Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Recipe for Gluttony: Mac & Cheese w/ Havarti & Asiago

Today, some of us are waking up to snow...when only last week we had our air conditioners running. Good thing there's no such catastrophe as climate change. ~eye roll~

With a nod to fuzzy blankets, fuzzy dogs, and fuzzy slippers, here is my favorite winter comfort food:

MAC & CHEESE w/ HAVARTI & ASIAGO 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
    • Whatever shape makes you happy
    • Yes, whole wheat because you need noodles that stand up to the weight of the cheese. 
    • If you need to go Gluten-Free, then rice noodles work well too.
    • If you buy a 10oz box, use the whole box. We’re cooking here, not baking. We have wiggle room.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground (powdered) mustard or ¼ cup prepared mustard (like Dijon)
    • (again, we’re cooking here, peeps, wiggle room)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper (for zing!)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper (for mmm)
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine
    • (2 cups if you believe in drinking half of what you measure)
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, plus 2 ounces set aside for topping
  • 3 ounces havarti, shredded
  • 2 ounces asiago, shredded
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Unearth two pots and a casserole dish
  3. Boil pasta al dente.
    •  Don’t overcook it (until it turns soft); otherwise, you’ll be eating cheese glue. It’ll finish cooking in the oven.
  4. Roux the Day: While you’re waiting for that watched pot to boil, in the second pot sauté the onions and garlic in the butter. Whisk in the flour. Whisk in the milk. Whisk in the spices. Keep whisking for 7 mins-ish. Do not let the mixture boil.
    • (During which time, your pasta will probably finish cooking. Go drain it and scurry back. If you do not scurry, your milk will scorch.)
  5. Saucy: To the spiced milk mixture, stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in the wine. Turn off the heat. Gently stir (aka “fold) in the pasta.
  6. Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar.
    • Note: there should be more sauce than noodles, just shy of soupy. Remember the noodles will continue to cook and absorb liquid. Too little sauce and your noodles will dry out. 
  7. Bake for 30 mins.
    • If you want an extra crispy cheese crust, then put it in the broiler for 5 mins.
  8. Cool for 5 mins to save yourself from burning the roof of your mouth.

Serve with some flaked salmon or steamed broccoli if you need to feel a little virtuous. Also, leftovers are super awesome.

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