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Design Your Own Mac & Cheese Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine This recipe appeared in a magazine

and is all about teaching you how to experiment with your own mac & cheese. Some of the ingredients can get pretty pricey, so I havent tried them yet. I use the suggested combinations as a starting place to experiment and have substituted quite a bit with what I had available. Have fun with it and let me know if you come across an awesome combination! - Gayle Topping Ingredients: 1 small garlic clove, mashed or pressed (optional, but I ALWAYS use it) 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted 2 cups course, fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted **I use Japanese style Panko crumbs** Kosher Salt 2 Tbs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino **Ive used just Parmesan and a Parmesan, Romano, Asiago blend** Cheese Sauce Ingredients: 4 Tbs. unsalted butter cup all-purpose flour 3 cups whole milk Kosher Salt 10 oz. (3-5 cups) finely grated Base Cheeses choose from list below - 1 cup finely grated Accept Cheeses (optional) choose from list below Herbs and Spice (optional) choose from list below Other Ingredients: 1 lb. Pasta choose from list below Up to 3 cups Add-in (optional) choose from list below Base Cheeses: Sharp Cheddar Gruyre Comt Cantal Gouda Fontina Monterey Jack Havarti Fresh Asiago Accent Cheeses: Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 cup Pecorino, 1 cup Mahon reserve, 1 cup Feta, crumbled, cup Soft goat cheese, crumbled, cup Mascarpone, cup Parmesan/Romano/Asiago blend, 1 cup Pastas: Elbows Shells Penne rigate Campanelle Mezzi rigatoni Ziti Rotini Cavatappi Pipette Mostaccioli

Herbs & Spices: Fresh thyme, finely chopped, up to 1 tsp. Fresh rosemary, finely chopped, up to 1 tsp. Fresh sage, finely chopped, up to 1 tsp. Fresh parsley, finely chopped, up to 1 tsp. Fresh marjoram, finely chopped, up to 1 tsp. Black pepper, freshly ground, up to 1 tsp. Dry mustard, 1 tsp. Cayenne, Aleppo pepper, or piment dEspelette, up to tsp. Nutmeg, freshly ground, tsp. Cumin seeds, toasted and ground, 1 tsp.

Add-ins: Peas, blanched if fresh, thawed if frozen Carrots, cut into in. thick half moons, steamed or roasted Cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets, steamed or roasted Broccoli, cut into bite-size florets, steamed or roasted Ham or prosciutto, diced, up to 1 cup Scallions, thinly sliced & sauted, up to cup Brussel sprouts, cut into bite-size wedges, steamed or roasted Mushrooms (any variety), cut into small wedges, sauted Chard or kale, sauted, drained, and chopped Cooked lobster meat, diced Bacon or pancetta, cut into small squares, cooked until slightly crisp, up to cup Spinach, sauted, drained, and chopped Fresh baby artichokes, trimmed and cut into bite-size wedges (or thawed frozen artichokes), steamed or roasted Carmelized shallots, up to 1/3 cup Jalapeo or Serrano chiles, minced and sauted, or roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into in. dice, up to 3 Tbs. Process: 1. Preheat oven to 350 F 2. Prepare ingredients (grate cheeses, pre-cook add-ins, etc.) 3. Mix the topping: a. If using garlic, stir it into the butter b. Put the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and drizzle with butter c. Add a pinch of salt and the Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino (if using) d. With your hands, toss well to combine e. Set aside 4. Make the cheese sauce: a. Melt the butter in a 3-4 quart saucepan b. Whish in the flour and continue to whisk over low heat for 3 minutes the butter and flour should gently bubble and froth without coloring. c. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. d. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and has the consistency of heavy cream, about 6 minutes. e. Raise the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly. f. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes. g. Turn off the heat and gently whisk in your choice of base cheese(s), accent cheese (if using), and herbs and spices (if using) h. Season to taste with salt. i. Keep warm. 5. Cook the pasta: a. Bring a large part of water to a boil over high heat. b. Add your choice of pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 1 minute less than indicated on the package) c. Drain well and return to the pot 6. Combine cheese sauce, your choice of add-ins, and pasta and gently stir to combine. 7. Transfer pasta mixture to 9x13 baking dish, evenly scatter the breadcrumbs on top, and bake at 350 F until the top is golden, about 15 minutes.

Suggested Combinations: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Base Cheese(s) Sharp Cheddar Monterey Jack Cantal Monterey Jack Gouda Sharp Cheddar Gruyre Accent Cheese(s) ParmigianoReggiano Soft goat cheese Feta Mahon Reserva Mascarpone None ParmigianoReggiano Mascarpone ParmigianoReggiano ParmigianoReggiano Pecorino ParmigianoReggiano Spice Dry mustard None Nutmeg None Rosemary Marjoram Sage Thyme Thyme Cayenne None Parsley None Pasta Elbows Campanelle Penne Rotini Penne Pipette Shells Campanelle Pipette Mostaccioli Cavatappi Elbows Add-ins none Broccoli Spinach Jalapeos Scallions Mushrooms Prosciutto Carrots Bussel sprouts Pancetta Lobster None Kale Bacon Artichokes Peas, ham

Asiago Havarti 7. Gruyre Fontina 8. Cantal 9. Gruyre Fontina 10. Cantal Fontina 11. Fontina 12. Sharp Cheddar Havarti

My favorite combination that Ive tried so far is as follows: Base Cheese(s) Gruyre *supplemented with a little cheddar b/c I didnt have enough Accent Cheese(s) Parmesan, Romano, Asiago blend Spice none Pasta Elbows Add-ins Bussel sprouts Bacon

Servings: 6-8 Prep & Cook Time: can take up to 2 hours if your add-ins require a lot of prep (chopping, roasting, sauting, etc.)