In this recipe, the north meets the south.
Let your mouth salivate over classic southern-style macaroni and cheese and shrimp seasoned with Old Bay, Maryland’s finest spice blend.
Don’t skip out on this, or you may end up with a severe case of FOMO. This is a dish palatable enough to blur the Mason-Dixon line.
gruyère mac + cheese w/ old bay shrimp
15 min prep + 20 min cook time
½ lb elbow macaroni
¼ lb Gruyère cheese, grated
¼ lb white cheddar cheese, grated
¼ stick of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cup flour
1 ½ cups skim milk
½ cup half and half
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
pinch of nutmeg
freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
1 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large ziplock bag, add the shrimp, old bay, dash of olive oil, and garlic. Shake well to cover each shrimp. Set aside.
In a large pot, cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Drain macaroni and set aside.
Bring that same pot back to the stove and, over medium high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, lower the flame a bit and add the flour and whisk until well incorporated, making a roux. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly. Keep whisking for about 5 minutes until the sauce boils and thickens.
Add the half and half and cook for a few more minutes to thicken again. Remove from the heat and add the salt and pepper, nutmeg, and most of the white cheddar and Gruyère. Mix thoroughly.
Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture and gently combine. Pour into a baking dish or ramekins. Top with the rest of the of Gruyere and white cheddar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Turn the oven off, but keep the dish(es) in as you prepare the shrimp.
In a large pan or cast iron skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over a medium high flame. Just as the oil begins to sizzle, carefully pour half the bag of shrimp into the pan. Using tongs, arrange so each shrimp is lying flat in the pan. After 2-3 minutes, flip over. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp is fully opaque and slightly browned. Be careful not to overcook. Repeat the same steps for the second batch. Remove and discard any garlic that has burnt.
Remove the mac and cheese from the oven and top with the shrimp.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, read the Affiliate Disclaimer.