Smokey Macaroni & Cheese

Smokey Macaroni & Cheese

I stole this recipe from Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona NJ.  I also adapted it from Alton Brown’s recipe from the Food Network.  I wonder how close I came. I did omit some ingredients due to taste, or I should say my wife’s tastes.

  • 4 ounces of pasta (elbow, pipette, whichever you prefer)
  • 4 ounces Shredded Smoked Gruyere Cheese
  • 4 ounces Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted butter (divided in half)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt & Pepper

Step 1: Boil the pasta.  You can use any kind you like. My preference is pipette or orecchiette but I forgot to buy the pasta so I went with what I had in the house. The next best shape to hold the cheese was fusilli.  Boil in a half gallon of water and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Step 2: Slowly melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.  Allow a few minutes for the water in the butter to bubble out and slowly stir in the flour.

Step 3: Slowly add in the paprika, bayleaf and 3 cups of milk, one cup at a time.

Step 4: Scramble one egg and temper it by slowly adding in a teaspoon at a time of the mixture.

Step 5: Mix in 3/4 of the cheese, about 8 ounces, fold in and stir until completely melted.

Step 6: Fully drain the pasta and add to the Dutch oven, and mix the pasta well until thoroughly coated.

Step 7: Pour into a casserole dish and top with remaining 4 ounces of cheese.

Step 8: Gently melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and add in 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs, stir until coated.

Step 9: Evenly top the macaroni and cheese with the breadcrumbs and put in a 350F oven for 30 minutes and/or until the top is golden brown.  Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving and/or eating.

NOTE: Not as creamy/cheesey as I would have liked, I first thought I added too much liquid, but then it dried up.  Stay tuned for updates to this recipe as I work to perfect it!

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