Cajun Crawfish Mac and Cheese
By now you probably know that while I am no longer a picky eater I am still pretty picky about how I like my food. I love mac and cheese it reminds me of being a kid, however, I don't like when mac and cheese is baked and you end up with a stringy, dried mess. This mac and cheese is creamy and with an abundance of sauce. When whisking the cheeses into the crawfish and cream mixture be careful not to cook the cheeses in at too high a heat or for too long, it will become stringy and there is no easy fix.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I use Slap Ya Mama™)
½ cup Chardonnay
¾ pound frozen crawfish bodies
3 ¼ cups seafood stock, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded provolone
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¾ pound fusilli pasta
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion, for serving
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for serving
Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the onion and the garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the cayenne and Cajun seasoning to the onions and stir to combine, then add the Chardonnay and allow to reduce for about 5 minutes.
In a blender combine the crawfish and ¼ cup of the seafood stock; blend for about 15 seconds or until the crawfish is pureed. Set aside. In a small bowl combine the heavy cream and lemon juice. This will curdle the cream (that is supposed to happen) it will help combine the sauce later on. Add the cream to the pan whisking to combine,then stir the crawfish into the mixture. Add the cheeses, stirring constantly to combine as they melt.
Bring a large pot of water and the remaining seafood stock to the boil; add salt and bring back to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Before draining, set aside about one cup of the pasta water. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add the sauce and stir to combine and evenly coat the noodles with the sauce. If the sauce begins to get too clumpy, add some of the reserved pasta water, a tablespoon at a time.
To serve, ladle into warm pasta bowls and top with green onions and parsley.