespoon Old Bay Blackening Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Flour
2 1/2 Cups Skim Milk
1 Tablespoon Honey Dijon Mustard
1 + Cup Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (1 block Cabot with some leftover, shredded)
1 + Cup Gruyere Cheese (or swiss, again, shredded with some leftovers)
3 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Handful Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese (or grated if thats all you have)
Nutmeg, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1. Cook the pasta in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Yes, it will be super-undercooked. That’s what you want! Cool in the pot of water and then drain. Put it in a large bowl.
2. Chop the Celery, Onion, and Red Pepper.
3. In a Medium Saucepan, heat 2 Tablespoons of EVOO and 1 Tablespoon of Butter over medium high heat. Add the Veggies, Garlic, Bay Leaf, Thyme, Lemon Zest, Salt and Pepper. Cook until tender while stirring, about 8 minutes or so.
4. Add the Crabmeat to the veggie mixture and season with Old Bay (to taste… I used a little extra). Stir and then remove from the heat.
5. In a medium saucepot, melt 3 Tablespoons of Butter over low heat. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Bring to a bubble. Make sure you stir it or it will burn the bottom of your pot! Season with Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg. Cook for a new minutes until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
6. Add the Mustard and the Cheddar and Gruyere Cheeses. Stir in a “figure 8” motion until all of the cheese is melted in and well incorporated.
7. Add the Veggie and Crab mixture to the bowl of pasta. Add the sauce too, and stir. At this point, you can put into a casserole dish or individual ramekins and refrigerate until you are ready. If not, put it in your desired dish and preheat your oven to 375!
8. Next, melt 2 Tablespoons of Butter in a small skillet over low heat. Add 3 Tablespoons of Hot Sauce. Warm the sauce and add the Panko Bread Crumbs, tossing to evenly coat the crumbs in the sauce. Cool for a few minutes. Add the chopped Parsley and 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese into the crumb mixture. Top the Mac and Cheese with the crumb mixture (only if you’re baking right away**).
9. If you are using individual crocks or ramekins, arrange them on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Otherwise, stick the casserole dish in the oven. Bake until heated through with the following times:
Cooking immediately: 10-15 minutes
Cooking from refrigeration: 40-45 minutes **Add the bread crumbs onto the top within the last 10 minutes of baking**
WHEW!!!!!!!!!!! Okay I warned you it was long, but seriously just read it… you’ll be fine! And check out these pictures, they’re mouth watering!
I thought all of the veggies chopped were so pretty! Thanks Dave!
I had to show you the Gemelli! I have a thing for pasta shapes…
Makin’ my sauce! Pre-Cheese.
Here we are, ready to be topped with crumbs and go in the oven.
Ta-Da!!! Baked and crisped topping to perfection.
Like, Oh my gosh. This stuff is great! It was a big hit with Dave, my sister, and I. I brought some leftovers into work too, and my co-workers went crazy. While this recipe might take you longer than your normal weeknight dinner, you should totally try it… I promise it will be worth your time. The crab meat can also get expensive, but you can taste it in every single bite… and with all the leftovers you’ll have, you’ll be eating it all week!
PS I love this page! If you share your love for adorable pasta shapes with me, check it out!
THANK YOU RACHAEL RAY, for yet another freakin’ awesome recipe! You rockkkkk!