- 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 500g macaroni
- 100g flour
Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…
- 1l milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- 200g mature cheddar, grated
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce
- 150g fresh, brown crabmeat
For the crab topping
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and grease a medium baking dish. Cook the macaroni following pack instructions.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and add the flour to make a thick paste, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add the milk, little by little, to the paste, mixing until smooth. Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat, add 150g cheese and whisk until smooth. Mix in the mustard, ketchup and cayenne. Drain the macaroni and return to the pan. Stir the cheese sauce into the cooked pasta, fold in the brown crabmeat and season.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 50g cheese on top and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until heated through. Remove from the oven and stand for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crab topping with some seasoning. Serve a big spoonful on top of each portion of the bake, then scatter over the dressed rocket (see 'Goes well with'). If making ahead, cool completely and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, cut into slabs and reheat (covered in foil) for 10 mins in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
To check your crabmeat for pieces of shell, use a spoon and a metal bowl. Stir the meat - if you hear the sound of shell on steel, then you know there are bits to remove.
If you can buy crab bones, make a stock and use this to replace the milk in the recipe, it will give added depth of flavour. When you heat the water to cook the macaroni, make sure you cover the pan with a lid. The water will heat up quicker, plus you'll save time and energy.