This seafood mac & cheese can be made using any kind of seafood, from chopped whitefish or salmon to shrimp, scallops, crab or lobster.
1 lb. elbow macaroni or other small pasta
1/3 cup (185 ml) frozen peas
3 cups (750 ml) milk
1-2 cups (250-500 ml) fresh raw or cooked seafood, such as whitefish, salmon, scallops, shrimp, crab or lobster
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
1/4 cup (60 ml) flour
3-4 cups (250 g) grated white cheddar, Gouda, or a combination
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan
1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package directions. Add the peas to the pot for the last few minutes of cooking time. Drain and return the pasta and peas to the pot. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer without letting it boil. Chop any fish you’re cooking into one-inch pieces. Simmer raw seafood, such as fish, scallops and shrimp, for two to three minutes or just until opaque; remove from the milk with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. In a medium-large saucepan, heat the butter and flour over medium-high heat, whisking until the butter melts and forms a paste. Whisk in the heated milk and bring to a simmer; cook until it comes to a boil, then continue to cook for a full minute.
4. Stir in the cheese, then remove from heat and continue stirring until cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the reserved cooked seafood, along with crab or lobster if using. Pour over the pasta and peas and stir to blend well; pour the mixture into a casserole dish that will accommodate it.
5. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, blitz the bread to crumbs; add the Parmesan and oil and pulse to blend well. Scatter the crumbs over the pasta and bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and golden on top.
703 calories, 34.8 g fat (16.3 g saturated, 14 g monounsaturated, 4.5 g polyunsaturated), 83 mg cholesterol, 64 g carbohydrate, 28.7 g protein, 2.8 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, August/September 2012.