While trying to halve the following macaroni and cheese recipe from Gourmet, I accidentally messed up the proportions of butter, flour and cheese. The resulting dish was incredibly creamy, incredibly yummy, and incredibly bad for you. Now you too can put yourself on the road to heart disease!
Mac “Heart Attack ‘n Cheese
adapted from Gourmet
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 cups freshly grated Swiss cheese (I used Jarlsberg)
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
2. Boil a large pot of water and cook macaroni until just al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
3. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add flour and cook roux, whisking, 2 minutes. Add onions, continue to cook 2 minutes more. Be sure to keep whisking so the roux doesn’t burn. Add milk, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add mustard, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until very thick, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the Swiss, Cheddar, and half of the Parmesan to the sauce, one handful at a time. Whisk until the cheese is fully melted into the sauce before adding the next handful.
5. Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni and stir to coat.
6. In a small bowl stir together bread crumbs and remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over macaroni. For extra beautiful browning, dot the top of the crumb coating with little pea-size bits of butter. (If you want to save a few calories, you can leave it out, but the topping will be drier.)
7. Bake macaroni in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
Serves 4 to 6 as entrée or 6 to 8 as a side dish.