Shrimp, Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and CheeseSource Annie's Eats
Ingredients1 lb. rotini pasta (I used whole wheat)1 lb. raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half (if desired), tail removed10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled and dividedzest of 1 lemon, divided1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped and divided5 tbsp. butter, divided (I used unsalted)4 tbsp. all-purpose flour (I used wheat)3 cups milk (I used plain soy)2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)1/2 tsp. kosher salt1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Directions:Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente following package directions. Drain well; set aside. Add raw shrimp to warm pasta and toss. The heat from the pasta will partially cook the shrimp.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine a handful of feta, a pinch of lemon zest, panko, 2 tsp. of parsley, and 1 tbsp. of butter, melted. Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour to form a paste. Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until golden brown. Whisk in milk. Continue to heat mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, approximately 5 minutes. As soon as the sauce thickens, remove from heat, stir in remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the pasta and shrimp; toss well to coat.
Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 - 3 quart baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over pasta. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes: In my opinion, zest of 1 lemon is too much. If I made this again I would use maybe 1/2 a lemon or less. And I like lemon. When I was mixing the cheese mixture with the pasta I added more milk. I would use 4 cups of milk instead of 3 for a more creamy mixture. I used jumbo shrimp (21-30 count) and did not cut in half. I wish I did. More shrimp would have been in each bite.
Verdict: It was good, not great. I think it had too much lemon. The Hubs enjoyed it more than I did, but he is not as picky of an eater as I am. I think I am going to take a break from new recipes for a while and focus on the ones I have made that we enjoyed.