Lita's Crab Mac & Cheese
Pasta, cheese, spices and seafood. It's a recipe for perfection. Our friend Lita sent us over her closely guarded (well, not anymore thanks to us!) recipe for her delicious crab Mac & Cheese, exclusively made with our cheeses. Try it out for a indulgent weekend meal or a cozy lunch when the rain starts coming down. Trust us, you'll be hooked.
1 lb. preferred pasta or macaroni
2-3 dungeness crabs, meat removed
2 cups half & half
1/4 cup flour
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 lb. fontina, grated
1/2 lb. caciotta, grated
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 Tsp. paprika
1/4 Tsp. chili powder
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, chopped finely
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup Panko
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
Combine the mozzarella, fontina, and jack cheeses and set aside. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain thoroughly. In small saucepan, heat milk until near boiling, then turn off the heat.
Melt the butter and sauté shallots in a pan large enough to hold the pasta and cheese. When the foam recedes, remove from heat and add flour, then mix well. Gradually stir in the hot milk. Raise the heat to medium-high until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add Tabasco, nutmeg, paprika and chili powder and whisk until smooth. Then add the cheese mixture and stir.
Add the pasta and crab and mix well. Then place the mixture in a casserole dish, sprinkle with Panko and Parmesan, and bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Enjoy!