Crabby Mac and Cheese

August 26, 2014

pasta

Mac & Cheese is one of the traditional classic dish of all times. There is nothing more comforting than the home style, creamy, gooey, rich, hot mac & cheese. Growing up as a kid it was not our traditional meal and we only had it on rare occasions from the boxed packet. 99% of the time it was fresh home cooked meal for us and burgers, pizzas and any cheese dishes were not considered healthy or nutritious. Well, I guess we always crave for what we don’t have.

Few days back my friend and her daughters decided to spend a day over at my place and every time I have kids over, I get nervous because kids are very difficult to please when it comes to food. Their pickiness towards vegetable makes cooking difficult. I still remember, once a 6 year old told me that she doesn’t always like my food because she thinks I put lot of vegetables and it’s too healthy for her 😉 that was too cute and really adorable though. Well this time I decided to make up for all those childhood cheesy cravings and thought to myself that it has to be a mac and cheese day and who doesn’t like the cheesiness of this dish 🙂

Traditionally this dish has 3 ingredients – macaroni, cheese and butter; however there are lots of variations to it and everyone makes it their own way. Since I am a big fan of seafood, I used crab meat in it. The sweet nutty flavor of fontina cheese; the buttery, creamy and mild flavor of Havarti cheese and the sharpness of Cheddar cheese make this crabby mac and cheese to die for.

crabby mac and cheese

Crabby Mac and Cheese
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
INGREDIENTS
  1. Salt
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. Little bit oil
  4. 1 pound pasta
  5. 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  6. ½ cup all purpose flour
  7. 8 ounces of cheddar cheese
  8. 6 ounces fontina cheese
  9. 6 ounces Havarti cheese
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  12. 1 pound cooked crab meat
  13. ½ tsp nutmeg
  14. ¼ tsp mustard powder
  15. Few slices of bread for crumbs
  16. Ribbons of basil
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Boil a big pot of water and add salt.
  3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water as per directions on the packet (6-8 minutes).
  4. Warm the milk on stove but do not boil it.
  5. In another pan melt the butter. Add flour and cook to make roux.
  6. Add warm milk to the roux while vigorously whisking to avoid any lumps.
  7. Add bay leaf, mustard powder and nutmeg powder. Cook to make a nice creamy thick bechamal sauce also known as white sauce.
  8. Turn off the cooking and add all the cheese. season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add cooked pasta, crab meat and basil and stir well.
  10. Pour this mixture into 6-8 individual dishes or or into 1 big baking dish.
  11. Put the slices of bread in food processor. Add few springs of basil and pulse it to form crumbs. Sprinkle these crumbs on top of the dish.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes and broil it for last 1-2 minutes until cheese is bubbly and get brown at the top.
  13. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. I used tirali pasta but any tube style pasta can be used because the creamy sauce flows in the cooked tubes making every bite flavorful.
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 !!ENJOY!!

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