It was Friday night and I finally found myself with a chance to breathe and actually think about what I’d like to eat. When tired, and hungry, baked macaroni and cheese comes to mind, and what you can do with the leftovers is in some ways better than the original dish.
1.5 cups of elbow macaroni
.25 cups of flour
.25 cups of butter
1 cup of whole milk
0.5 cup of heavy cream
0.5 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
0.5 cup of shredded manchego cheese
.25 cup of Reggiano Parmesan cheese
.25 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons of salt
.25 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
.25 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of sriracha, or smoked hot pepper sauce
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a two quart pan or pasta pot, parboil your elbow macaroni until a bit less than al-dente, as you are going to be finishing this in the oven.
Make a roux by putting the flour in a medium high skillet and stirring with a whisk until the flour begins to brown, then add the butter and combine to form a caramel colored paste. Whisk in the milk and cream and turn the heat down to low. Simmer and stir until thickened. Put in half of each of the grated cheeses. Once it cools down and starts to form a skin, whisk in the 3 eggs. Drain and put in your elbow macaroni. Put the mixture into a buttered or greased small square cake pan. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, then increase the oven temperature to 450. Sprinkle the top of the pan with the remaining cheese, bread crumbs and finely diced parsley and let it bake until browned (about 15-20 minutes.)
When it comes out of the oven, let it cool at least 15-20 minutes before you cut into it. Molten cheese burns will fuck up your palette so resist that temptation.
Cut it into 3 inch squares and serve it with whatever you like to eat with your mac and cheese. I prefer fish sticks and ketchup.
Since this recipe serves 4-8 people, depending on how much of a greedy fucker you are, you’ll have leftovers.
Here’s something fun to do with the leftovers:
Cut the mac and cheese into 1 inch cubes. Get three bowls. Put a cup of flour in the first. A cup of buttermilk, some chipotle pepper or sriracha and a few dashes of worcestershire sauce in the second, and panko bread crumbs with grated Reggiano Parmesan in the third. Get a pot or fryer out and heat the oil up to about 350. Flour-egg and panko your cubes, and then gently put them in the fryer until golden brown. It will take about a minute. Put them on a draining rack and lightly dust them with kosher salt.
While the oil was still hot, I dropped in a few pieces of pancetta and crisped them up.
I opened a can of diced tomatoes, added a dolop of honey, some dried basil, and a few glugs of balsamic vinegar and simmered it for about 10 minutes, then picked a sprig of fresh basil to garnish.