Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mac N' Seafood

Several weeks ago, I was very eager to make something with scallops. My intrigue was sparked by the weekly grocery ads as they were supposedly on sale. Little did I know that the nearest 2 HEB stores (a grocery store in Texas) to me did not have seafood counters! I didn't know that was even possible! I then ventured to our nearest Kroger (yes, that would be my third trip to a grocery store just to find scallops), and even they didn't have fresh scallops. I had buy them in the bag. Not the worst thing in the world, but it still wasn't what I set out to buy.

Nonetheless, I had my sights set on making Rachael Ray's Milk Mac N' Seafood. (Note: It's only called Milk Mac N' Seafood because, that week, she was gearing up for the Oscars and chose to highlight each movie up for film of the year with it's own recipe.)

Ingredients

1 bulb garlic
1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for drizzling
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
1 pound macaroni or small shells
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine or sherry
1 1/2 cups milk
A few grates fresh nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 pound bay scallops

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Slice 1/4 of an inch off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing the top of all cloves. Place garlic onto a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with EVOO. Enclose garlic in a small pouch and roast in oven until cloves are deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of bulb and into a medium mixing bowl. Mash into a paste with a fork. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, some salt and pepper to bowl, and stir to combine. Reserve.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil water. When water comes up to a full boil, season with salt. Drop macaroni and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and reserve in pot it was cooked in.

Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over top and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the white wine, milk, nutmeg, some salt and pepper into the sauce and bring up to a bubble. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Yields: 4-6 servings
Preparation
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Slice 1/4 of an inch off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing the top of all cloves. Place garlic onto a small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with EVOO. Enclose garlic in a small pouch and roast in oven until cloves are deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of bulb and into a medium mixing bowl. Mash into a paste with a fork. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, some salt and pepper to bowl, and stir to combine. Reserve.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil water. When water comes up to a full boil, season with salt. Drop macaroni and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and reserve in pot it was cooked in.

Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over top and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the white wine, milk, nutmeg, some salt and pepper into the sauce and bring up to a bubble. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Remove the sauce from heat and stir in bay scallops, 1 cup Parmigiano (eyeball it) and Gruyere, reserving a handful of Gruyere for the tops. Stir to melt cheeses then toss sauce with cooked pasta. Transfer mac to six ramekins and top with the reserved breadcrumb mixture and the reserved cheese.
Arrange ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until tops are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.
I absolutely loved this dish! While mac n' cheese is good, it can sometimes make you feel sluggish. This recipe was not the normal mac n' cheese and tasted very fresh! I think you could even make this with shrimp also if you wanted.

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