One of my favorite Mac-n-cheese recipes that we still serve often at my house, even after leaving the Bistro has been this Crab Rangoon version. I use the cream cheese crab filling that I use for a delicious crab Rangoon appetizers to complement the salty-nutty semi-spicy macaroni. I haven't really shared the variations "twists" or the exact recipe that was the base for what we used in the Bistro, but they are not using my recipes anymore for the twisted pasta so I'm not breaking any rules by sharing this twist here on the blog. Even then, it still isn't the exact recipe I used at the restaurant, but it is darn close.
I shared Twisted Mac and Cheese of the Day Base Recipe earlier. If you are looking for a perfect macaroni casserole style recipe, here's my family favorite. It freezes beautifully. It works perfectly. Every. Single. Time. Just remember the secrets for success.
My Tips for success:
Chef Tess Make-Ahead Mac-n-cheese
yield: 8 1 cup servings
1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked about 7 minutes (slightly undercooked)
1/2 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
8 cups milk
1T dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayanne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 lb Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
To Bake Immediately:
Bake the casserole at 400 degrees until sauce is bubbling and the topping of choice is crisp, about 20-25 minutes.
To save for later: Cover casserole with foil and place in the fridge. May be kept up to 5 days. Ready to heat and eat. Bake, covered with foil, 400 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and allow to bake 10 minutes more, until topping is crisp.
To make into a freezer meal: Cover with foil, label and date and transfer to the freezer.
To prepare: Thaw the casserole in the fridge for 24 hours and follow the directions for the refrigerator version. OR bake from frozen, covered with foil 1 hour 20 minutes. I recommend thawing first. It just gives your sauce a really great texture.
Crab Rangoon Version
8 oz chopped crab (fresh or a combination of imitation and real)
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup minced green onion
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Fold the rangoon mixture into the macaroni casserole before baking.
At service, top with fried wonton wrappers or fried won-ton salad strips.
There you go! Make some twisted mac-n-cheese tonight. There will definitely be more versions to follow on the blog soon!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess