Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shrimp Mac and Cheese


Hello's with great humbleness, I present to you, Shrimp Mac and Cheese. Just kidding....this Shrimp Mac and Cheese is, da bomb! Yes...I promise you...when you make it, you want ever, I mean ever...want to make another mac and cheese recipe again!

Let me take a moment to explain what I mean...first off, I must take a moment to thank my foodie friend, Marc Hurwitz, founder and owner of Boston's Hidden Restaurants.  Marc, like myself loves great food, and this is when the vision was born...Exhibit A!

Marc posted the above picture on Facebook of Lobster Mac and Cheese. And you know what that meant people, it was time for me to create food goodness!

First, start off with boiled cavatappi pasta cooked about 2 minutes less than al dente.

Secondly, mix up my wonderful seasoning blend, you know the drill, creole seasoning, paprika, black pepper, onion and garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

After sauteing veggies in olive oil, I add the seasoned shrimp instead of lobster, and cook for a few minutes, remember the shrimp will finish cooking in the oven.

Lastly, we mix up the cream sauce, toss in the pasta and shrimp, veggie mixture and it's time to bake our glorious mac and cheese.

Prior to baking, top with extra cheese and our butter, parley, and panko bread crumbs.

Hot out the oven, baked for about 20 minutes and broiled for a few minutes more.

Look at this...I am truly speechless...and the taste...just love....

I know you want a bite...well people, get to cooking, so you can start eating!

Shrimp Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 lb. cavatappi pasta
1 lb. medium size shrimp, peel, deveined
1 stick butter, unsalted
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
4 oz. Gouda cheese, grated
4 oz. parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of flour


Mix seasoning blend and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling water. Add pasta and cook 8 minutes. Remove pasta from stove, drain, rinse in hot water, drain again. Coat pasta with about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

Peel and devein shrimp, place in a bowl and season with 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend and mix well.

In a skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, heat over medium heat. Add vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend to vegetable mixture and cook 1 minute more. Add shrimp and saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Shrimp will finish cooking in the oven.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all grated cheese together. Reserve 1 cup of cheese to top the mac and cheese.

In a stock pot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat to medium heat add flour and whisk well. Cook for about 4 minutes, whisking constantly, add remaining seasoning blend, cook for 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium low, add cream and milk and whisk well. Add cheese by the handful, whisking well after each addition. Add hot sauce. Once all cheese has been added toss in the cooked pasta and shrimp veggie mixture, cook for 1 minute more.

Butter a 13X9 oven proof casserole dish with about 2 tablespoons of butter. Place the pasta cheese mixture in the casserole dish.

Melt remaining butter, toss in panko and minced parsley, mix well. Top casserole with remaining cheese topping and sprinkle panko mixture on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, turn oven to broil and broil for 4-5 minutes are until panko is golden brown.

Allow Shrimp Mac and Cheese to rest about 15 minutes then serve. Enjoy!


  1. This looks fantastic! I think next time around I'm tossing shrimp in, certainly a little easier on the wallet than lobster. :-)

    1. Thanks Susan, my husband tossed in bacon....I was trying to keep the calories down so I went

  2. wondering about the length of time shrimp cooks - saute for 4 minutes and bake for 20 minutes seems very long - is that correct?

    1. Yes, Tessa....that's how long I cooked them and they were perfect...I am not sure if the cream sauce protected them but they came out perfect...I sauteed them because I wanted to make sure my seasoning stuck to the shrimp...I am not always, sure about the methods to my cooking but it works.

  3. This looks AMAZINGLY decadent, wow! I'm getting ready to leave for a potluck and your post has made me hungry 1 hour too early ;) Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing!


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I must confess I love great food. I decided to create The Creole Contessa blog after cooking and eating a great meal with my family Big Goo the hubby of almost twenty years and my lil’ Contessa Summer aka “Baby Girl." I told Big Goo and Baby Girl, it is just not fair to not share these great recipes with the world; and the Creole Contessa blog was born.

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