Movin' On Up Mac & Cheese

  As they say "As one door closes, another one opens". I have spent the last couple days packing, packing up all my belongings that I have collected over the last 8 years in my house. We do not have too much, we live a pretty frugal life, but where does all this stuff come from? What is it like in the normal household with kids and people who hoard stuff? I can't even imagine. 
We have finally sold our condo and it is time to move on. What does that mean? It means warmer weather, that is for sure. Ohio can be great, but it gets cold, and cold weather I am not a fan of.  And it means cleaning out the pantry, refrigerator, and the freezer. We have to be out in less than a week so we are using up the food that we have collected, horded, and stashed away. It can lead to some interesting finds and unique food combinations. For example, yesterday for lunch we had French onion soup with corn in it. The soup was left over from a party that we had......last February (I honestly forgot it was in there), and the corn was from my parents' garden that was frozen. And then there are these little guys
Aren't they cute? Crawfish, so little, so sweet, and so tastey. Who has these in their freezer? I was thinking of adding them to a fondue with some other seafood, but decided against it. I thought about just baking them for about 15 minutes on a bed of rock salt and serving them with some lemon and thyme butter, but that is too easy and doesn't use up enough of the food that we need to consume before the week is out. I took inventory of what had and decided upon....Macaroni and Cheese. I had a couple of half full boxes of pasta, different cheeses to use up, artichokes, shallots (from my grandma's garden),evaporated milk (never have used it before in my mac and cheese, but what the heck), mushrooms, frozen jalapeños (from the garden), crab, and of course the crayfish. Oh yes, Mac and Cheese it is.

Did I mention that I am tired of packing? I am surrounded by boxes. My house is in disarray. My cookbooks are all packed away. And, I am depressed. I dislike Ohio weather, but I love looking out my great room window and watching the birds, ducks, deer, red fox, and other wildlife that congregate in my back yard. It is quite peaceful for city living. I am going to miss it, but on to bigger, brighter, and a new start. 

 Movin' Mac & Cheese

1/2 stick of butter
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. shallots, thinly sliced (or onions)
1/4 c. garlic, chopped
1 lb. pasta
1 c. white wine
1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cans (24oz) evaporated milk
2 tsp. pepper
3 c. cheese (use a variety) I used Gorgonzola, Dubliner, Parmesan, and Cream Cheese
1/4 c. jalapeños
12 oz. artichokes
1 c. mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs. crabmeat, chopped
1/2 lb. crawfish
1 c. bread crumbs
2 Tbs. olive oil
Put the pasta in a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit one hour, stirring occasionally. Drain and use as follows. 
Butter a large 9x13 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot heat oil and butter over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook 5-7 mins. Toss in the garlic and cook an additional 4 minutes. Pour in wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off. Stir in the the chicken bouillon until dissolved. Whisk in flour and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the evaporated milk, and heat until just steaming, stirring occasionally. Slowly stir in the cheeses, a handful at a time until they are evenly incorporated and melted. Add the artichokes, jalapeños, and mushrooms. Cook together for 5 minutes. Add the pasta, stir, and cook an additional five minutes, the pasta will absorb some of the sauce and thicken. Toss in crab and crawfish. Pour into prepared 9x13 pan. Mix bread crumbs and 2 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.



Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

WOWZERS!!! Now that is what I call "Mac and Crack". I have honestly not seen a more delicious recipe. :)

March 6, 2011 at 5:54 PM

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