I suppose I always thought of Mac & Cheese as a kids dish, after all, that is what my kids often requested. But, when Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas challenged me to create something unique and hand-held with “Mac and Cheese”, I thought, ‘adult, my Mediterranean roots, and Maryland, where I grew up’!

 CRAB! The rich flavors of Gruyere cheese and Old Bay seasoning, encased in a buttery, crunchy phyllo pastry is what I created right there on national TV, in front of 35 cameras! It has become one of my favorite adult dishes, of which my grandchildren devour as well!

(Full Episode Here!)

 Three Steps 

Makes 2 rolls – 8 slices per roll

  • Prepare the filling
  • Prepare the phyllo 
  • Bake and serve

Filling Ingredients

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons
  •  Flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 1 clove crushed
  • Old Bay Seasoning – 4 teaspoons
  •  Cayenne Pepper – ¼ teaspoon
  • Cream – 1 cup
  •  Cheeses – Gruyere ¾ cup chopped – Mozzarella 1/2 cup chopped
  • Small Shell Pasta – 3/4 cup cooked
  • Crab – 1 pound (preferably lump)
  • Phyllo Pastry – 5 sheets for each roll
  • Butter (salted) – melted, enough to baste phyllo dough (about 2 tablespoons per roll)

Filling Preparation

  • Make a roux from the butter and flour.
  • Quickly stir in garlic, seasonings, and cream.
  • Stir, and then fold in cheeses on a medium to low heat.
  • Add pasta and gently fold into the cream and cheese mixture. 
  • Fold in Crab gently so as not to macerate the beautiful lump meat. Cool slightly.

Phyllo Preparation

  • Lay out one layer and baste with melted butter. Layer another phyllo sheet on top and baste, until you have five buttered layers of phyllo.
  • Gently lay half of the filling along one end of phyllo.
  • Begin to roll, basting with butter as you go until all edges are sealed with butter.



  • Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. At a diagonal, slice just half way through the roll, (it makes slicing later more efficient).
  • Bake at 400 for 8 minutes, then lower oven to 350 for another 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Finish the cut all the way through while still hot.
  • Cool slightly and serve. Be certain to lay at least one roll per plate on the diagonal cut so as to expose the lovely filling!






  2. The cheeses with the crab sound absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  3. michaela403

    What a delicious flavor combination you have here!! saving this one!

  4. Pingback: FOOD NETWORK CREATION – Whisk & Dine

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