July 1, 2013

Crab Macaroni & Cheese with Ritz Cracker Topping


We finally have our first vacation planned out this year and are anxiously counting down the days until it's go time.  I can't wait to smell the salty ocean air, feel the hot sand between my toes, listen to the waves crashing, and indulge in some freshly caught seafood.  My longing for the ocean was the inspiration for this meal.  The succulent crab comes through beautifully but isn't overpowering and it adds a lovely texture.  You know you want to sink your fork into this decadent dish!  


Ingredients:


  • 8 oz pasta, cooked al dente and drained well
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 c onion, minced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • 2 c milk (I use skim) 
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning 
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 3/4 c mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated 
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped 
  • 6 oz crab meat, picked through for shells 
  • 5 Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Whisk in the flour and continue to to whisk for 1 minutes.

Gradually whisk in the milk, Old Bay, Dijon, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add the cooked pasta cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and parsley to the skillet and stir well to combine.  Gently fold in the crab meat.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the contents of the skillet into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle the crushed Ritz Crackers evenly over all.  Lightly drizzle the melted butter evenly on top.

Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.  Garnish with parsley.

Enjoy!


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