Smoked Cheddar King Crab and Lobster Mac n’ Cheese
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Credit: Chef Alex Hoefer, Director of Culinary/Executive Chef, Wind Creek Hospitality
National Culinary Review, January/February 2024
3 pounds Barilla Cellentani
1/4 pound unsalted butter
1/4 pound AP flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 quart half and half
1 quart heavy cream
1 tablespoon coarse Kosher salt
1/8 cup sriracha
1 pound smoked mild cheddar, grated
1 pound sharp white New York or Vermont cheddar, grated
1/3 pound gruyere, grated
6 ounces King Crab meat, steamed
6 ounces lobster claw, knuckle or tail meat, steamed
1 cedar or hickory wood plank
3/4 cup buttered herbed panko bread crumbs (optional)
1. Prepare pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
2. In a heavy bottom dutch oven, add butter and flour to prepare a white roux. Let cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat until a nutty aroma arises.
3. Add onion and garlic powder and slowly whisk in half and half stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Add heavy cream in the same fashion, next.
4. Slowly bring to a simmer while continuing to whisk. Add sriracha, and seasoning to the mixture and stir to incorporate.
5. Add the cheeses slowly while stirring to complete the mornay. Continue to stir to prevent sticking or scorching. This should cook for about 25 minutes total over medium heat.
6. Once sauce is complete and the flour taste has cooked out, add cooked pasta. Add half of the lobster meat and half of the crab meat and fold to incorporate.
7. Divide into small cast iron crocks for serving. Top equally with remaining crab and lobster meat.
8. Burn a spot in the center of the plank until it catches fire. Extinguish the fire and place the crock onto the smoldering plank for a smoky effect. Top with bread crumbs, if using.
8 - 12 servings
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