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Monday, February 6, 2012

Shrimp Mac N Cheese

Behold, the ultimate comfort food at it's finest.  This cheesey, gooey, seafood pasta delight is sure to wow your taste buds.

(Just a little side note, I regret not taking a photo of this dished up on a platter. But, you get the idea.)

Shrimp Mac N Cheese
serves 4 

8 oz Macaroni noodles
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 cup milk 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp "Better than Bouillon Lobster base" 
1/2 cup pre-cooked shrimp, chopped
2 tbsp good white wine (for those who cook with wine)

1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs 
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp dried parsley 
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded 

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.  You can do this will you make the cheese sauce.

To make the cheese sauce:

Start off with making a roux (clink link for "how-to"). Stir in the lobster base and then whisk in the milk slowly until you notice it start to loosen up.  At that point you can go ahead and dump it all in and then add your heavy cream.  Make sure you're whisking the whole time to avoid lumps of flour. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. If you choose to use white wine, this would be the time to add it in.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn off heat and stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese. 

Ladle some cheese sauce into the bottom of your loaf pan, about enough to coat the bottom. Next, fold the chopped shrimp into the remaining cheese sauce. Pour half of the noodles into the loaf pan, then half of the cheese sauce and repeat.   Give it all a good stir until the noodles are coated with the sauce. 

In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, melted butter and parsley.  First sprinkle the shredded cheese onto the macaroni dish and then the breadcrumb topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then set under the broiler to crisp up the topping and edges until it starts to brown.  Watch this closely so that you don't burn the top. 

Since this is a fairly rich dish, I would suggest serving something light along side it.  A nice salad with some citrus elements will help cut the rich cheese sauce well. 


Please leave a comment below and tell me what you thought of this dish.  Did your dinner guests enjoy it or have any complaints? Constructive criticism is appreciated.