Fancy Mac and Cheese with Shrimp
Ingredients1 lb. whole wheat pasta shapes
1 lb. raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half (if desired)
10 oz. low fat feta cheese, crumbled and divided
Zest of 1 lemon, divided*
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, divided
5 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions. If you have frozen shrimp like I did (and didn't defrost in the fridge), no problem. Just put the shrimp in a colander and run cold water over it for three minutes or so, until it's mostly defrosted. Then, drain the warm pasta right over top. If you have fresh or completely defrosted shrimp, drain the pasta well; set aside. Add the raw shrimp to the warm pasta and toss together. Either way, the heat from the pasta will partially cook the shrimp.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In a small bowl, combine a handful of the feta, a pinch of the lemon zest*, the panko, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted. Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until light golden brown. Whisk in the milk. Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes. As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the pasta and shrimp; toss well to coat.
- Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 2½ or 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
And we loved it!! And it's a five out of five on our scale. So, it's going in the standby pile.
Next time: Pre-shred the Gruyere cheese, so it moves a bit faster. And lessen the herbs a bit, as DH thought they were pretty strong.
* If you don't have an actual lemon zester (mine's from Pampered Chef and it rocks), you can take a fork and basically scrape the lemon, trying to get only the yellow part and none of the white.