by John Lindsay, 1907 Meat Company
One of the hardest things as a parent is balancing finding food that your children will eat with your need to have good, classy food. This recipe is both of those. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “But John, it’s Mac ‘N Cheese. It comes out of a box, it’s decent, you shouldn’t mess with it.” Well, my friend, your life is about to get a nice upgrade that is so easy, you’ll wish you’d gotten it sooner.
The vocabulary may seem intimidating, but don’t worry – this recipe is quite simple. We are going to make a mornay sauce, which is a Béchamel sauce with cheese. Béchamel is one of the mother sauces of the Haute cuisine, a French style of cooking. We’ll also be making a roux, which you might be familiar with from gumbo recipes. We are going to do the same process but we are using a white roux as opposed to gumbo’s brown roux, which just means we’ll let it combine before adding the milk and stopping the browning process.
The sauce is infinitely interchangeable using different cheeses and combinations of cheeses . The main rule of thumb is that hard cheeses need to be blended with softer cheeses. For example, a classic Mornay sauce blends hard parmesan with soft gruyere cheese. Some good soft cheeses to use are:
Provolone: It has an excellently sharp, salty taste.
Blue cheese: Danish Blue is a good choice as it’s easily found, but creamy, nosey Stilton or sharp Gorgonzola are great choices as well.
Goat cheese: Often labeled as Chevres, it has a deliciously sweet, tangy flavor.
Soft ripened cheeses: Brie and Camembert are good examples of other soft cheeses that can add a lot of flavor to this recipe.
2 Tsp Butter
2 Tsp Flour
1Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Lb. Cheese, cut or shredded
Pasta of your choice
1 Start the pasta.
2 Add the butter and the flour to a pot. Set over medium-high heat.
3 Whisk the butter and flour together.
4 When combined, add the milk and heat until about to boil (constantly stir; don’t allow the milk to boil)
5 Add the cheese in slowly. Mix until combined and take off heat.
6 Mix the cheese sauce and the pasta.
The addition of other ingredients such as cooked chicken, bacon or even lobster (the fake kind is best for this) can make everything that much better. You can try adding vegetables as well.
- Buffalo Chicken Mac ‘N Cheese: Use Danish Blue cheese and grab some breaded chicken. Cut the chicken into bite-size bits. Mix with the wing sauce of your choice (2 parts liquid margarine to 1 part cayenne pepper sauce, i.e, Frank’s or Louisiana).
- Better Cheddar: Good sharp aged cheddar, 1 tsp Coleman’s mustard powder, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and black pepper to taste.
- Pepperjack Mac: Use Pepperjack or Habanero cheese and add a 1/2 tsp cayenne.
- Pancetta and Mushrooms: Try brie with this addition.
- Sausage or Meatballs: The addition of sausage or meatballs make this a quick, one-dish dinner.