We hosted our first big EatWith event last night and had an absolute blast. We had more than 20 guests, and it was such a great mix of interesting, cool people from all over.
Brian made his amazing slow-cooked BBQ pork, setting up the grill on our wee balcony and tending to it lovingly all day. We also made crudité, tzatziki, bulgar salad, coleslaw, bourbon-chipotle BBQ sauce and a new version of mac and cheese we’re experimenting with.
True to my American roots, I love mac and cheese in all its forms, and I’m always looking for my new favorite recipe. This one turned out really well. A few people asked for the recipe, so here it is! You can be flexible with the kinds of cheese you use – feel free to play around with combinations and see what you like. I’m not sure there’s a wrong way to make delicious cheese sauce.
- 4 cups dried macaroni (about 400 g)
- 5 tablespoons butter (about 70 g)
- 5-8 tablespoons flour
- 2 - 2 1/2 cups whole milk (500-750 ml)
- 2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
- 1 1/3 lb. cheese, grated (about 600 g) - I used aged white cheddar, Grana and a semi-curado Spanish cheese that reminded me of Monterey Jack
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 yellow onions, sliced thinly
- Panko bread crumbs
- Grated black truffle (optional)
- Salt, pepper, other spices/herbs to taste
- Olive oil
- Extra butter
- Heat a small amount of olive oil and butter in a non-stick pan on medium-low.
- Add sliced onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a generous handful of sea salt.
- Cook macaroni for a few minutes less than the cook time on the package (it should be too firm to eat, not yet al dente). Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta water is boiling, melt 5 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan on medium-low heat.
- Add 5 tablespoons of flour, whisking constantly to remove lumps and to keep from burning. The consistency should be a slightly thickened liquid (I added a few more tablespoons of flour here to make a bit more dense). Cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Stir in milk and dry mustard slowly. Cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat, stirring often.
- Add a small cup of the sauce to the bowl holding the beaten egg, whisking constantly.(This is called tempering and gradually raises the temperature of the egg without scrambling it.)
- Mix in cheese, reserving a small amount of Grana for the topping. The consistency should be thick and creamy.
- Taste sauce and add salt, pepper and other spices or herbs to taste.
- In a small pan, toast a few generous handfuls of panko breadcrumbs in a little butter for a few minutes.
- Add macaroni and caramelized onions to cheese sauce and mix well.
- Transfer mac and cheese to a casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture and leftover Grana on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees F/ 190 degrees C for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
- Sprinkle a little grated black truffle on top if you're feeling extra fancy.