Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Macaroni and Cheese Gratin
It's ok to be proud of serving Macaroni and Cheese with dinner again!!! Try this version with those Ribeye Steaks, or Grilled Chicken fresh from the grill.
3 quarts whole milk
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound dried macaroni pasta
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chives, minced
1 pound ice cubes (two trays)
fine sea salt, as needed
freshly ground white pepper, to taste
grated nutmeg, to taste
1. In a large saucepan, heat the milk and garlic over high heat until small bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic.
2. Measure out 1 cup milk and reserve; set aside the remaining milk until you're ready to cook the pot.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly without browning, for one minute. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the reserve 1 cup milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is completely smooth.
4. Season sauce with a large pinch of salt and generous amounts of white pepper and nutmeg. Return the pan to low heat and cook the sauce, whisking constantly, until thick, about five minutes.
5. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt.
6. Preheat the oven to 450°. Butter a 9 x 13" baking or gratin dish.
7. Add 1/4 cup salt to the remaining milk and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, so the milk is just simmering for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked al dente (slightly firm).
8. Remove from the heat and add ice cubes to stop the cooking. When all the ice cubes melted, draining apostate colander and transfer to a large bowl.
9. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss until it is coated evenly. Transfer the pasta mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for about 10 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
10. Turn on the boiler and broil, rotating the dish, until the cheese is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
11. Let the pasta stand for five minutes, and season generously with white pepper, and garnish with the chives. Serve hot.