recipe by Doug Blair, Executive Chef at Cassique at Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina, USA.
Bread Crumb Topping
Melt the butter in a pan, then whip in the flour to make a roux. The consistency should be like creamy peanut butter.
Cook the roux over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Reduce the shellfish demi-glace to 8 oz. for the correct strength.
Heat the milk and 8 ounces of shellfish demi-glace together to just under a simmer. Add to roux, whipping constantly until incorporated.
Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, then season with the cayenne pepper and nutmeg and remove from heat.
After removing from heat, stir in the four cheeses, gradually starting with the pepper jack, then followed by the other three (no particular order) until the cheese is completely melted, resulting in a smooth cheese sauce. Do not return to the stove at this point to avoid a grainy texture.
While the cheese sauce is being made, boil the tubetti pasta in salted water until very al dente.
When the pasta is done, add it to the cheese sauce then stir and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Fold in the crab and place entire the mixture in a 10-inch round casserole dish.
Caramelize the yellow onion in some canola oil on low heat to cook evenly, stirring frequently. When the onion is light brown it is done.
Sprinkle in 2 oz. of each grated cheese, then add the crispy prosciutto and then the caramelized onions on top of the mac. Cover it with plastic wrap then foil and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. If baking from a cold state, the cooking time is 40 minutes.
Bread Crumb Topping
While the mac is baking, melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the panko crumbs. Stir with a rubber spatula until the crumbs are evenly coated with butter.
Add the chopped herbs and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
When the mac has baked for 15 minutes, remove the plastic and foil and scatter the bread crumbs evenly across the top. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes until the breadcrumbs brown evenly and the surface is bubbling.
Serve hot in the cooking vessel.
Chardonnay, Edi Simcic, Riserva, Goriška Brda, Slovenia, 2009.
The Cassique clubhouse, Cassique at Kiawah Island Club, South Carolina, USA. Image courtesy Kiawah Island Club.