Mac and Cheese with Shrimp

Mac and Cheese

The Best Mac and Cheese has Shrimp

I love this Mac and Cheese recipe and I’m not one to ever order Macaroni and Cheese at any restaurant, either.  Not because I don’t like it.  I just don’t think that most restaurants, especially the major chains, make a quality dish.  So I put together a Cheese Sauce that has a real nice balance of flavor and adding shrimp helps bring out a nice seafood stock kind of taste.  Lobster would be a fantastic alternative, if you’d like to step it up, but you don’t have to add any seafood to this dish at all if you’re not into shell fish.  The other ingredients, listed down below, make one of the best Mac ‘N Cheese sauces on the planet.

Mac and Cheese

My Mac and Cheese Secret

Most Mac and Cheese recipes use Milk, Flour and Cheddar Cheese but I don’t use any of those and I’ll tell you why.  Milk makes the sauce thin.  That’s why the flour is needed and I think it makes the sauce taste bland and chalky.  The Cheddar Cheese keeps it simple, whether you use sharp, medium or mild.  Simple may be fine in some kitchens and if that’s all you’ve got, by all means, use it but keeping it simple means it tastes simple.  I know that some recipes are great when they’re simple.  But if you’re able to trick it up a bit by adding a variety of different cheese, why not control the outcome with perfect balance for your specific tastes.  That’s why I use Colby Jack, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese.

Mac and Cheese with Shrimp Ingredients:

8 oz Pasta, cooked
1 1/2 doz Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp butter
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
1 1/2 cup Half & Half
1 tsp Bouillon, Tomato/Chicken or Beef
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Colby Jack cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients
1 Green Onion, chopped
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
3 Bacon Strips, cooked

Watch and follow the Mac and Cheese with Shrimp Video Tutorial for specific directions about making this recipe.

Mac and Cheese Clarkston Union Style

Mac and CheeseMac and Cheese from a Box!

If you haven’t seen the Mac and Cheese special that Kid Rock appears in on “Diners, Drive In’s and Dives“, then you’re in for a real treat!  The Clarkston Union has a Macaroni and Cheese recipe that will knock your socks off.  Personally I’ve never been a real big fan of the standard box recipe, but my kids sure love it, and if it’s on the menu when we dine out for something a little more exotic than what kid taste buds are ready for, then we order it.  I don’t know if you’re like me, though, anything my kids order, I usually try for myself.  Usually when it comes to kids meals in restaurants, especially Mac and Cheese, I’m rarely impressed.  And since Macaroni and Cheese is such a big deal for children, you would think that the recipe would be a little more perfected in restaurants by now.  I mean, don’t you think it’s sad that a box of Kraft or even the “Generic” brand has got your local Chefs beat?  Well not at Clarkston Union, and I’m going to show you how to take a regular box of Mac and Cheese and turn it into a Clarkston Union Style Macaroni.

Mac and Cheese Ingredients:

1 Box of Cooked Macaroni
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Chopped Onion (Optional)
1/4 cup of Butter
1/2 cup of Half and Half or Cream
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Cheese packet
3 slices of Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 tbsp Bread Crumbs or Panko

Follow the Mac and Cheese box instructions to cook the Macaroni.  Strain, add the olive oil and stir it all together.  In a hot pan add the butter, then 1/4 cup (half) of the Half and Half or Cream (Also the onions if you’re using them).  Add the dry ingredients, Nutmeg and Pepper.  Bring to a boil and add a touch more of the cream just to calm the boil, then add the powdered cheese mix and then the Macaroni Pasta.  Stir while adding the rest of the Half and Half.  Be careful not to drown the pasta but be sure that it’s cream and not dried out when you are done stirring.  Remove from the heat and add enough Mac and Cheese to cover the bottom of an oven dish.  Add the Cheddar Cheese, then cover with the remaining Macaroni.  Add the Mozzarella Cheese and Panko, then Bake at 425 degrees in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Let the Mac and Cheese Cool for a few minutes then serve.