Every summer, our family would gather at Grandma Lily’s beach house. As kids, we’d play in the waves while the grown-ups chatted and prepared the evening feast. This Seafood Mac and Cheese is a tribute to those warm evenings. Grandma would mix fresh catch from the day with creamy cheese and serve this dish as the sun set, leaving our hearts full and taste buds satisfied.
The Ultimate Seafood Mac and Cheese: Dive into Delight
Dive into a world where creamy cheese meets the ocean’s bounty, a dish that’s as rich in flavor as it is in history. The Seafood Mac and Cheese recipe we’re about to share is the epitome of comfort food and sophisticated dining, all on one plate.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Servings: 4
- 2 cups of dry Macaroni
- 6 oz. Claw Crab Meat
- 8 oz. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 oz. Sour Cream
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 Spring Onion, finely chopped
- 1 can Evaporated Milk
- 8 oz. block Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 4 oz. block Mozzarella Cheese, grated
- ¼ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- Prep Your Station: Start by boiling a pot of salted water. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook the Macaroni: Pour the 2 cups of dry macaroni into the boiling water. Cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Once done, drain and set aside.
- Seafood Sauté: In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the chopped spring onion, and sauté until translucent. Introduce the shrimp and crab meat to the skillet and cook until the shrimp turn pink. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Cheese Sauce Delight: In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute to form a roux. Gradually add the evaporated milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Once the mixture thickens, reduce the heat to low. Stir in the grated sharp white cheddar and mozzarella until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Now, fold in the sour cream.
- Combine & Layer: Mix the macaroni and seafood sauté into the cheese sauce until everything is well-coated. Transfer this heavenly mixture to a baking dish.
- Crispy Topping: Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the top of the mac and cheese for that crispy contrast we all love.
- Bake to Perfection: Place your dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
- Serve & Savor: Let your Seafood Mac and Cheese rest for a few minutes out of the oven. Then, serve and watch faces light up with pure joy.
The Secrets Behind Perfect Seafood Mac and Cheese:
- Fresh Ingredients: Always choose fresh seafood. The freshness of the crab and shrimp elevates the entire dish.
- Pasta Cooked Right: Ensure your macaroni is al dente. Overcooked pasta might make the dish too mushy.
- Cheese Quality: Invest in high-quality cheeses. The flavor difference is substantial.
- Serve with a light green salad drizzled with vinaigrette to balance the richness of the dish.
- A chilled glass of white wine or sparkling water with a lemon wedge complements the creamy textures beautifully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- Can I use other types of seafood? Absolutely! Lobster or scallops would be fantastic additions or substitutes.
- Is it freezer-friendly? Yes, store in an airtight container, and it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
- What’s the best cheese substitute? Gruyère or Fontina can be used in place of cheddar for a different taste.
This Seafood Mac and Cheese isn’t just a dish; it’s an experience. It’s the celebration of flavors, textures, and the love of cooking. Whether you’re preparing it for a quiet dinner at home or for a special occasion, it promises to impress every single time.
Note: For an added touch, pair with a crisp white wine or light beer. Dive in and enjoy!
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