In late winter, the only thing in season around here is comfort food. That puts mac and cheese front and center.
Mark Steuer (Bedford, Carriage House) makes his with two cheeses from Wisconsin. “They have great cattle there and hence great cheeses,” says Steuer. He favors Edelweiss Emmentaler, because it gets really creamy, and Gruyère-style Roth Grand Cru for its bite (both at Artisanal, 414 Linden Ave., Wilmette, 847-512-3155). “Besides, that’s all I had in my fridge one night,” he explains.
Now this dish is on his menus year-round.
Mark Steuer’s Macaroni and Cheese
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 30 to 40 minutes
|3½ cups||Heavy cream|
|1 lb.||Sliced Edelweiss Emmentaler|
|½ cup||Grated Roth Grand Cru|
|1 Tbsp.||Black pepper|
|1 tsp.||Tabasco sauce|
|1||Large diced onion|
|2 cups||Herbed breadcrumbs|
|2 lb.||Dry elbow macaroni|
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large, heavy pot, bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
3. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in the cheeses. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Sauté the onion in butter until golden brown. Put onion and breadcrumbs in a food processor and pulse to combine.
5. Add macaroni to a pot of boiling water. Cook al dente, according to the directions on the box. Rinse with cold water. Drain well.
6. Fold the macaroni into the cheese sauce. Cook over low heat until bubbling.
7. Transfer to a 15-by-10-by-2-inch baking dish, top with the onion-breadcrumb mixture, and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
8. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
TIP: Feel free to substitute your favorite pasta shape.