Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stir Crazy IV--Mac & cheese for adults

I haven't made mac & cheese since we left Austin's over a year ago and I've had a craving. After making the beer cheese soup with gruyere, I wanted to try gruyere with mac & cheese. Today was a rousing success, though because it was so rich, it is certainly not for everyday consumption.

Same basic recipe as I've used in the past:

3 T butter
3 T all-purpose flour
2 cups cream (because the cream we bought for the coffee jelly topping was about to expire)
1 cup whole milk
2 cups shredded gruyere
1 cup shredded edam 
1 pound pasta
2 T dark beer (I used Smithwick's)
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

I love edam, it's delightfully buttery and I thought it would add both some creaminess and some richness to counteract the sharp taste of the gruyere.

photo by KMKulig

I also added one head of roasted garlic (I happened to have this handy because I was going to make a garlic aioli last week, but that didn't happen, so why not here?)

If you use this recipe, don't attempt to bring this particular cheese mixture to a boil. It will clump. Instead, do a lot of stirring on lower heat, I was just shy of medium low through most of it. I strongly recommend a tool like the silicone whisk above. 

I used orichiette pasta, also known as "little ears". They're a little more open than small shells, which can hold water if you don't shake the whatsis out of them after draining.

I served today's meal with andouille, and for dessert, my sweetie and I shared a very tart granny smith apple:

Questions? Comments? Death threats? I'd love to hear from you!

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