Cooking Chronicles: Lump Crab Mac n’ Cheese

image If you or someone you know is from the DMV (DC, MD, VA) area, you already know how much we love our blue crabs. No…seriously…it’s not a game. We eat crabs for breakfast, lunch and dinner – crab omelets, crab salad, crab cakes, crab stuffed salmon, sautéed soft shell crabs, crab soup…hell some of us even fry them! If you are a blue crab lover like myself, you can attest that adding blue crab to just about any recipe is guaranteed to cause an epic explosion of yumminess in your mouth. Let’s just call it a FOODGASM! (Keep your beautiful minds out of the gutter, people. LOL)

I decided to put a little twist on my usual mac n’ cheese recipe and add…you guessed it…BLUE CRAB. Now, the mac n’ cheese argument is a subjective one. Many claim to have the best mac n’ cheese ever; but what really makes it “THE BEST”?. My personal opinion? Your mac n’ cheese can only be labeled “THE BEST” if you use a variety of different cheeses. The different flavors from the cheeses, the creaminess and savoriness make the dish. Add some lump crab to the mix and you have my amazing lump crab mac n’ cheese. I used some of my favorite cheeses; however, feel free to use whichever cheeses stimulate your taste buds. I also switched it up a bit and used penne pasta instead of the traditional macaroni pasta. Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat macaroni or pasta of your choice
  • 16 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup habanero jack cheese (very spicy)
  • 1 cup smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup havarti cheese
  • 8 ounces Velvetta cheese, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril Original “Essence” seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add tablespoon of vegetable oil to boiling water and macaroni to the boiling water. Cook macaroni for 6-7 minutes, until it’s slightly tender but still pretty firm (al dente). Reduce heat to low heat, drain pasta well and return to the pot. Add butter, eggs, half-and-half and cheeses. Mix all ingredients well and allow ingredients to infuse together. Add black pepper and essence seasoning and mix well. Gently fold the lump crab meat into the mac and cheese. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and top with a light cooking of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot. This recipe makes about 8-10 servings. Feel free to cut this recipe in half or even down to third for smaller serving sizes.

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Prepare yourself for the crabby, cheesy, creamy, spicy, perfectly seasoned awesomeness that’s about to ensue. Enjoy!

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