Tuesday, November 26, 2013
This Macaroni and Cheese dish was made for Madame's faculty party and the students working the TV station. It seemed to go down quite well, so I was asked for the recipe. It is a pretty standard M&C in that it uses a Bechamel sauce as the base. The quantities were substantial, however. There is absolutely nothing low-fat, healthy, low-carb, gluten free about it. I make no warranty if you don't use butter, if you don't use whole milk, and if you don't use lots of full fat cheese.
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, left whole and studded with a dozen cloves
3/4t freshly grated nutmeg
6oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 oz (1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
6 pints (US pints, 4 3/4 Imperial pints) whole milk
2 lbs sharp cheddar, shredded
1 1/2 lbs Monterrey Jack, shredded
2 lbs elbow macaroni
1 lb Parmesan cheese grated
2 lbs bacon cut into 1/2 " strips
Salt/Pepper to taste
Place the milk in a large pan and add the onion (studded with cloves) and the nutmeg. Warm through until about 180F. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes to infuse. Discard the onion.
Meanwhile make a roux by melting the butter until it stops foaming. Add the flour all at once and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes - until it is a pale straw color. You are cooking out the raw flavor of the flour.
Bring a large pot of salted water (I used about a gallon) to the boil. This will be used to cook the macaroni.
Once the roux is cooked, add the warm milk, whisking in the roux until it is smooth. Bring to the boil and leave bubbling for about a minute. Allow to cool for about 15 min. When cooled add the Cheddar and Jack cheeses stirring thoroughly.
Cook the bacon gently in a skillet. You don't want it crispy.
Cook the macaroni for the amount of time specified. Once the macaroni is cooked, add it to the cheese mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Layer the macaroni and cheese mixture in low pans to a depth of about an inch. Sprinkle cooked bacon on the surface and cover with more macaroni and cheese mixture.
On the very top of each pan, sprinkle with the parmesan.
Either bake the pans in a 350 oven covered for 30 minutes, uncover and cook for 10 more. Or microwave on 50% power for about 20 minutes (depends on the microwave) until heated through.