Crab Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni cheese is my ultimate boat comfort food – add crab and it becomes  something special.

A fresh, dressed crab is the best thing to use here, as it cranks  up the flavor intensity, but you can use a tub of pasteurized white crab meat, or  failing that two 170g tins of white crab meat. Serve with a crisp, green salad. 

For 4 

  • 50g butter 
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and finely sliced 
  • macaroni, or other short pasta 
  • 50g flour 
  • 600ml milk 
  • 150g mature Cheddar, grated 
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, grated 
  • 1 dressed crab 
  • 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs 
  • salt and pepper 

Method  Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the leeks, then cover and sweat  for 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile bring salted water to the boil in a large saucepan and cook the pasta, then drain and keep warm. Heat the grill. Add the  flour to the leeks, stir to combine and cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually add  the milk, whisking to avoid lumps, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add half the cheese  and all of the nutmeg and crab, then heat through and season before stirring in the  cooked pasta. Tip the lot into a shallow baking dish if you are using a boat grill (if  you are cooking at home with a larger grill, any heatproof dish will work). Top with  the breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese. Grill for a couple of minutes until the  topping is crunchy and golden. 

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