Mac and Cheese with Crab and Old Bay Oyster Cracker Topping

by Rachael Ray 6:00 AM, September 5, 2017

Aired September 5, 2017

Serves 6

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.

Crab-Stuffed Deviled Eggs

Crab Salad Lettuce Bites

Crabby Guacamole