Crab Macaroni & Cheese with Roasted Garlic & Bacon
While I was in California, my colleagues and I stopped at Bistro Boudin in San Francisco for a delicious
gorging feast dinner. We ordered up several dishes, and divided the food among ourselves. It was absolutely fantastic!
Each of us picked out a dish, and we all shared them – which by the way is a fabulous way to dine when you can’t decide exactly what you want because it all looks so good.
The dish that I chose from the menu was their Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese. It was incredible. But, Bistro Boudin is in California and I live all the way across the United States in North Carolina. What’s a Southern girl to do??
Re-create it of course! And, not just any recreation. I wanted to take this delicious dish and bump it up a notch or twelve. And bump it up several notches is exactly what I did.
Now, crab in macaroni & cheese is decadent just by itself – but my goal was to take it to a whole new level, remember? Incorporating ingredients like roasted garlic & shallots and bacon definitely took it to that level – and even beyond that. It was so good that I was nearly inclined to lock my family out of the house, toss them some sandwiches, and enjoy this masterpiece all by myself. Is that mean? Oh well, they’d eventually get over it. Maybe.
**A tip – this is also an excellent macaroni & cheese to make without the added yummyness of the crab. It is really good.
Here’s how you make it. And, don’t worry – if you lock your family out of the house so you can get every single bite to yourself – I won’t judge you.
First thing’s first. You’ll need to roast the garlic & shallots. Take a few cloves of garlic & a few shallots, place in a piece of tin foil, & drizzle on a little olive oil.
Wrap it up in the tin foil & roast them for about a half hour.
Let them cool enough to handle & give the garlic & shallots a rough chop.
While the garlic is roasting, fry up your bacon. Set it aside & reserve about a tablespoon of the bacon grease. Heat it over medium heat & add the chopped garlic & shallots, along with about a tablespoon of chopped green onion. Saute for about a minute.
Stir in a couple tablespoons of flour & cook for another minute.
Whisk in 4 cups of heavy cream and a tablespoon of Colman’s mustard powder.
Reduce by about a third, whisking occasionally (about 3-5 minutes).
Stir in 2 cups of pepper jack cheese (can sub mont. jack) & 2 cups of cheddar cheese – whisking until completely melted. Season with salt & pepper.
Pour the finished cheese sauce in with your cooked pasta.
Give it a good stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine your crab meat with a dollop of Colman’s mustard with a fork. I’m really prefer Colman’s mustard over the other brands for this because of the nice kick it gives the dish. Other brands don’t taste the same.
Gently stir the crab into the macaroni & cheese. Spread in a large casserole dish.
In a small bowl, toss together your crumbled bacon, diced green onions, chopped parsley, panko bread crumbs, & melted butter.
Distribute the topping evenly on the macaroni & cheese.
Look how good it’s looking already. I could totally eat this as is. I mean, look at it. Although, I have to recommend on finishing the cooking process before you dig in.
Bake it at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Cheesy deliciousness – packed full of flavor. Addictive, really. And, if you kick everyone else out of the house so you can
hog enjoy it all by yourself, I won’t tell a soul. 😉
- 2-3 shallots, peeled
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 7 pieces bacon, fried to a crisp - reserving 1 tablespoon bacon fat
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Colman's mustard powder
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese (can sub mont. jack)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked (can use elbow, rotini, or your favorite)
- ½ pound (or more) of crab meat (lump or claw - up to you)
- 1 tablespoon Colman's mustard
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp. melted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place shallots and garlic in a small aluminum foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from foil and chop.
- In a large saute pan, reheat reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add roasted shallot and garlic along with 1 tablespoon of the chopped green onions. Saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in heavy cream and mustard powder. Reduce by a third. Stir in cheeses until melted, creamy and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and gently stir in pasta.
- In a small bowl, toss together the crab with a tablespoon of Colman's mustard. Gently stir it into the macaroni & cheese.
- Spread in a 9X13 casserole dish (or other large casserole dish). In a small bowl, mix together crumbled bacon, panko, melted butter, remaining chopped green onions, and parsley. Top mac and cheese with panko mixture and bake uncovered at same heat until bubbling and lightly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes.