Crab Macaroni and Cheese
Made with Jacobsen Salt Co. & Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Salt
Pairs well with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
Any type of crab will work for this recipe: fresh, frozen or canned. If the crab is frozen, simply defrost in the refrigerator and drain of all excess liquid before adding to the macaroni. If canned, thoroughly drain crab of liquid before using. Also, taste the crab before adding to the macaroni. You may find it needs salt and pepper before mixing in. You can also make this dish vegetarian by simply omitting the crab!
One of the exciting things about this recipe is how the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay in the cheese sauce base and the Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Salt add a tangy, acidic note that brightens the cheese. The flavors they create resemble a great fondue sauce. The wine also illuminates the crabmeat and makes this dish hard to resist!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: ~30 minutes (mostly inactive)
Wine and Pasta Ingredients:
2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay
Jacobsen Salt Co. & Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Salt to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni
3 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 ½ cups grated Swiss cheese
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Tabasco
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked of any shell bits
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, toasted
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Reduce the wine: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay over medium heat until the liquid measures about ½ cup, 5-8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
Cook the pasta: In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons of the wine salt to a rolling boil. It should taste like seawater. Stir in the macaroni and cook but leave quite firm, 6-8 minutes. Drain the reserve pasta, keeping some of the cooking liquid.
Make the macaroni sauce: In the same pot holding the reduced wine, add the cream and the mustard to a simmer gently over medium-low heat with a pinch of wine salt. Stir in the 3 cups of the Swiss cheese, all of the cheddar and ½ of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire and Tabasco and warm until cheese melts, 3-5 minutes.
Finish the dish: Add the macaroni to the cream and stir gently to blend. Allow the macaroni to "rest" on the stove, 5-10 minutes, so the pasta absorbs the flavors. Transfer half of the macaroni to an ovenproof baking dish (about 9" x 13"), sprinkle with an even layer of about half of the crab. Gently layer on the remaining macaroni and crab.
Make the breadcrumb mix and finish the dish: In a medium bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with remaining Swiss and Parmesan cheeses and parsley. Top the pasta with the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven 15-20 minutes or until browned and hot.