Serves 6-8; Cook Time: 1 hour, including oven time
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
- 1 quart milk
- 8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups grated gruyere
- 2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs fermented hot sauce (like Tabasco or Crystal)
- 1 pound crawfish tails
- 1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t let it come to a boil. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the hot milk and continue whisking until mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.
3. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese a little at a time, continuing to whisk to incorporate the cheese. Season with Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Add the cooked macaroni and crawfish tails and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes or one large casserole dish.
4. Melt the remaining 2 Tbs of butter and combine with the fresh breadcrumbs. Sprinkle crumbs on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are brown on top.