Many many years ago, sometime around the time that I decided for the first time that I needed to lose weight, New Years Eve became a "last hurrah" of sorts. Eat whatever I want, one last time, before starting the new diet on New Years Day.
When I was younger, my mom would make cheese fondue for us as a family, and we'd ring in the new year with loads of melted cheese and bread. Later, a phenomenal meal and too much alcohol at favorite Chicago restaurants were my "last hurrah" of choice.
This year, I made my resolution early. Along with about 10 other women at work, I joined a Weight Watchers at-work meeting, and have lost almost 6 pounds in the last 3 or so weeks. So, New Years Eve wasn't a "last hurrah", but rather a "use up all my weekly points in one fell swoop" kind of night.
See, 2013 is the year that I'll finally lose this "food baby" I've been carrying around since… oh, way too long. Hell, it's not a "food baby" but rather a "food fifth grader." So, for New Years Eve, I made Adam and I a delicious treat, one which I'm beyond proud of… partially because it was "I can't believe I'm eating this in my own house" delicious, according to Adam. Partially because I limited myself to 1 1/2 servings, and am bringing the rest to a party this afternoon.
Almost a pound of cheese, half and half, pasta, butter, and lots of crab meat made for a perfect send-off for 2012.
Ultimate Crab Macaroni & Cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake entree cheese crab pasta American winter
Ingredients (serves 10-12)
- 12 ounces small pasta, cooked and kept hot
- 12 ounces crab meat
- 5 ounces extra sharp cheddar, shredded
- 5 ounces gouda cheese, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups half and half
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Heat the oil and butter together in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and stir well. Allow the garlic to brown slightly.
Add the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms. Cook this mixture until very lightly browned.
Add the half and half, stirring continuously, then add the milk and wine. Stir well.
Whisk in the cheese one handful at a time, until it is all added and the sauce is thick and creamy.
Stir in the salt and thyme, and simmer while stirring for about 5 minutes.
In a large baking dish, layer the pasta, half the crab, half the sauce, and half the panko. Repeat, ending with panko.
Bake until browned and bubbly, about 40 minutes.