Like many of you, (I suspect) I read cookbooks like novels. Actually, I read cookbooks
w-aaaa-y more often than I read novels. I found this recipe in a cookbook of sustainable seafood recipes that I picked up last year. I’ve made it several times. It freezes well, so I make it in small loaf pans, ready to reheat for a quick weeknight meal.
Having ready access to the freshest of fresh seafood is just one of the many benefits of living here on beautiful Vancouver Island. Today, after purchasing packages of promises of good things to come at Seedy Saturday, I planted arugula, split up the sorrel plants that flourished all winter, and watered the blueberry bushes that are smothered in buds. It is definitely feeling like spring here.
Have a few moments to view a video of this special place we call home? It’s totally worth the watch.
- 3/4 lb. crabmeat (about 2-3 Dungeness crabs)
- 1 pound quality cheddar cheese (mix of medium and sharp is good)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp regular or smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp saffron mixed with 1 Tbsp hot water
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 pound elbow or penne pasta
- 1 cup panko
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or 6 small loaf pans with butter.
- In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk in the flour and reduce the heat to low. Keep cooking and stirring the roux for about 5 minutes. Gradually add the milk while continuing to stir. Increase the heat and add the bay leaf, paprika, saffron, tomato paste, cayenne and mustard. Simmer gently until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the cheese and cook until it has melted.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, drain and transfer to a bowl. Stir the pasta and crabmeat into the sauce. Spread this mixture into the baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix the panko with the lemon zest, parsley and melted butter. Top the pasta with the panko mixture and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the mac-and-cheese is bubbly and browned on top. This topping is soooooooo good! The lemon zest is a must.