Seafood Mac & Cheese (AKA Economic Stimulus Pasta Bake)
A few nights ago on the news, there was a report that pasta production and sales are up. They attributed this to the low cost of pasta and its ability to provide a filling meal. I bet Dr. Atkins is rolling over in his grave. Seafood mac & cheese may seem like an extravagance, but really it makes fiscal sense. We used left over crab sticks from sushi night and some slightly freezer-burned shrimp. It was AWESOME! We are already setting our sights on using different cheeses and slightly freezer-burned lobster. Just kidding. I wish I had slightly freezer-burned lobster.
Vanilla Bean's Seafood Mac & Cheese
Adapted from Emeril's Mac & Cheese, as seen in Everyday Food
salt and ground pepper
1lb elbow macaroni
6 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion,finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 pound,coarsely chopped cooked lobster, shrimp, crawfish or crabmeat,or a combination
4 cups mixed grated cheeses (we used cheddar and pepper jack)
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp. creole seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.In a large pot of boiling salted water,cook macaroni 2 minutes less than al dente.Drain,rinse with cold water.Set aside.
While pasta is cooking melt butter over medium in a large saucepan.Transfer 2 tbsp. melted butter to a medium bowl,and reserve.Add onion and garlic to pan,cook until softened,3 to 5 minutes.Add flour,cook,stirring,1 minute.Add milk,whisk until smooth.Bring to a boil,reduce to a simmer,and cook until sauce has thickened,2 to 3 minutes. Season with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Remove pan from heat.Fold in seafood,macaroni,and cheese,transfer to a shallow 4-quart baking dish.To bowl with reserved melted butter,add bread crumbs and creole seasoning,toss,and scatter over macaroni mixture.Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.Bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling.15 to 20 minutes.Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Posted by Jessi