Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese
My mom served a lot of “mangia” when I was a kid. You might know this as “stew”. No matter what your name is for this type of dish, I call it “blah”. There was nothing more disappointing than asking mom what was for dinner only to find out it was “mangia”. She made this for dinner because it was economical. She would scour the grocery store for discounted meat, which would be combined with veggies and lots of broth. The biggest problem with discounted meat was how chewy it was. I remember chewing the same piece of meat for a good 10-15 minutes. What was worse is I knew we’d be eating this same meal for leftovers the next night. It was a no win situation for me.
Not long ago, my mom and dad had me over for lunch. Much to my dismay, she served stew. I instinctively cringed at the site! I still don’t like stew. My mom noticed my crinkled nose and proceeded to lecture me about my taste in foods. I’m 40 years old and my mom is still yelling at me to eat my “mangia”!! I had to laugh. We may age, but once a parent, always a parent!
My kids wouldn’t eat this type of food if I served it to them. The only thing I have going for me is since we always have dessert in the house, I can usually bribe my family to eat. My kids have no idea how good they have it. Not only did I have to chew and swallow the leathery meat my mom served, but dessert was a rarity! You ate your dinner and you liked it!
What I prefer to eat instead of “mangia” is mac and cheese. Not the blue boxed kind, but the homemade kind. I love tasting real cheese. You can use virtually any cheese combination and you can add in whatever you like to make it a meal. This is what I call comfort food and it’s the kind of food I like serving my family. I know they’ll eat it and we will all be happy. Sorry mom, you can have your “mangia”!
I used cream cheese in this dish. I wanted the mac and cheese to be really creamy and have lots of flavor. The cream cheese took a little edge of the Guyere and kept it all very smooth. We loved this! It was as creamy as I’d hoped and you couldn’t taste the tang that you sometimes taste with cream cheese! I added lump crabmeat and bacon to round it out. The result was amazing! We had this for leftovers, but at least we all looked forward to those leftovers!
You might enjoy these too:
Crab and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 8oz cream cheese, cubed
- 2 cups shredded Gouda
- 1 cup shredded Guyere
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 8 oz container lump crab meat
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, brown bacon. Remove, add onion to grease and cook until soft. Pick through crab meat removing any shells and add to onion. Sautee crab and onions until heated through. Remove from heat. and set aside.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, seasoning pasta with salt.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour with a whisk and cook for one minute. Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth. Let milk come to a slow bubble, then add cubed cream cheese and stir until melted and mixture is creamy and smooth. Add shredded cheeses and continue to stir. Add Dijon mustard and pepper.
- When pasta is ready, drain and add to cheese mixture. Stir in crab and bacon. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons melted butter, panko and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly.