I love homemade mac and cheese, but for a while now, I have been looking for ways to dress it up. So, when I pinned a recipe for lobster mac & cheese from Desserts for Breakfast, I was inspired. Although, I generally try to keep the price of meals down, so I decided right away that I would use lump crab meat instead of lobster, and I knew I had to do something to skinny up the recipe a bit. Plus, there is the whole issue of no one in the house liking mushrooms. So, I adapted the recipe to fit our needs, and walah, we have a delicious creamy crab mac and cheese, and this isn’t your average blue box mac and cheese folks, this is insanely good!
1 lb. elbow macaroni
2 1/2 c. skim milk
1 c. half and half
2 tbsp. butter
1 vidalia onion chopped
1/4 c. unbleached flour (you can use regular flour if you don’t have this)
4 oz. grated 2% sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz. Gruyere cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Crystal Louisiana hot sauce
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. butter
8 oz. lump crab meat (I got mine in a container sold in the seafood department of Publix. Get the real stuff not the imitation!)
panko bread crumbs
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large casserole dish.
Step 2: In a large pot, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Step 3: In a large saucepan, add 2 tbsp. butter and onions. Cook over medium heat until the onions become translucent. Add in flour a little at a time, stirring quickly for two minutes.
Step 4: While doing step 3, in a separate pot, heat up the skim milk and half and half, but remove from heat before it boils. Once heated, slowly add the mixture to the onions and flour, whisking constantly until mixed well. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce begins to boil and thicken. Be sure to stir often, so that it doesn’t burn.
Step 5: Stir in cheeses to your sauce until melted and then remove from heat. Mix in hot sauce, nutmeg as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6: Combine macaroni noodles with the sauce mixture and mix well.
Step 7: In a skillet, heat up the lump crab meat and then toss in with the noodle mixture.
Step 8: Pour macaroni and cheese into your greased casserole dish, top with panko bread crumbs and cook for 20-25 minutes.
How do you like to make grown-up mac & cheese?