RECIPE

Mac and Cheese with Crab and Old Bay Oyster Cracker Topping

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 rib of celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 2 larges shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry, dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for shells
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay, divided

For the base sauce:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup grainy mustard
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound short-cut pasta, cooked for 6 minutes in salted water and drained

For the topping:

  • 2 cups coarse crushed oyster crackers
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Finely chopped chives and parsley, to garnish

Preparation

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add celery, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and sauté to tender, 5 minutes or so. Deglaze the pan with sherry, vermouth or wine. Remove from heat.

Season crabmeat with lemon juice, Tabasco and 1 tablespoon Old Bay.

Make the base sauce for the mac: Bring cream, garlic clove and mustard to a low boil and simmer 5 minutes to thicken. Remove garlic clove and add in cheese; stir to melt.

For the topping, combine cracker crumbs, remaining tablespoon Old Bay and Parm in a bowl. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter then pour over crumbs; stir to coat.

Combine pasta, sauce, shallot mixture and crab then pour everything into a casserole dish. Top with cracker crumb mixture and bake until brown and bubbly. Garnish with chives and parsley to serve.

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