Creamy, Cheesy Shrimp Mac & Cheese

The only time that I eat Mac & Cheese is when it’s served as a side with a delicious BBQ spread at a restaurant. More often than not, the Mac & Cheese is not cheesy or creamy enough for me. To make those dreams come true, I’m looking to tick all the boxes of creamy & cheesy, with my favourite protein– shrimp!

Restaurant Feature: Blackjack BBQ & Uncle Smokehouse

We have so many great BBQ spots in Toronto. I couldn’t just choose one memory. Blackjack BBQ is so special for it’s atmosphere – even the Square One location was enjoyable in a foodcourt! They serve incredible cuts of BBQ meats, and surprisingly, their fried chicken is very well made as well. I love the way Uncle Smokehouse gives you a little bit of everything on a plate, we loved the bites of cornbread, and their burgers are not to be missed! The place is smaller, and more as a quick-bite spot!

Make it to taste – or your fridge’s contents!

  • Macaroni, or any curly pasta works well for this recipe.
  • If your pasta begins to clump from sitting too long, pour 2 tbsp of hot water and gently loosen it. No need to drain the water, as it can be added back to the mixture to thicken.
  • Use any protein you like! Don’t forget the garlic when sautéing, it adds a lot of savoury flavour.

Recipe: Shrimpy, Creamy Mac & Cheese

Serves: 4-6
Cooking time: 40
Preparation time: 10

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ingredients:

Shrimp Saute

250g Shrimp, peeled

3 Garlic cloves, minced

½ tbsp Butter

½ tbsp Vegetable oil

Pasta Mix

3½ tbsp Butter (50g)

2 cups Milk

1½ cup Cheddar, grated

¾ cup Mozzarella, grated

250g Macaroni

Seasoning

½ tsp Salt

¼ tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Chicken powder (or Onion powder)

Topping

⅓ cup Breadcrumbs

¼ Mozzarella, grated

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. 
  2. In a deep skillet, heat oil & butter on medium heat. Sauté minced garlic until fragrant. Add shrimp. Until just cooked, remove from heat and transfer to the bowl. The shrimp will cook further when it bakes.
  3. Add 50g of butter to a deep skillet. Once butter is melted, add flour and mix until well combined. Simmer for 1 minute. Gradually add milk to ensure no lumps. Once all milk is added, allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add seasoning and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Stir in cheese until smooth. 
  4. Add cooked pasta to the deep skillet, along with shrimp. Add reserved pasta water. Stir until combined. The mixture will be thick and cheesy like pancake batter. If further thickening is required, allow to simmer to desired consistency, reduce to low-medium heat if needed. Pour mixture into a baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and ¼ cup of cheese.
  5. Bake baking dish at 375 °F for 20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!

 

Note:

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