The combination of multiple cheeses adds a new dimension to Mac ‘n Cheese. Try making this with cheeses from a single region each time for a different twist… Italian one night, Dutch another, and so on, by selecting the cheese of that region.
- 3/4 pound uncooked elbow macaroni (about 3 Cups)
- 6 Tablespoons butter; plus more
- 1 small onion; cut 1/4" dice
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Cups milk
- 3/4 pound assorted cheeses, including Cheddar; grated (try Fontina, Gouda, Edam, Muenster, Monterey Jack, Colby or St. Andre, among many others)
- a pinch of salt, to taste
- freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- hot pepper sauce or Cayenne, to taste
- 1/4 pounds grated Cheddar cheese (about 1 Cup)
- 1 Cup bread crumbs
- Cook elbow macaroni in large pot of boiling salted water until cooked through, softer than al dente but not mushy. Transfer to colander and rinse under cold water, then drain well. Set aside.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in saucepan over low heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 3 or 4 minutes. Add milk in small amounts, allowing sauce to thicken after each addition. When all milk has been added, simmer very slowly at least 20 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Stir in assorted cheeses. When cheeses are nearly but not completely melted, remove from heat and mix with macaroni.
- Butter casserole dish. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in small skillet. Pour macaroni mixture into buttered casserole. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and bread crumbs and pour melted butter all over top. Bake at 375 degrees until top is bubbling and brown, about 40 minutes.
Recipe from 'Jasper White's Cooking From New England', (Harper & Row, 1989)
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