Monday, August 8, 2011

Mac and Cheese for Elizabeth

My good friend Elizabeth emailed me that other day and asked why the hell didn't I have a mac and cheese recipe on the blog?

The truth is I have always been very hit and miss in the mac and cheese making department and I have yet to find one full proof recipe. That is to say until now.

But only after I spectacularly fucked it up the first time. I had a dog and a husband and a kid running through my kitchen like a tornado on meth and I so fucked up the first batch. And just like the evil Mommy I am, I made The Good Daughter eat it and after I gave her a bath and put her to bed, I made the second batch which turned out great.

Distraction free cooking is the best.

The original recipe called for several hippy-grade cheeses that I didn't have available to me. It also called for bacon that I ate the last of the day before. So I swapped out some of the cheese and to get the smoky flavor the bacon would have given, I used applewood smoked cheddar cheese instead.

I also halved the recipe b/c this makes A TON. So please use caution since I am posting the full, massive thing below.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 to 7 cups whole milk, heated
4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese, plus more for the top
1 1/2 cups White Cheddar, plus more for the top
1 1/2 cups Applewood Smoked Cheddar, plus more for the top
1 cup grated Fontina cheese, plus more for the top
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, Romano and Asigao, plus more for the top
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 3 quart baking dish and set aside.

~Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in 6 cups of the hot milk, increase the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

~In a small bowl whisk in the eggs slightly. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the hot milk mixture and whisk. Add several more tablespoons of the hot milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saute pan and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the thyme, cayenne, and all of the cheese until completely melted, season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add some of the remaining milk 1/4 cup at a time.

~Place the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce and parsley and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Combine together the remaining cheeses in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the macaroni. Bake in the oven until heated through and the top is lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

recipe modified from: Bobby Flay


~Corey said...

I found your blog today via pinterest. It's my new favorite and I've added it to my reader. I just wanted to say hello because I don't comment often. Just know that you have a new reader who loves that you cuss and cook.

The Good Wife said...

Thanks for reading and commenting Cory! And I will have to tell The Good Husband that *someone* likes my cursing and cooking. ;)