Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mac and Cheese

Everybody loves Mac and Cheese. Only I'm not so much of a fan of the Kraft Easy Mac and stuff anymore. It just didn't grow up with me. So when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit I knew that I had to make it (even if it is technically part of an ad). I made a few modifictions (but not many).

Kerrygold Mac and Cheese

1 pound macaroni, penne, or ziti, cooked tender and cooled
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, small dice
pinch of sugar
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups milk (I used half whole milk and half 2 percent)
1 cup heavy cream
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chedder, grated (the original says to use the Kerrygold brand- which is great cheese, but pricey)
1 cup Swiss, grated (I subbed Jarlsburg in here)
1 1/2 cups Kerrygold Dubliner, grated (This I actually used, it's fantastic!)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 slices bacon or prosciutto (this is my addition, I used half of each)
1 cup bread crumbs
fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta and set aside to cool.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, add onion and just a little salt. Add the pinch of sugar and cook until onion is tranluscent.
3. Add flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Don't let it color! Whisk in milk and cream, incorporating totally. Bring mixture to a simmer and add the bay leaf and cloves.
4. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and remove bay leaf.
5. Whisk in chedder and Swiss cheese, until incorporated. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
6. Combine the pasta, bacon and cheese sauce in a large bowl. Spoon into a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish.
7. Top with grated Dubliner, parsley and breadcrumbs (you could also add other herbs like thyme, but I like it simple).
8. Bake at 375 degrees farenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.

(In the magazine they also mention adding sauteed mushrooms for another variation. Could be tasty.)

It's very, very tasty. But not exactly healthfood.

Adapted from a Kerrygold ad in the October 2008 Bon Appetit magazine.

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