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!
Makes 2 rolls – 8 slices per roll
- Prepare the filling
- Prepare the phyllo
- Bake and serve
- 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)
- 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.
- 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!