Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Asiago
When the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board approached me about developing a recipe using a Wisconsin Cheese to share on the new Macaroni and Cheese Blog, I couldn’t say no. It had been entirely too long since I made macaroni and cheese.
I decided to use fresh Asiago Cheese because it has long been a favorite. While I’ve had lobster macaroni and cheese before, I’ve never had crab. Being a Baltimore girl, this just seemed wrong. I had to make a crab macaroni and cheese and Asagio seemed like the perfect cheese to pair it with – mild enough that it wouldn’t overpower the crab but distinctly flavored and most importantly, it melts well. Adding smoked paprika and mustard gave it some bite and blended seamlessly into the simple cheese sauce. It ended up being a very easy but elegant macaroni and cheese. Fancy enough for company, but quick enough for a weeknight.
Crab & Asiago Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish or 8 as a side dish
1 pound small or medium sized pasta, such as cavatappi
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2 cups shredded Wisconsin Asiago Cheese
16 ounces lump crab meat
Panko bread crumbs, for garnish
Fresh Italian parsley, minced, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, smoked paprika, salt and pepper; stir until smooth. Add the milk, mustard and evaporated milk; whisk together until slightly thickened.
Whisk in the Asiago Cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in crab meat. Pour the cheese and crab sauce over the drained pasta, stir gently to combine. Pour into a lightly oiled or buttered baking dish with a lid. Top with a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs and parsley.
Cover and bake about 15 minutes, then uncover and cook until hot and bubbly, about 10 to 15 additional minutes.
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Asiago, Macaroni & Cheese, Recipe, Wisconsin Cheese
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