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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shrimparagus Garlic Mac'n'Cheese

Comfort food with a twang. That's what I like. Mac and cheese would be the ultimate comfort food in my book. It doesn't get any more of a classic than that. And what a better time to make some than on Memorial Day weekend. I like my mac and cheese very cheesy, but I hate it when the cheese is too runny. Creamy, I'll take. But runny...? I made just the right amount to cheese sauce to coat each piece of pasta, shrimp and asparagus that still had a nice little stretch when you pull a piece with a fork.

For the pasta, I used Barilla's Whole Grain Rotini. I also used evaporated milk rather than heavy cream for the cheese sauce and added a some tobasco to give it a itty-bitty kick. Cutting out some calories while having a good and tasty meal is always good.

This could serve 3-5.

Shrimpargus Garlic Mac'n'Cheese

1 lb shrimp (deveined and shelled)
1 box Barilla Whole Grain Rotini pasta
1 bundle thin asparagus
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Bring a stock pot, filled with water, to a boil. When the water is bubbling like crazy, season liberally with salt and add in the pasta. Cook for about 10-12 min. Stir a couple of times to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot. Drain before adding it to a 13 x 9 baking pan.

Rinse the asparagus and cut off 1" from the bottom tip. Then slice the remaining sticks in the length of a toothpick.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and saute the asparagus for roughly 5 min or until tender. Season with some salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix with the pasta.

In the same pan, heat a little more olive oil and saute the shrimp until pink and opaque. Roughly 3-5 min. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. It will get a nice red tint. When shrimp is ready add into the pasta and asparagus including the juice in the pan.

Cheese Sauce:
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c Shredded mild cheddar (plus extra for topping)
1 1/2 c shredded parmesan (plus extra for topping)
1-2 tsp tobasco
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, then add in the flour on medium to low heat. Stir. Add the evaporated milk. Stir to combine until milk looks thick and flour pieces have dissolved. Add in both cheeses and stir to combine. Add in the garlic and tobasco. Stir well until cheeses are completely melted.

Note: You can adjust how much garlic and tobasco you want put in

Putting it all together: Preheat your broiler. Spread the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and mix the whole concoction together, coating every nook and cranny. Sprinkle extra cheddar and parmesan over the top. Place in the broiler for 3 min or until the cheese is melted.


Pam said...

Brilliant! Can I please come for dinner? This looks amazing.

theUngourmet said...

That just looks terrific! Anything with asparagus is an instant favorite of mine! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

chow and chatter said...

looks wonderful and love the kick he he

Justin said...

shrimparagus... you crack me up with this stuff. i've been trying the whole wheat pasta lately, but I'm still on the fence. i know it's good for me, but i just don't love it. but this sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Love the name. It sounds like the name of a Greek god, lol.


Jenn said...

Pam: Sure. come on down.

the ungourmet: You're welcome! =)

Chow and Chatter: I love the kick too.

Justin: You can always use regular flour or egg pasta.

eric: LoL. It does, doesn't it?

Diana said...

I'm totally with you on the runny cheese sauce - not a fan at all! I like mine a bit chunky almost -- where the cheese granules are still sort of distinct.

pigpigscorner said...

You added shrimps too! yum yum! I'm dying to cook mac n cheese but my hubs hates it =(

louis luzzo said...

Fabulous, love when someone takes 'average ingredients,' like mac n cheese and take it to the next level with the shrimp and asparagus.
Would love your comments on Champagne Truffle Mac n Cheese with Pancetta and Wild Mushrooms.

Thistlemoon said...

Looks great! I love all the flavors!

The Duo Dishes said...

This is a full deal meal. You've got it all in there.

vanillasugarblog said...

comfort food kicked up a notch! love the additions my friend.

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

Love the amazing names you come out with-Shrimparagus :)

teresa said...

You're a genious! I'm always drooling over your dishes!

Jenn said...

Diana: I like chunky, too.

pigpigscorner: Made if you had may his favorite meat or ingredient maybe he'll come around to the idea of the mac and cheese.

TheGourmetGirl, Jenn-DZ, Dawn, Teresa: Thanks.

The Duo Dishes: I had to stuff it all in there some how.

Sweta: I just thought of it on a whim.

Delectable Dining said...

This seriously combines my favorite ingredients. Looks SO good!

Anonymous said...

runny mac and cheese totally sucks. yours look perfect! evaprated milk will make it SO luscious and creamy...and giggling at the ultra-col name!

Heather S-G said...

Holy Cow Woman! I can feel the comfort all the way over here! Delicious.

Jen @ said...

This is definitely a winner! I love mac and cheese... and the addition of shrimp and asparagus is wonderful.

Tangled Noodle said...

Missing a few days of reading your blog is like being the weak link - keep up or get left behind! I'm catching up by starting with this incredibly delicious dish. Healthy protein and veg totally negate any guilt from the all that creamy, cheesy goodness!

Jenn said...

Delectable Dining: Thanks.

Burpandslurp: Yeah, i prefer evaoprated milk to heavy cream. I give it a nice flavor and it doesn't feel heavy.

girlichef: LOL

jen: Thanks.

Tangled Noodle: LOL. At long as ou stop by. It's all good.

Anonymous said...

Shrimp and asparagus along with garlic really enhance the deliciousness of mac and cheese here - a wonderful idea and I love your name for this dish!

Reeni said...

The shrimp takes it to a new level. And the parmesan is great, it's a nice rich cheese that will cling to your pasta. Your welcome to come for Cold Sesame noodles anytime, and please bring some of your Mac'n'Cheese!!!

Jenn said...

Reeni: Deal! =)

pam said...

What a great idea to add shrimp and asparagus to an already perfect food!

Jenn said...

Pam: Brings little variety to a classic.

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