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Crab Macaroni Cheese with Lemon Brioche and Tarragon

Made at The Ivy | Serves 4

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Image Credit: Jenny Zarins / The Ivy Now

50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
500ml fish or shellfish stock
100ml double cream
2 tsp English mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp anchovy essence
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Finley grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

250g dried macaroni
150g grated mature Cheddar cheese
300g white crabmeat, picked
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
75g fresh brioche crumbs splash of olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 4.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the flour, stir well and cook for a minute to cook out the flour. Gradually add the fish stock and keep whisking over a medium heat until you have a silky sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cream, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy essence, cayenne and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Season and mix until smooth.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the sauce, 100g of the grated Cheddar, three-quarters of the crab and the chopped tarragon. Mix well, spoon into a baking dish and bake in the hot oven for 12-15 minutes until bubbling.

In a bowl, mix the brioche crumbs with the lemon zest and olive oil.

Scatter the remaining crab over the top of the bubbling macaroni, top with the lemon crumbs and remaining 50g cheese and cook under a hot grill for a few minutes until golden and piping hot.

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