Baked Crab Mac-n-Cheese With Peas

18 02 2015

I love the decadence of crab mac-n-cheese! This recipe offers that rich, comforting flavor, but with a few healthier ingredients. In a meal like this, you can easily swap things like coconut oil in place of butter and whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, as well as sneak in a veggie like peas. And if you’re an observer of Lent, this is a great dinner to dig into on Fridays!

Baked Crab Mac-n-Cheese With Peas

The following serves 3-4 (adapted from Will Cook For Smiles):

  • 2 cups dry whole wheat penne
  • 1 cup (8 oz) crab meat
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 – 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese, grated from the block
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • Chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350. Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Cook to al dente, then drain well and add back to pot. Add the crab meat and frozen peas to the pasta and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat and add shallot. Saute a minute or two until beginning to soften. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Slowly pour in the milk and constantly whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the grated cheddar and salt and pepper to taste. Keep whisking, slowly, until the cheese is melted. Off heat, stir in half of the parmesan.

Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, crab and peas and stir well to combine. Transfer to prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with the panko and the rest of the parmesan.

Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and finish baking another 5-10 minutes to help brown the top (you may want to up the heat or turn on the broiler). Allow to rest a few minutes before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley.

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Chipotle Crab, Corn and Bacon Bisque

15 09 2014

It’s really felt like fall around CLE this past week. The crisp air was calling for a bisque or chowder, especially after we ended up with corn and thick-cut bacon from our Fresh Fork Market share. This bisque features sweet crab and corn paired with the smokey flavors of chipotle and bacon. So delicious and comforting, and perfect for enjoying on a cool Saturday night. Make the whole batch and dive into the leftovers throughout the week!

Chipotle Crab, Corn and Bacon Bisque

The following serves 6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut smoked pork bacon, diced
  • 6 corn cobs (if you can, use leftover grilled corn cobs)
  • 4 cups skim milk (I use skim milk for a healthier option, but for a richer flavor you can use cream or whole milk instead)
  • 3 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 small white or candy onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 chipotle in adobo
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Corn from 4 corn cobs
  • 16 oz wild caught crab meat, drained
  • Chopped cilantro

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and add diced bacon. Cook bacon until crisp, stirring often. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

To the bacon drippings, add the onion, celery and carrots and saute veggies for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 6 corn cobs (kernels removed) to a large pot and cover with milk and chicken stock. (When I make grilled corn, I’ll cut the corn off the cob after it’s grilled and then freeze the cobs to use in soups like this later. You could of course use fresh corn instead). Heat over medium and bring to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low for about 20-25 minutes to infuse the flavor of the cobs into the liquid. Remove cobs from the liquid and discard.

Add the minced garlic and salt to taste to your sautéed veggies and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Next add the tomato paste and chipotle in adobo (add the whole chipotle, 1 for less heat 2 for more heat). Cook for a minute or so, stirring everything together. Next add the flour, stir to combine, and cook for another minute (use 1/3 cup for a slightly thicker consistency if you’d like).

Deglaze with the wine, whisking to combine. Cook until the wine is nearly evaporated and gets nice and thick. Next whisk in the warmed milk and stock, along with the sherry. Simmer on low until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste.

Remove from the heat and puree until smooth using an immersion blender. Turn the heat back onto low and add the corn (to cut the corn off the cobs, put a small bowl upside down inside a large bowl, stand the corn straight up and from the top to the bottom, cut the corn off the cob using a large knife – the large bowl will collect the kernels). Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt if needed. Fold in the crab gently just before serving.

Serve bisque garnished with crisp bacon and chopped cilantro.





Mini Crab Cakes With Mango Chutney and Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

16 06 2014

I recently started a supper club with a group of close friends of ours, and this past weekend we headed to the beaches of OBX! Well not literally, but with an awesome spread of sea-side food it felt like we did!

My contribution included these awesome baked mini crab cakes, with a delicious creamy sauce and tangy chutney! Try not to be overwhelmed with how long this recipe is. There are several parts, which honestly have a lot of ingredients, and there’s a good amount of chopping to be done. But it’ll be worth it, especially if you’re out to impress your friends and fam because these are superbly delicious! My only regret is not having made extras!

Mini Crab Cakes (2)

The following makes 16 crab cakes (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, Ina Garten and Emeril Lagasse):

For the crab cakes:

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small diced red onion (3/4 cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups small diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1 small diced red bell pepper (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small diced yellow bell pepper (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 can (16 oz) wild caught crab meat or 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, drained and check that there aren’t any shells
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs or panko
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, peppers, parsley, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Old Bay and salt. Mix to combine and cook until the veggies are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, break up the lump crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard and eggs. Add the cooled veggies mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out small portions of the crab mixture (to make mini crab cakes) and place on non-stick baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 450 and bake for another 5-10 minutes to help get a golden crust.

For the Mango Salsa (makes about 1 and 1/2 cups):

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped poblano peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  1. Combine mango, poblano, peppers, onion and garlic in a bowl and mix. Add vinegar, cilantro and salt and stir well.
  2. Refrigerate in an air-tight container with a lid until you’re ready to serve.
For the Cilantro-Avocado Sauce (makes about 2 cups):
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 lime zested
  • 1 lime juiced (about 4-5 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  1. Combine everything in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

 To serve:

  • Using your squeeze bottle full of sauce, squeeze some of the sauce onto a large serving plate (or in individual cups like shown above). Top with one crab cake if plating individually, then top with some of the mango salsa.




Crab Rangoon Dip

3 12 2011

Found this idea in my latest Cuisine at Home issue…a great way to turn the Chinese take-out classic into a dip that can be served warm or cold. It’s best to prepare this appetizer a few hours before you need it to ensure the crab stays as fresh as possible.

Crab Rangoon Dip

The following makes 3 cups:

  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions or green onions
  • 2 Tbsp each chopped fresh cilantro and ginger (save yourself time, use the minced ginger in a tube)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 pkg cream cheese, softened (8 oz each)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can lump crabmeat (6.5 oz)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat an ovenproof dish with nonstick spray.

The recipe says to mince scallions, cilantro, ginger and sugar in a food processor; however I just finely chopped and stirred together by hand.

Add cream cheese and lime juice, then pulse or stir to combine. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl. Fold crabmeat into cream cheese mixture; transfer to prepared dish.

Bake dip until hot in center and bubbly, 15 minutes. Serve with won ton chips or toasted baguette slices.