Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Bay Shrimp

Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Bay Shrimp

Say hello to my Southern inspired entry for the Chef’s Roll “Bayou to the Bay” Barilla Pasta Challenge

Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Shrimp

About the contest:

Calling all US-based chefs and cooks! We have teamed up with Barilla to give you the chance to take your career to the next level by attending the Barilla Modern Casual trip to John Folse’s White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge, June 4-8th, 2018. The grand prize winner will also receive a custom Jende knife roll and a Chef’s Roll cap. The grand prize is worth $2750. Do we have your interest yet?

To win, you’re going to have to show us your best example of Southern-inspired cooking that incorporates pasta, drawing on influences of cooking styles from the Louisiana Bayou to the Chesapeake Bay. Source: chefs 

I would love to win the Barilla Modern Casula trip to John Folse’s White Oak Plantation! Let’s hope the judges think I deserve a place at the table this year!

My recipe brings a whole new meaning to #BarillaSouthernStyle. I’ve incorporated the flavors of low country-style gravy which finds roots in Southern Carolina and Georgia cooking. The hickory smoked bacon gravy is a juxtaposition of taste set against the tender white crab meat and crunchy toasted topping. Barilla Large pasta shells hold the creamy, cheesy gravy like a tiny bowl full of deliciousness. Top it all off with buttered poached Bay shrimp and you’ve got one crazy-good mac and cheese sensation.

Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Bay Shrimp

Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Bay Shrimp
Serves 4
Recipe creation for Chef's Roll Bayou to the Bay Pasta Contest Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Bay Shrimp brings low country bacon gravy to the mix blending fresh picked crab, some crab boil seasoning, pan toasted fresh corn off the cob and a touch of heat from Serrano peppers; this mixture becomes the roux for the mac and cheese sauce. Barilla large pasta shells are dressed with the creamy mixture and three kinds of cheeses then topped with crunchy panko crumbs and parmesan cheese. Cooked to perfection, this dish is truly Bayou to the Bay Southern Style!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 1 box Barilla large pasta shells
  2. 2 ½ cups crab meat, pick over to remove shells
  3. 4 slices good bacon, chopped into small pieces
  4. 4 ½ teaspoons flour
  5. 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  6. ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 2 ½ teaspoons minced fresh sage, divided
  8. 1 stick of butter plus 3 tablespoons, divided
  9. 2 ears corn cut from cob
  10. 2 serrano peppers, fine chopped seeds and ribs removed
  11. 10 gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
  12. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  13. 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning mix
  14. juice from ½ lemon
  15. 2 teaspoon parsley, chopped, divided
  16. ½ cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  17. ¼ cup yellow mild cheddar
  18. ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  19. ½ -1 teaspoon salt
  20. ½ teaspoon pepper
  21. 1 cup panko crumbs
  22. ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  23. ½ teaspoon paprika
  1. 1. Cook pasta as directed on the box. Drain and run cool water over pasta to stop cooking process.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  3. 2. In a thick bottomed saucepan, brown bacon on high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned.
  4. 3. Remove bacon to a paper towel. Add corn that has been cut from the cob and 2 chopped serrano peppers to the hot bacon fat. Cook until corn is caramelized/toasted.
  5. 4. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 4 ½ teaspoons flour, stir constantly for 4 minutes to make roux.
  6. 5. Add cream, cayenne, sage, salt and pepper.
  7. 6. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, add cheeses one at a time and stir after every addition to incorporate and melt the cheese. Sauce will be thick and creamy.
  8. 7. Pour cooked pasta, cooked bacon and crab meat into the sauce and gently stir to combine.
  9. 8. Pour mixture into baking pan or small heat proof glass containers.
  10. 9. Mix panko and parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over pasta. Sprinkle paprika over and bake in the preheated over for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.
For the Shrimp
  1. While the pasta is in the oven. Heat 1 stick of salted butter in a medium pan over medium high heat, until butter is bubbly and hot, do not brown. Add peeled deveined shrimp and cook for 3 minutes on one side. Flip shrimp and add parsley, sage and a teaspoon Cajun seasoning, continue cooking 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  1. Serve cooked mac and cheese with shrimp. ENJOY
At Home with Rebecka

Country Crab Mac and Cheese with Butter Poached Bay Shrimp

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