Crab Mac and Cheese

Patrick loves mac-n-cheese and he's pretty particular about it! The main thing he's concerned about is making sure the noodles aren't too mushy. One of my days off I was watching Food Network in the afternoon and Barefoot Contessa was on. Ina Garten made a lobster mac and cheese that looked divine! I decided to see if this would meet Patrick's mac-n-cheese approval. As I was pulling the recipe up online I found a healthier alternative from another blog. I followed that recipe and still made a few changes (such as the lobster!) and made an addition that I'll note below.

Lobster* Crab Mac & Cheese
serves 4

canola oil cooking spray
1/2 lb whole wheat penne
2 cups 1% low fat milk, I used skim
4 Tbsp salted butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
6 oz (about 2 cups) grated gruyere cheese
4 oz (about 1 1/4 cup) grated 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lb freshly cooked lobster meat, chopped into 1-inch pieces* I substituted artificial crabmeat
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, lightly toasted and pulsed in a food processor to form fine crumbs (3/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs)
I added a drained can of combo petite peas, pearl onions, and sliced mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with canola oil cooking spray. (I used individual ramekins.)
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add in penne and cook until al dente (about 2-3 minutes less than amount of time recommended on the package). Drain.
Meanwhile, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Turn off heat.
Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour for 1 minute.
While continuing to whisk, pour in the hot milk and whisk mixture until smooth and thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheeses, salt, and pepper.
Stir in the drained cooked penne and lobster meat (and can of peas) until fully combined. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp butter in the microwave and stir in the breadcrumbs until moistened. Evenly spread the buttered breadcrumbs over the penne, cheese, and lobster mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

I made these early in the afternoon and refrigerated until Patrick came home from work. We were able to have a nice walk and then come back to warm up the mac and cheese!

1 comment:

  1. I bet using the ramekins made an interesting presentation of the food.