When someone asks me if there is a food that I can’t live without, I always say cheese. I love cheese. I’m even turning my thirteen-year-old into a cheese guy. We eat lots of grilled cheese sandwiches at home and by Miles’ decree, they must be made with sourdough bread, gruyere and black forest dry rubber bacon. I’ve created a monster!
We also love mac and cheese. It’s pasta and cheese. What’s not to like! The other day we decided to make crab cake grilled cheese sandwiches. It was something I saw at a baseball game about a year ago and recreated at home. It was delicious! Since I had a bit of crab left over, I thought I would try to make a mac and cheese with it. So far I’ve made mac and cheese with bacon, lobster and buffalo chicken, so crab mac and cheese was the next obvious step 🙂
After living in DC for about five years now, I’ve accepted that you basically can’t make crab anything without Old Bay. I really didn’t know much about Old Bay in the Midwest, but here it’s like hot sauce. You put it on just about everything. One of my favorite burger places makes an Old Bay mayo for the french fries. But back to the mac. I always use a cheese blend and I’m always experimenting with different combinations. For a long time, I only used white cheddar, gruyere and asiago. Then I began to experiment with just about any cheese I had on hand in the fridge. Once I used brie! That was pretty awesome. This time around, I wanted to get back to my basic, but I really wanted the mac to be creamy, so I chose a young semi-hard asiago and fontina, and for fun a raclette. Raclette is like a semi-hard swiss cheese, something that’s great for making potato gratin, but I thought I would take a chance and try in my crab mac and cheese. I’m so glad I did. I loved this cheese blend! It was very creamy and mild. The cheese blend was the perfect complement for the crab and the Old Bay. I think I may have to try making a crab cake grilled cheese with raclette next time!
Crab Mac and Cheese
- ½ pound (8oz) elbow shaped pasta
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup asiago cheese , shredded
- 2/3 cup fontina cheese , shredded
- 2/3 cup raclette cheese , shredded
- ½ pound (8oz) lump crab
Preheat oven to 375°F. Drain lump crab and set aside. Boil pasta in salted water for about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside. Combine cheese in a small bowl (you should have 2 cups total)
In medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, Old Bay seasoning and dry mustard over medium heat. Stir in milk until smooth. Add butter, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 1-3/4 cups cheese until melted. Add cooked pasta. Gently fold in lump crab. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.