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15 October 2014

Recipe: Crab and Pancetta Mac N Cheese (with Orzo)





Everyone has a go-to Mac n Cheese recipe. Mine is a surf and turf using the sweetness of lump crab and the saltiness of pancetta. The recipe below is optimized for a party, serving 10 people as a side and 6 as a main course.

Ingredients:
16oz Jumbo lump crab meat
12 oz pancetta, thin deli sliced, cut into strips
5oz unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
6oz shredded white cheddar
6oz gruyere 
3oz shredded parmesan
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 teaspoon fenugreek 
1 teaspoon salt 
16oz orzo pasta

Directions 
1. Cut the butter into one ounce cubes. Place 4 ounces of butter in a small pot and melt slowly over low heat.

2. Add the crab meat and cook for 3-5 minutes. 


3. When cooked remove from heat and remove crab meat. Place crab meat in a large (3qt) pyrex baking dish. Preheat oven to 400 degrees


4. In a small pan cook the pancetta until slightly crispy. Combine with crab meat.


5. Place a pot on high heat with heavily salted water for boiling the orzo.


6. Melt 1 ounce butter in medium sized pot over medium/high heat. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture browns and develops a nutty smell.


7. Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Add the milk and, again, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.


8. Add the pepper, fenugreek, and salt to the cream sauce. Stir.


9. While this is simmering your water should have reached a roaring boil. Add orzo to your pot of boiling salted water.


10. When your cream sauce has simmered for 3 minutes slowly add the cheddar and gruyere cheeses, a handful at a time, and stir until fully incorporated.


10. When the pasta is fully cooked pour the pasta into a colander to drain off water. Place the pasta in the pyrex dish, mixing well. Add cheese sauce, again mixing well.


11. Top with mixture of panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes, until bread curbs brown. Serve immediately 

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