Cheryl says: ‘While I still enjoy plain macaroni and cheese (probably more than I should), I wanted to “fancy it up” a bit and add in sweet langostinos with a handful of crispy bacon. (Langostinos look like tiny lobsters, but are actually more closely related to certain species of crab.) Normally, I use extra-sharp cheddar in my mac & cheese because I like the pronounced cheesiness. However, when paired with the delicate flavor of langostinos, the cheese should complement and not overpower them so I went with a mellow cheddar. Feel free to add in other cheeses. Play around with the recipe, swap out one for another, try different combinations… just make sure you keep the same quantity. Cooking should be fun and creative, recipes like this are a perfect place to start experimenting.
Mac & Cheese is perfection. Pasta mixed with a creamy cheese sauce, topped with a layer of (even more) cheese & breadcrumbs and baked. It’s so simple and satisfying.
Enough talk, let’s get cooking…”
Michael says: “I have left Cheryl’s recipe as it is, and would suggest you used frozen peeled prawns, or crayfish if you have a son who dives!”
Langostino Mac & Cheese with Crispy Bacon & Chives
1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
5 TB. unsalted butter
4 TB. AP flour
2 C. whole milk
1 C. Half & Half
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top
1 1/2 C. langostinos, cooked
1 C. cooked bacon, chopped
2 TB. chives, chopped
1/4 C. seasoned breadcrumbs
1 TB butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375
In a small pot, combine milk and half & half. Heat until warm, cover and set aside.
In a medium pot, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Turn heat up to medium and whisk roux for 2 -3 minutes. Add milk mixture and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, go around the edges of your pan to make sure all of the flour gets incorporated.
Continue whisking frequently until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add dry mustard, salt, pepper and 2 cups cheddar. Stir continuously until smooth and uniform.
Spray or butter 9×13 baking dish, set aside. In a large bowl, combine: cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, bacon, langostinos and chives. Stir to combine.
Pour into glass baking dish. Stir together 1 TB melted butter, breadcrumbs and remaining cheddar. Sprinkle over macaroni and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until bubbly and browned on top. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Note – Langostinos are most often sold frozen in Florida, already cooked.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Cheryl Bennett has a business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called Pook’s Pantry. We are internet friends, introduced by a mutual friend Jamie Schler whose recipes I often use on my website. I love Cheryl’s approach to food, it’s full of colour, packed with flavour and quite often new flavours for us here at the southernmost tip of Africa.
Click here to go to Cheryl’s website