Friday, June 24, 2011

Crabby Mac

On Father's Day I steamed King Crab legs and corn for Dr. C and I .  And, since I can never have enough there was enough left over crab and corn for the ultimate Mac and Cheese with crab and sweet corn.  This is actually simple, can be done ahead of time, and even frozen.  I'm freezing these babies for Dr. C. to warm up while I'm out on tour with the next book.  Ta Dah!
The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook

This recipe is terrific for using up leftover lobster, shrimp or crab, and you could sub. in chicken if you really wanted to, but it's not as luxurious.  I like making the sauce with reconstituted lobster stock from Superior Touch, Better than Bouillon brand.  It keeps in the fridge for up to a year and makes awesome seafood soups and sauces....and the first ingredient is lobster, not salt, as many of its counterparts are huge parts sodium to some lobster "flavor".  I also love using Barilla elbows--they have ridges and soak up the sauce really well.

Crabby Mac and Cheese with Sweet Corn
Serves 8

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups lobster stock
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup cream sherry
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (I like Cabot Farms---not the low fat, please!—it doesn’t melt)
1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 to 4 cups cooked crab or lobster meat, cut into bite sized pieces
1 to 2 cups sweet white corn, cut from the cob, or frozen and defrosted
1 pound Barilla elbow macaroni or cavatappi cooked 3 minutes less than al dente
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil

1.   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
2.   In a 3 to 5-quart saucier, melt the butter and saut√© the shallots for 2 minutes, until softened.  Add the flour, and whisk for 3 minutes.  Slowly add the stock, and bring the mixture back to a boil.  Add the cream, and sherry, and continue to whisk until bubbling. 
3.   Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar, Parmigiano and crab meat and corn.  Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust using salt or a dash of Tabasco in place of pepper.
4.   Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
5.   Do-Ahead:  At this point the Mac and cheese can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, or frozen for up to 1 month.  Defrost and bring the casserole dish to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before baking. 
6.   In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and oil, until the crumbs are moistened.  Sprinkle evenly over the Mac and cheese and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the crumbs are crispy and the sauce is bubbling. 
Cook’s Notes:
·        There is not a lot of cheese in this Mac because we don’t want to overpower the delicate flavor of the lobster.
·        If you are on a budget, cooked shrimp, or a combination of crab and shrimp can be used instead.  Lobster is the ultimate
·        Other cheeses: Havarti, Emmenthaler, Gruyere, Comte—in place of the cheddar. 

 Since I'm putting these in the freezer, I don't have a finished photo, but just imagine pure bliss when you bring these from the oven!

Wishing you a delicious weekend from San Diego. 

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