Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

Are any of you struggling with pulling together your Mother’s Day menus?  ‘Cause I certainly am.  Actually, my brother and I haven’t even discussed yet what we plan to make for Mom on Sunday and probably won’t until I see him in person tomorrow.  This, as you might expect is both unnatural for me and also causing a bit of anxiety at the same time.  I have three spectacular brunch ideas in my head to suggest to my little bro but I really have no idea if he’ll go for them…or if he’s leaning more towards cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh bagels (which I would totally be ok with too).

Anyway, if you’re planning a Mother’s Day dinner or lunch (or heck, even brunch) I suggest you make this shrimp and feta mac and cheese.  It’s certainly fancy enough to pass the Mother’s Day menu test for the most discernible menu planner or mother and at the same time, it’s still warm and comforting, just like mac and cheese should be.

Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

You’ll make a basic mac and cheese base sauce but you’ll add some feta and Gruyere cheeses, a few fresh herbs, lemon zest, and a whole bunch of fresh shrimp.  Then you’ll top the pasta with more feta (be still my heart), more herbs and zest, melted butter, and breadcrumbs and bake it all off until the sides are bubbly, the topping is crunchy, and the feta is warm and soft.  I was a little skeptical (and knew Kyle would be) but this meal really and truly works; we both adored it.  If it’s even possible, this was better the second day as the flavors had a chance to come together.  All in all, this is a wonderful springtime mac and cheese and I know you guys will love it!

Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta shapes
  • 1 lb raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half
  • 10 oz feta cheese, crumbled or medium-diced and divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon, divided
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 8 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400? F.
  2. In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water until 2 minutes less than the package directions indicate. Drain the pasta well and toss in the shrimp. This will partially cook the shrimp before you bake the dish. Transfer the pasta and shrimp back to the still warm large pot.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss a handful of the feta together with a pinch of lemon zest, the panko, 2 teaspoons parsley, and the melted butter; set the bowl aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture is light golden brown in color. Whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Bring the milk to a simmer where it thickens and starts to bubble, stirring frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom of the saucepan. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, lemon zest, and parsley, as well as the dill, Gruyere, salt, and pepper. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and shrimp in the large pot and stir to coat the pasta and shrimp with the sauce. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 3-quart baking dish (2-quart will likely be too small but two smaller baking dishes will work fine if you don't have a 3-quart dish). Sprinkle the reserved breadcrumb topping evenly over the pasta.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sides are bubbly and the top is evenly browned. Let the mac and cheese set up for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Source

source: adapted from The Perfect Pantry via Annie's Eats

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2013/05/shrimp-feta-and-fresh-herb-mac-and-cheese/

Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time: 25min
  • Cook Time: 20-25min
  • Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

1 lb pasta shapes
1 lb raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half
10 oz feta cheese, crumbled or medium-diced and divided
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, divided
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
8 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • 01

    Preheat oven to 400° F.

  • 02

    In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water until 2 minutes less than the package directions indicate.  Drain the pasta well and toss in the shrimp.  This will partially cook the shrimp before you bake the dish.  Transfer the pasta and shrimp back to the still warm large pot.

  • 03

    In a medium bowl, toss a handful of the feta together with a pinch of lemon zest, the panko, 2 teaspoons parsley, and the melted butter; set the bowl aside.

  • 04

    In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture is light golden brown in color.  Whisk in the milk until no lumps remain.  Bring the milk to a simmer where it thickens and starts to bubble, stirring frequently to prevent scorching on the bottom of the saucepan.  This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.

  • 05

    Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, lemon zest, and parsley, as well as the dill, Gruyere, salt, and pepper.  Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and shrimp in the large pot and stir to coat the pasta and shrimp with the sauce.  Transfer the pasta mixture to a 3-quart baking dish (2-quart will likely be too small but two smaller baking dishes will work fine if you don’t have a 3-quart dish).  Sprinkle the reserved breadcrumb topping evenly over the pasta.

  • 06

    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sides are bubbly and the top is evenly browned.  Let the mac and cheese set up for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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  • Vera Zecevic
    May 10, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Mac and cheese are always good idea and this combo with feta and herbs sounds great!

    • taraliptak
      May 13, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      Thanks, Vera! The feta, herbs, and lemon zest push this mac and cheese over the top, for sure!

  • Drlaceyjane
    July 17, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    I made this tonight, and my husband begged for seconds!! Excellent recipe!!

    • taraliptak
      July 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Thanks! It’s surprisingly amazing, isn’t it?

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