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- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 rib celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup dry sherry, dry vermouth or white wine
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for shells
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (Rach likes to use Tabasco)
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay, divided
For the base sauce
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup grainy mustard
- 2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups coarse crushed oyster crackers
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 pound short-cut pasta, cooked for 6 minutes in salted water and drained
- Finely chopped chives and parsley, to garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add celery, shallots, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper and sauté to tender, 5 minutes or so. Deglaze the pan with sherry, vermouth or wine. Remove from heat.
Season crab with lemon juice, Tabasco and 1 tablespoon Old Bay.
Make the base sauce for the mac: Bring cream, garlic and mustard to a low boil and simmer 5 minutes to thicken. Remove garlic clove and add in cheese; stir to melt.
Combine cracker crumbs, remaining tablespoon Old Bay and Parm in a bowl. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter, then pour over crumbs; stir to coat.
Combine pasta, base sauce, shallot mixture and crab then pour everything into a casserole dish. Top with cracker crumb mixture and bake until brown and bubbly. Garnish with chives and parsley to serve.